Worcester, MA—12/22/2023— The Worcester Art Museum announced several new hires including a new Conservator in Charge, Matthew Cushman, and the Sohail and Mona Masood Assistant Curator of Asian and Islamic Art, Yagnaseni Datta. Cushman will lead the Museum’s team of conservators to continue to care for the permanent collection and carry out various projects to maintain and restore works within the collection. Datta will develop a holistic vision for the presentation and integration of Asian art at the Museum, looking for opportunities to develop the collection in this area further. Two other recent additions to the curatorial department include the promotion of Olivia Stone to the role of Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, and the new hire of Delaney Keenan as Curatorial Assistant. Additionally, the role of Director of Facilities has been filled by Paul Comerford, who will manage both the day-to-day maintenance and the long-term revitalization of the Museum’s campus—including its historic main building—with the ongoing goal of facilitating welcoming and inspiring experiences for visitors, staff, and partners.
Cushman comes to the Worcester Art Museum from the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
in Delaware, where he served as Conservator of Paintings for eight years. During this tenure,
he simultaneously served as an Affiliated Assistant Professor at Winterthur/University of
Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Having worked previously at the Worcester Art
Museum as both a graduate intern and Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Cushman is already familiar
with the Museum’s collection. Cushman received his M.S. in Art Conservation from the
Winterthur program in 2007.
Datta served as the Graduate Curatorial Intern of Asian Art at the Yale University Art Gallery
(YUAG) for four years before joining the Worcester Art Museum. Datta’s pervious work at the
YUAG included two themed installations of objects, Practice as Power in the Paintings of
South Asia (2021), and Sights and Sounds: Ragamala Paintings from India (2019). In each of
these installations, she created opportunities for engagement with the artworks from a variety
of avenues. Datta is completing her PhD at Yale in the History of Art with a focus on earlymodern Islamic and South Asian art. As the Sohail and Mona Masood Assistant Curator of Asian and Islamic Art, she will look to revitalize the Asian art galleries and give a fresh look to their presentation and interpretation. In addition to curating the permanent collection she will develop new exhibitions, drawing on her broad experience in collections and Asian art.
“Both Matthew and Yagnasani are very welcome additions to the curatorial and conservation
department,” said Claire C. Whitner, Director of Curatorial Affairs and the James A. Welu
Curator of European Art. “They have each distinguished themselves within their fields and
bring their expert knowledge to the Museum along with passionate perspectives.”
About the Worcester Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum creates transformative programs and exhibitions, drawing on its exceptional collection of art. Dating from 3000 BCE to the present, these works provide the foundation for a focus on audience engagement, connecting visitors of all ages and abilities with inspiring art and demonstrating its enduring relevance to daily life. Creative initiatives— including pioneering collaborative programs with local schools, fresh approaches to exhibition design and in-gallery teaching, and a long history of studio class instruction—offer opportunities for diverse audiences to experience art and learn both from and with artists.
The Worcester Art Museum, located at 55 Salisbury Street in Worcester, MA, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 4pm. For more information, visit worcesterart.org.