BOSTON — A few months ago I visited the Worcester Art Museum for the first time (I am now embarrassed to admit), and I was stunned by its positively staggering collection. It brims with gems. All of the European masters are represented—Monet, Gauguin and Goya, to name just a select few. The museum’s American galleries are equally vibrant and it boasts impressive modern and contemporary art galleries as well. The new director of the Worcester Museum, the ambitious Matthias Wascheck, has now removed the cloak from the region’s hidden gem.
In a symbolic gesture that worked well for the MFA, Wascheck is reopening the museum’s front doors on Salisbury Street, which were shuttered in 2009 due to budget cuts. He has also commenced having the entire collection digitized and has launched a major advertising campaign. Even more impressive, today Wascheck announced that museum admittance will be free for all of July and August.
"This is the Renaissance Courtyard of the Worcester Art Museum," Wascheck said in a solicitation video, "but it's not only our court, it is the living room of Worcester. It is your living room, and it is easier than you think to help us open this to the public." He goes on to ask for $60,000 to keep the doors and the courtyard accessible.
Wascheck arrived at the Worcester Art Museum in November from the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as director. Before that he was director of Academic Programs at the Louvre. He is a man with exceptional pedigree and with the drive to dust off the cobwebs and elevate the WAM’s profile. So I implore you—go to Worcester. See works by all of the greats you’ve never seen before. Revel in your discoveries and the free parking. You will be bowled over. I promise.