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Master Series

master series at wam

The Worcester Art Museum's Master Series highlights selected works of art in galleries throughout the Museum. Each work is also the focus of a Third Thursday art talk presented by a scholar in the field, allowing for a more in-depth appreciation of the piece and artist.

Master Series Third Thursdays

Enjoy an art talk related to one of the featured Master Series artists, plus cash bar and the company of other art enthusiasts! Seating is limited to 100, on a first come first served basis. See our Upcoming Events listed below.

Hosted by the WAM Members' Council

Sponsored by:   Abbvie logo

Presented with support from the Bernard G. and the Louise B. Palitz Fund and the Amelia and Robert H. Haley Memorial Lecture Fund.


Download the Master Series 2019/20 program (PDF 2.3MB)

Master Series   Master Series   Third Thursdays
Francisco de Goya, Boy on a Ram, 1786-1787


Francisco de Goya

The Boy on a Ram*

Thursday, March 19, 2020, 6pm

Speaker: Janis A. Tomlinson, PhD, Director of Special Collections and Museums, University of Delaware.
Art Talk: “The Boy on a Ram” in Context.

* On loan from the Art Institute of Chicago.

Reginald Gammon, Holy Family, 1964

– Check back for updates

Reginald Gammon

Holy Family

Speaker: Kimberly Bobier, PhD, Assistant Visiting Professor in the Department of History of Art and Design at Pratt Institute.
Art Talk: Reginald Gammon: Notes on Assembly.

Image left: detail, © 2019 Estate of Reginald Gammon / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

A colorful kimono created by Chiso

– Check back for updates

Kimono Couture:
The Beauty of Chiso

Speaker: Monika Bincsik, PhD, Diane and Arthur Abbey Assistant Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Art Talk: Kimono Fashion in Kyoto.

Image left: © Chiso

Download the Master Series 2019/20 program (PDF 2.3MB)


Master Series   Master Series  Third Thursdays
John Singleton Copley, Paul Revere, 1768

Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 6pm

Speaker: Ethan Lasser, PhD, John Moors Cabot Chair, Art of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Art Talk: Paul Revere and John Singleton Copley: Making an American Icon.

Image left: detail, photograph © 2019 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Robert Heineken, Untitled (Are You Rea), 1964-1968

Photo Revolution:
Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman

Thursday, November 21, 2019, 6pm

Speaker: Diana Tuite, Katz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Colby College Museum of Art.
Art Talk: Paraphotography: Doing Things with Images.

Presented with support from the Michie Family Curatorial Fund, the Amelia and Robert H. Haley Memorial Lecture Fund, the Bernard and Louise Palitz Fund, and the Spear Fund for Public Programs.

Image left: detail, © Estate of Robert Heineken, courtesy of Cherry and Martin Gallery

Otto Dix, The Pregnant Woman, 1931

With Child:
Otto Dix / Carmen Winant

Thursday, October 17, 2019, 6pm

Speakers: Ute Tellini, former editor of the Woman's Art Journal and author of Images of Women During the Weimar Republic in Germany and Michelle Vangen, PhD, Art History Professor, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY.
Art Talks: Images of Women during the Weimar Republic and Images of Maternity in Otto Dix.

Image left: detail, © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), NewYork/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Thomas Eakins

The Spinner

Thursday, May 16, 2019, 6pm

Speaker: Erin Corrales-Diaz, PhD, Assistant Curator of American Art at the Worcester Art Museum.
Topic: Thomas Eakins' The Spinner.

Lee Mingwei

Stone Journey

Thursday, April 18, 2019, 6pm

Speaker: Lee Mingwei, contemporary artist.
Topic: Five Stories.

Utagawa Hiroshige

Travels with Hiroshige

Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6pm

Speaker: Kit Brooks, PhD, Independent Curator.
Topic: Blending into the Woodwork.

Claude Monet

Monet's Waterloo Bridge

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 6pm

Speaker: Gloria Groom, Ph. D., David and Winton Green Curator at The Art Institute of Chicago
Topic: New Light on Monet

Persian and Indian

Preserved Pages: Book as Art in Persia and India, 1300–1800

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 6pm

Speaker: David Roxburgh, Ph. D., the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Islamic Art History at Harvard University.
Topic: Illustrating Epic Poetry and History in Persian manuscripts from the Mongols to the Timurids.

Louis C. Tiffany and
John La Farge

Radiance Rediscovered: Stained Glass by Tiffany and La Farge

Thursday, October 18, 2018, 6pm

Speakers: T. Amanda Lett, Ph.D. Candidate, History of Art and Architecture Boston University; Diane Rousseau, stained glass conservator; and Amanda Chau, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Objects Conservation. Topic: The Techniques, Conservation, and History of John La Farge's Stained Glass.

Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and Lorenzo di Credi

A Miracle of Saint Donatus of Arezzo

Thursday, May 17, 2018, 6pm

Rediscovering Leonardo: Laurence Kanter, chief curator and the Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of European Art, Yale University Art Gallery, delves into the fascinating story behind this mysterious panel painting.

Byron Kim's Paintings

On the Relationship of Big and Small

Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6pm

Issues in Contemporary Art: contemporary artist Byron Kim will speak about his captivating life and work, including his unique approach to portraiture.

Early Ming Dynasty

Ming Huang and Yang Guifei Listening to Music

Thursday, March 15, 2018, 6pm

A Reinterpretation of Ancient Music at the Chinese Tang Court: enjoy a cello concert with College of the Holy Cross visiting musician-in-residence, Jan Muller-Szeraws. This performance will be introduced by Shirish Korde, composer and professor, College of the Holy Cross.

Assyrian (Nimrud)

A Winged Genius

Thursday, February 15, 2018, 6pm

In the Company of Genies: Ada Cohen, professor of Art History and the Israel Evans Professor in Oratory and Belles Lettres at Dartmouth College, contextualizes WAM's winged genius within the palace of the 9th-century BCE Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud in modern-day Iraq, where it was one of many such figures.

Winslow Homer

The Gale

Thursday, November 16, 2017, 6pm

Color and Line: Homer's Studies in England. Looking at Homer's English work for changes in color and line, Judith Walsh, Professor Emerita of Paper conservation, SUNY Buffalo State College, will show that this period was critical to his later success as demonstrated in the painting, The Gale.

William Bullard

Reuben Griffin Leaning Against a Tree

Thursday, October 19, 2017, 6pm

Maurice Wallace, associate director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, University of Virginia, will present the topic “We Look Like Men: Early Photography, War, and the Double-Bind of Black Manhood.” Strong Eagle Daly, Nipmuc flutist, will play a tribute to his ancestors preceding the lecture.


Lady with a Red Box

Thursday, May 18, 2017, 6pm

Speaker: Vivian Li, Assistant Curator of Asian Art, Worcester Art Museum


Master Vases

Thursday, April 20, 2017, 6pm

Speaker: Paula Artal-Isbrand, objects conservator, Worcester Art Museum; Amanda Reiterman, Archaeologist.

Gaspar Miguel del Berrío

Our Lady of Mount Carmel with Bishop Saints

Thursday, March 16, 2017, 6pm

Devotion, Illusion, Curtains, and Candles: The Virgin Mary in Colonial Peru

Speaker: Michael Schreffler, Associate Professor, Art and Architecture of Spain and Latin America in the 16th and 17th centuries, University of Notre Dame.

Mary Cassatt

Reine Lefebvre Holding a Nude Baby (Mother and Child)

Thursday, February 16, 2017, 6pm

Speaker: Heather Lemonedes, Chief Curator, Cleveland Museum of Art.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The Jewish Wedding

Thursday, November 17, 2016, 6pm

Speaker: Judith Dolkart, Mary Stripp and R. Crosby Kemper Director, Addison Gallery of American Art

Jacob Lawrence

The 1920's...The Migrants Cast Their Ballots

Thursday, October 20, 2016, 6pm

Speaker: Valerie J. Mercer, Curator of the General Motors Center for African American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts

Image: © 2016 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


The Storm (A Lady Taking Shelter from the Monsoon Wind and Rain)

Thursday, September 15, 2016, 6pm

The Figurative and the Narrative in Courtly and Contemporary Art of India. Speaker: Vishakha Desai, Special Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University and Professor of Professional Practice at the School of International and Public Affairs

Joachim Meyer

Die Kunst des Fechtens ("The Art of Combat")

Thursday, May 19, 2016, 6pm

Learn about this rare and important German fencing manual, and explore the fascinating prints it contains to illustrate the Art of Combat. Speaker: Jeffrey Forgeng, Curator of Arms, Armor, and Medieval Art, Worcester Art Museum.

Vision, Perception, and Art

Thursday, April 21, 2016, 6pm

Dr. Margaret Livingstone will explore the topic of Vision, Perception, and Art, focusing on objects in WAM's permanent collection, including Paul Signac's pointillist work Golfe Juan. Speaker: Margaret Livingstone, Takeda Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School


Helmet for a Gladiator

Thursday, March 17, 2016, 6pm

Roman Spectacular Blood Sports:
Both magnificent and menacing, the Worcester gladiatorial helmet invites us to enter the world of the Roman arena with its spectacular combats of men against men and against beasts… Read more
Speaker: Donald G Kyle, Professor of History, University of Texas, Arlington

Pierre Bonnard

Dining Room in the Country

Thursday, February 18, 2016, 6pm

Explore Bonnard's enigmatic and delightful country scene through this exciting loan. Speaker: Worcester Art Museum Director Matthias Waschek


Incised Standing Figure

Thursday, November 19, 2015, 6pm

Although small in stature, this stone figure reveals much about Olmec religion and culture. Learn what research performed in WAM's conservation lab has uncovered about this figure's facial scarification, body modification, and other spiritual symbols. Speaker: John Garton, Clark University

Terri Priest

Static Variations: Blue x 2

Thursday, October 15, 2015, 6pm

Work by Worcester native Terri Priest (who passed away in 2014) is as varied as it is loved. Learn more about the woman behind this newly acquired work by the Worcester Art Museum. Speaker: Roger Dunn, Bridgewater State University

John Brewster, Jr.

Portrait of Mary Coffin

Thursday, September 17, 2015, 6pm

A Deaf Artist in Early America: The World of John Brewster, Jr.: John Brewster Jr. (1766-1854) was a prolific, deaf itinerant painter, who produced many portraits of New England families, especially their children. Speaker: Paul D'Ambrosio, President and CEO at Fenimore Art Museum & The Farmers' Museum

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Fujiwara no Yasumasa Playing the Flute by Moonlight

Thursday, May 21, 2015, 6pm

Yoshitoshi: Composer Shirish Korde will speak about the different types of historical Japanese flutes. Flutist Alice Jones will perform three musical pieces, including Korde's famed "The Tenderness of Cranes."


The Three Musicians and The Stone Operation

Thursday, April 16, 2015, 6pm

Rembrandt and Fallibility: Jon L. Seydl, director of curatorial affairs and curator of European art, shares insights on two early works by the Dutch master.

Anthony van Dyck

Portrait of a Man

Thursday, March 19, 2015, 6pm

Portrait of a Man: Matthew Cushman, project conservator at Yale University, and Jon L. Seydl, director of curatorial affairs and curator of European art, discuss what conservation has revealed about this painting by Anthony van Dyck.


The Cowper Madonna

Thursday, February 19, 2015, 6pm

The Cowper Madonna: Scholar Linda Wolk-Simon, Director and Chief Curator, University Collections, Bellarmine Museum of Art, Fairfield University, sheds light on the Renaissance master, Raphael.

This lecture is generously supported by the Robert and Amelia Hutchinson Haley Lectures Fund.

Norman Rockwell

Study for "The Nightwatchman"

Thursday, November 20, 2014, 6pm

Reflections on Rockwell: Deborah Solomon, author of American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell talks about one of America's most beloved artists.

William Hogarth

Portraits of William James
and Elizabeth James

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 6pm

Preserving Mr. and Mrs. James: Worcester Art Museum conservators Rita Albertson and Philip Klausmeyer discuss their work restoring the Hogarth paintings.