Worcester Art Museum: Engaging the Visitor with Digital Technology

Project Overview Executive Summary Final Report and Video

Project Sponsor: Worcester Art Museum

The Worcester Art Museum is a mid-sized museum located in central Massachusetts, claiming to be “world-renowned for its 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture , decorative arts, photography, prints, drawings and new media.” It serves the Worcester community by providing a means for families or friends to gather as they examine “the fifty centuries of art” provided by the Museum. Established in 1896, it is one of the largest museums in New England, with objects spanning fifty centuries.

Project Description

Great Hall of the Higgins Armory

When the Higgins Armory closed in 2013, it transferred an extensive collection of Medieval arms and armor to the WAM (Worcester Art Museum). In Spring 2014, the WAM began their integration of this collection with the opening of their critically aclaimed Knights! exhibit. Our project aimed to help the design of the next phase of integration. With the guidance of the WAM’s curator of Arms & Armor and Medieval Art, Jeffrey Forgeng, our team analyzed existing research on exhibit design and evaluated the methods we found. Our team also designed an iPad implementation for a prototype exhibit on Medieval fencing. This exhibit will provide the museum with valuable feedback to help in the redesign of their Medieval exhibit, featuring an expanded selection of the Higgins Armory collection.

Student Researchers

  • Ian Converse – Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2017
  • James O’Hara – Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2017
  • Julia Szemiot – Electrical and Computer Engineering, Class of 2017
  • Anthony Ratte – Electrical and Computer Engineering, Class of 2017
  • Patrick Long – Electrical and Computer Engineering, Class of 2017