The Worcester Art Museum Gifts Us the Cat-Themed Exhibition of Our Furriest Dreams

Finally, an exhibition that gives the people what they truly want.

Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, The Cat in WInter (1909). Photo: Courtesy Worcest er
Gustave Courbet, Woman with a Cat (1864). Photo: Courtesy Worcester Museum of Art.

Gustave Courbet, Woman with a Cat (1864).
Photo: Courtesy Worcester Art Museum.

Cats are fast infiltrating every sector of the art world, with the “world’s largest cat painting” selling at Sotheby’s last year for $826,000, a giant cat video by Fischli and Weiss recently dominating Times Square, and a “compendium of cultured cats” now available in print by Thames & Hudson. So its no surprise that the Worcester Art Museum has decided to jump on the bewhiskered bandwagon with the aptly-named “Meow: A Cat-Inspired Exhibition.” It’s the summer blockbuster show of our wildest, furriest dreams.

The centerpiece of the multi-program initiative, which launches on May 21, is the “The Captivating Cat: Felines and the Artist’s Gaze,” an exhibition which chronicles the cat as muse from ancient Egypt and China to today through prints, drawings, photographs, sculpture, painting, and even armor and fashion objects.

The exhibition is curated by Yale history of art Ph.D candidate Ruth Dibble, and features the work of Will Barnet, Albrecht Dürer, Takebe Ryotai, Toshi Yoshida, and Harry Gordon, among others.

Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, The Cat in WInter (1909). Photo: Courtesy Worcest er

Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, The Cat in Winter (1909).
Photo: Courtesy Worcester Art Museum.

But the furry fun doesn’t stop there: There’s also a “Cat Walk” tour through the museum’s permanent collection, an installation and performance piece by artist Rhonda Lieberman called the “Cats-in-Residence Program” (warning: adoptable kitties will be present), and a show of cat-themed art by local artists.

“Cats have given rise to a plethora of creative online projects, videos, and memes that mix humor and artistry. While the Internet has allowed for viral consumption of the content, this phenomenon isn’t new,” said director of audience engagement Adam Rozan in a statement. “The playful and mischievous natures of cats have inspired artists for ages.”

On a related note, photogenic Worcester-area cats are sought to help promote the exhibition, according to Mass Live. Eight lucky felines will appear on electronic billboards advertising the show throughout May and June. Does your four-legged friend have what it takes to achieve local feline fame? Find out!

Meow: A Cat-Inspired Exhibition” will be on display at the Worcester Art Museum from May 21–September 4, 2016.


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