It isn’t often that UMMAA collections get national attention. But in October 2020, PBS American Masters premiered a short documentary film on the Filipina American artist Maia Cruz Palileo that featured one of the most-researched collections at the UMMAA: the Dean C. Worcester Collection of glass plate negatives.
Worcester and his colleagues took nearly 16,000 photographs in the Philippines between 1890 and 1913, of which the Museum has 4775—images of indigenous communities, traditional lifeways, and colonial administrative activities. Palileo’s work is “influenced by the oral history of her family’s arrival in the United States from the Philippines, as well as the history between the two countries,” according to the PBS website.
In 2019, filmmaker Ligaiya Romero and cinematographer Nick Capezzera visited the Research Museums Center to film part of the Dean C. Worcester Collection of glass plate negatives for the film.
The Palileo documentary is part of a PBS/American Masters series of short films featuring emerging BIPOC filmmakers and BIPOC cultural artists. See all eight films here.
For information on the Dean C. Worcester Collection, please contact Andrea Blaser and Jim Moss at