Added mass characterises the additional force required to accelerate a body when immersed in an ideal fluid. It originates from an asymmetric change to the surrounding pressure field so the fluid velocity satisfies the no-through-flow condition. This is intrinsically linked with the production of boundary vorticity. A body in potential flow may be represented by an inviscid vortex sheet and added-mass forces determined using impulse methods. However, most fluids are not inviscid. It has been theorised that viscosity causes the ‘added-mass vorticity’ to form in an intensely concentrated boundary layer region, equivalent to the inviscid distribution. Experimentally this is difficult to confirm due to limited measurement resolution and the presence of additional boundary layer vorticity, some the result of induced velocities from free vorticity in the flow field. The aim of this paper is to propose a methodology to isolate the added-mass vorticity experimentally with particle image velocimetry, and confirm that it agrees with potential flow theory even in separated flows. Experiments on a flat-plate wing undergoing linear and angular acceleration show close agreement between the theoretical and measured added-mass vorticity distributions. This is demonstrated to be independent of changes to flow topology due to flow separation. Flow field impulse and net force are also consistent with theory. This paper provides missing experimental evidence coupling added mass and the production of boundary layer vorticity, as well as confirmation that inviscid unsteady flow theory describes the added-mass effect correctly even in well-developed viscous flows.