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Hangout with Art is a completely free MOOC (massive open online course) whose goal is to help participants find new ways to engage with art and get more comfortable visiting museums. The course went live earlier this month and I thought this might be a good moment to share more about the MOOC here on our blog.I’m thrilled to share that the Museum launched its first online course this month!
Last time, we looked at the historical context for artwork in late nineteenth century Germany. In 1871, Germany officially became a unified country. This time, we’ll look at the cultural ramifications of the unification and how it impacted art.
Although German-speaking princes had been allied for centuries, the individual provinces needed to strengthen their commitment in order to counter military and economic competition from other countries such as Austria and France. But just because the people in the new country spoke German and shared much in the way of their cultural identity didn’t mean that they felt like a big happy family. And the disruptive forces of the industrial revolution did nothing to help the sense of confusion and frustration.
The people of the German Empire needed to ask themselves: what does it mean to be German? The imagery on Mettlach steins of the time offers some interesting answers to that question. Continue reading
Over the past year, we’ve taken a look at some of the German drinking vessels in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection. The subjects have ranged from luxurious silver tankards to early stoneware vessels, and from high-quality Meissen porcelain to the prized tin-glazed earthenware that was developed to mimic it.
Now we’ve come to the end of the 19th century, the time of the most dramatic changes for the German drinking vessels. This was due to a powerful combination of events.