“Restore. Reinstall. Reimagine” at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Construction will be continuing throughout the summer, leading  up to the gallery’s reopening in fall 2015. Photo by Brady Roberts

Construction will be continuing throughout the summer, leading up to the gallery’s reopening in fall 2015. Photo by Brady Roberts

I first started coming to the Milwaukee Art Museum when I was a sixth grader, attending the Wisconsin Writes [ed. note: now called the Art of Writing] conference for middle school students. This is a school program for young authors and artists hosted by the Museum, and it was the first time that I set foot in Milwaukee. The conference was an opportunity to view the permanent art pieces in the galleries, and the goal was to be inspired by an individual piece of art and reminded of a personal story to write about. These stories would then be included in a compiled publication from all the students in attendance. It was a chance to form a connection with the art, and for me was one of the most memorable parts of my middle school career. I remember sitting upstairs among the Bradley Collection, waiting to decide which piece I would choose to write about while looking out at Lake Michigan, feeling a great sense of peace. Continue reading

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From the Collection–Maria-Theresia Thielen, Still Life with Parrot

Maria-Theresia Thielen (Flemish, 1640–1706), Still Life with Parrot, 1661. Oil on canvas. 21 × 27 in. (53.34 × 68.58 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Schroeder in memory of their parents. M1967.41

Maria-Theresia Thielen (Flemish, 1640–1706), Still Life with Parrot, 1661. Oil on canvas. 21 × 27 in. (53.34 × 68.58 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Schroeder in memory of their parents. M1967.41

This still life is probably one of the only signed paintings by Flemish flower painter Maria-Theresia Thielen. It is truly a jewel of the collection!

Maria-Theresia Thielen was one of three daughters of flower painter Jan Philips van Theilen. Her two sisters also became painters. The skillful and interesting composition of our painting sets it apart from most flower paintings by the Thielen family; this may be why Maria-Theresia prominently signed it here on the pillar.  There you can see “M.T. von Thielen” along with F. (for fecit, which is Latin for “made in”), Ano (short for Anno Domini, or A.D.) and the year, 1661. Continue reading

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German Tankards and Steins: Part 8–Character Steins

VEB Porzellanmanufactur Plaue (Plaue, Germany, established 1816). "Singing Pig" Stein, ca. 1900. Glazed hard paste porcelain, colored underglaze decoration, and pewter. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation M1962.984. Photo by Melissa Hartly Omholt.

VEB Porzellanmanufactur Plaue (Plaue, Germany, established 1816). “Singing Pig” Stein, ca. 1900. Glazed hard paste porcelain, colored underglaze decoration, and pewter. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation M1962.984. Photo by Melissa Hartly Omholt.

Ready for some more laughs? In this post, we’ll be looking at more German steins meant to be amusing.

The industrial revolution of the nineteenth century meant that more goods could be produced quickly and more people could afford those goods. Developments in the technique for shaping ceramics meant that steins didn’t have to be a standard shape—they could be molded in all sorts of ways. And, in a never-ending quest for novelty, they were! Continue reading

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Intern Impressions of Inspiring Beauty

These garments, the first created by Stephen Burrows , the second by Issey Miyake, represent an embodiment of the ‘Vision’ and ‘Innovation’ sections of the Inspiring Beauty exhibition. Photo by Emma Wallo

These garments, the first created by Stephen Burrows , the second by Issey Miyake, represent an embodiment of the ‘Vision’ and ‘Innovation’ sections of the Inspiring Beauty exhibition. Photo by Emma Wallo

I joined the Museum team as a marketing and communication intern near the end of planning for the Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair exhibition now on view in the Museum. This exhibit contains nearly 100 outfits and accessories from the Ebony Fashion Fair, an annual fashion event that featured mainly African American models wearing creations from top haute couture international fashion designers. Continue reading

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Teens Discuss Michelle Erickson’s Texas Tea Party

Michelle Erickson, Texas Tea Party, 2005. Chipstone Foundation, Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

Michelle Erickson, Texas Tea Party, 2005. Chipstone Foundation, Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

At the end of February, teens in the Satellite High School Program gathered around Michelle Erickson’s Texas Tea Party (2005). They’ll study this object for the whole semester, using different methods of looking to form their own interpretations. For their first session, we spent one full hour looking closely at the work and having an open-ended dialogue about what we saw, the artist’s intent, and what it all might mean.

We began our discussion with a moment of silence to take in the piece individually. Michelle Erickson packs quite a lot into her small-scale ceramic sculpture, Texas Tea Party—it’s just 8” x 8” x 8”. After a few minutes, I invited the group to share comments, ideas, and thoughts. Although we’ve been in session for a few weeks now, this is our first time as a group discussing a work of art together. Continue reading

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