MAM Behind the Scenes: Heather Winter, Librarian/Archivist

Heather Winter, Milwaukee Art Museum Librarian/Archivist

Heather Winter, Milwaukee Art Museum Librarian/Archivist

Each day, hundreds of visitors enter the Milwaukee Art Museum to stare in awe at the incredible wealth of artworks within the museum’s collection. But what can too often go unrecognized is the equally awe-inspiring work of the many museum staff members, without whom the museum in its current state could not exist. “MAM Behind the Scenes” is a blog series written by Digital Learning intern Emma Fallone to showcase the wide range of positions that make up a museum, and to reveal just a few of of the many people whose work makes the Milwaukee Art Museum a source of inspiration and education. We begin with Heather Winter, Librarian and Archivist.

Can you give a brief description of your job, in thirty seconds or less?
A little bit of anything and everything. My responsibility is to take questions about the Museum’s collection and history, and then answer them with any number of materials from the library or the institutional archives. It’s my job to know where those materials are, and to use them to answer the questions quickly and accurately. Continue reading

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German Tankards and Steins: Part 3—Tin-Glazed Earthenware

Probably Thuringia, Germany, Tankard, before 1754. Tin-glazed earthenware with polychrome decoration and pewter. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Albert Finkler M1937.26. Photo credit: John R. Glembin

Probably Thuringia, Germany, Tankard, before 1754. Tin-glazed earthenware with polychrome decoration and pewter. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Albert Finkler M1937.26. Photo credit: John R. Glembin

My post this month is about tin-glazed earthenware. Wait! Don’t run! I know that this is one kind of ceramic that makes the study of decorative arts confusing. So many names, so much technical jargon—it’s a headache! But stick with me for a moment, because I hope to explain it in a way that this not too complicated. The reward is another glimpse into the history art, trade, and technology. Continue reading

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Teen Voices in the Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum Satellite Program group, 2013-14

Milwaukee Art Museum Satellite Program group, 2013-14

Teen programs provide a very different kind of opportunity for museums to experiment with interpretation. Because many teens participate in multiple programs for extended lengths of time, they become advocates and resources for our museums and collections. Here at the Milwaukee Art Museum, I’ve been experimenting with interpretation strategies that go deeper than one-day-only programs, providing not only learning experiences for students involved, but powerful tools and content for the Museum, too. Continue reading

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German Tankards and Steins: Part 2–Stoneware Vessels

Probably Raeren, Rhineland, Germany. Jug, ca. 1583. Salt-glazed stoneware with later silver mount. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Richard and Erna Flagg, M1991.86. Photo credit John Nienhuis

Probably Raeren, Rhineland, Germany. Jug, ca. 1583. Salt-glazed stoneware with later silver mount. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Richard and Erna Flagg, M1991.86. Photo credit John Nienhuis

Many people probably thing that international trade and technical innovations is something new: it’s important now, in the digital age; it was important in the 20th century, and perhaps influential as far back as the industrial revolution of the 19th century. But those that study the history of decorative arts know that international trade and technical innovations go back much further! Continue reading

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How to Engage Teens at the Museum

Sara shares her thoughts on Jean Joseph Benjamin Constant’s “Evening on the Seashore—Tangiers.” Photo by Nate Pyper

Sara shares her thoughts on Jean Joseph Benjamin Constant’s “Evening on the Seashore—Tangiers.” Photo by Nate Pyper

How do art museums engage teenagers? We offer a number of internships at the Milwaukee Art Museum for teens, but for most students, their first (and sometimes only) exposure to the Museum is through a school field trip. In collaboration with our docent corps, we asked the students themselves how to engage teenagers in the galleries. If you’re curious about what teens said and how we’ve used their suggestions, read on! Continue reading

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