Tea bowl, John Bartlam, 1765-1769. Chipstone Foundation. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.
Temple Burling, professor of physics, astronomy, biology and great ideas at Carthage College, has been part of the Object Lab team since 2009. He first connected with Chipstone staff through a shared interest in cabinets of curiosities, an example of which is our Rooms of Wonder exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Since we first got to know him, Temple has been bringing his museum studies class up to Milwaukee every year (yes, he is a biophysicist that teaches a course on museums), as well as discussing possible collaborative projects with us. The opportunity came up when Temple was awarded a sabbatical, and he asked if he could spend this year’s fall semester in Milwaukee studying the Chipstone Foundation’s collection.
We jumped at the chance to have a scientist interpret our collection. Since his sabbatical is almost over, I asked Temple to write about his experience these past few months. View an object in the Chipstone collection through the eyes of a brilliant scientist, in part one of two posts, below. Continue reading
We owe it to the awakening interest in art matters
“When Democracy Builds”. Milwaukee Art Institute Bulletin. November 1945. Vol. 18, No. 5, Page 1.
and the democratic spirit of the society,
which is attempting to make the gallery
a valuable asset to every citizen and
to inculcate an appreciation of its offerings.
–Samuel O. Buckner, President, Milwaukee Art Institute. “Art Gallery Rapidly Growing in Popularity.” Free Press, Dec 23, 1913
In 2013, the Milwaukee Art Museum will celebrate its 125th anniversary. Since 1888, the Museum has featured over 3,600 exhibitions, acquired 30,000+ objects, and published hundreds of exhibition and Collection catalogues. The Museum has been instrumental in setting national standards for excellence in art education, and has also erected visionary architecture. An exciting 125 years indeed! Continue reading
Win this (h(om)e) handbag! Photo by Donele Pettit-Mieding
On a searingly sun-filled afternoon, I set out on an adventure with my intrepid photographer friend, Meg, seeking the Milwaukee studio where Heather Hambrecht creates her fantastic organic leather handbag line, (h(om)e)
. We were armed with an address, detailed directions and a GPS—so we weren’t really expecting a grand adventure requiring a one-woman rescue mission to get us through the final blocks to our urban destination.
I elegantly hauled myself up a step as high as my waist to get into the building and stepped into the freight elevator (a fellow rider told me: “Darlin’, you don’t look like you know what the h*** you’re doin’.”). As we made our way upstairs, Heather shared the story of how this extraordinary building came to house every sort of creative artist, from fine art photographers to painters to sound and video artists to everyone between and beyond.
(Be sure to click “Continue reading”–there’s a giveaway at the end of this post.) Continue reading
Though the soaring wings of the dramatic Santiago Calatrava building sometimes steal the show, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion is just one of two internationally significant architectural gems here on the Museum campus.
The other is the bold Saarinen masterpiece 1957 Milwaukee County War Memorial Center.
Modernist architect Eero Saarinen (American, b. Finland 1910–1961) is known for dramatic design accomplishments like the St. Louis Gateway Arch (1965), JFK Airport’s TWA Flight Center terminal (1962), and the iconic “Tulip chair” (1955). He took over the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center commission at the death of his father, Eliel Saarinen (Finnish, 1873–1950). The designs called for an arts complex that would “Honor the Dead by Serving the Living,” including a museum, performing arts center, and veterans’ memorial.
On the western facade of Saarinen’s Modernist concrete, steel, and glass floating cruciform is a purple and blue tile mosaic. You probably see this mural best when driving toward the building on Mason Street.
I had been working in this stunning building for several years before I finally paused to ask: What is that mosaic? What do the letters mean? Who is the artist? Continue reading
John Hoppner (English, 1758–1810), Portrait of Jane Emma Orde, ca. 1806. Oil on canvas; 30 1/8 x 25 7/16 in. (76.52 x 64.61 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Bequest of Josephine S. McGeoch in Memory of her husband, Gordon McGeoch M1983.197 Photo credit John R. Glembin
Through January 13, 2013, the Milwaukee Art Museum will have on display 48 fantastic paintings by some of the most important artists in history. Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: Treasures from the Kenwood House, London
is a great opportunity to see art that usually resides across the Atlantic Ocean in England.
But did you know that there are some works by these same artists in the Museum’s permanent collection? Continue reading