Functional Fashions

*Within the disability community today, some may prefer identity-first language (e.g., “disabled person”), or person-first language (e.g., “person with a disability”). Because the curators do not know the preferences of the historical subjects in the “Functional Fashions” display, they chose to use identity-first language based on the recommendations of collaborators.

The mistaken belief that there is no history of clothing designs for disabled users has had a number of repercussions. Among them: nearly all designers treat their own iterations as inaugural, there has been a dearth of innovation as designs are continuously repeated, and disability-led innovation is written out of the historical record [1]. Not only is there a long history of clothing designed by and for disabled persons, but in some cases it sets a higher standard than the efforts that followed. “Functional Fashions,” a display in the 20th- and 21st-Century Design Galleries at the Milwaukee Art Museum, introduces the largest collaborative clothing line for disabled persons in American history.

FF 1

Installation view, “Functional Fashions,” Milwaukee Art Musuem, 2019.

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Remembering Truman Lowe

Celebrated Wisconsin artist and beloved University of Wisconsin–Madison professor Truman Lowe passed away on March, 30, 2019, leaving behind a powerful legacy.

Raised in a Ho-Chunk community near Black River Falls, Lowe always felt a connection to nature; he was especially captivated by water and its natural qualities. Lowe’s relationship with art began at a young age, learning traditional crafts from his family, but he later broadened his creative scope to include sculpture, glassblowing, and ceramics. Though his work and skills developed throughout his career, Lowe continually drew inspiration from the natural world around him.

The artist became known for his beautifully understated sculptural pieces, often made with wood he gathered himself. The Museum acquired one such piece by the artist in the late 1990s, and in his remembrance, the work is now on display in the Contemporary Art Galleries. Lowe’s large-scale Inni-che-ru-he (Stone Wall) installation (1995), made of chalk on paper and willow branches, is part of his larger Canyon Series.

Truman Lowe, Inni-che-ru-he (Stone Wall), from The Canyon Series, 1995. Installation of chalk on paper and willow branches. Purchase, Doerfler Fund M1997.25.

Though Lowe continues to be greatly missed, his kind spirit, love of nature, and pride for his personal heritage live on through his work, which will surely inspire for years to come.

Lowe’s work has been exhibited in the Kohler Art Center, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, in Oregon, and in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden at the White House, and he has received numerous awards, including the 2007 Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award.

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MAM In Full Color

Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky once noted, “color is a power which directly influences the soul,” and science tells us it’s true—color can affect your mood, opinions, and even your behavior. Our Collection Galleries, filled with vibrant hues, soft tones, and complementary color pairings, are sure to brighten your mood, no matter how you’re feeling. Visit the Museum today to see all of these colorful artworks and so much more!

Pablo Picasso’s The Cock of the Liberation


Pablo Picasso, The Cock of the Liberation (Le Coq de la Liberation), 1944. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1959.372. Photo credit: Larry Sanders. © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Josef Albers’s Study for Homage to the Square: Lighted from Within


Josef Albers, Study for Homage to the Square: Lighted from Within, 1957. Oil on masonite. Gift of Anni Albers and the Josef Albers Foundation, Inc. M1981.76. Photo credit: John R. Glembin. © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Kenneth Noland’s Merry Hill


Kenneth Noland, Merry Hill, 1970. Acrylic on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1970.59. Photo credit: John R. Glembin. © Estate of Kenneth Noland/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup


Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup, 1965. Acrylic on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1977.156. Photo credit: Efraim Lev-er. © 2008 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Henri Edmond Cross’s Landscape


Henri Edmond Cross, Landscape (Garden at St. Tropez), ca. 1900. Oil on canvas. Purchase, Marjorie Tiefenthaler Bequest and Partial Gift of the Louise Uihlein Snell Fund of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation M1996.29. Photo credit: Larry Sanders.

Helen Frankenthaler’s Almond


Helen Frankenthaler, Almond, 1968. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1975.136. © 2010 Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Jaime Hayon’s Afrikando

Jaime Hayon, Afrikando, 2017. Glass. Purchase with funds from the Jill and Jack Pelisek Endowment Fund, the Sanford J. Ettinger Memorial Fund, and by exchange M2017.23.1–.7. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.

Gabriele Münter’s In Schwabing


Gabriele Münter, In Schwabing, 1912. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1975.152. Photo credit: P. Richard Eells. ©2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Jan van Os’s Flowers in Terra-cotta Vase


Jan van Os, Flowers in Terra-cotta Vase, after 1780. Oil on panel. Layton Art Collection Inc., Gift of Frederick Layton. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.

Ellsworth Kelly’s Red, Yellow, Blue II


Ellsworth Kelly, Red, Yellow, Blue II, 1965. Acrylic on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1977.113a-c. Photo credit: Malcolm Varon. © Ellsworth Kelly.

Reginald Baylor’s On Duty, Not Driving


Reginald Baylor, On Duty, Not Driving, 2010. Acrylic on canvas. Purchase, with funds from the African American Art Alliance in honor of their twentieth anniversary M2011.16. Photo credit: John R. Glembin. © Reginald Baylor.

Mark Rothko’s Green, Red, Blue


Mark Rothko, Green, Red, Blue, 1955. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1977.140. Photo credit: P. Richard Eells. © 2008 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park No. 68


Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 68, 1974. Oil on canvas. Gift of Jane Bradley Pettit M1980.183. Photo credit: John R. Glembin. © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.

Olafur Eliasson’s Rainbow Bridge


Olafur Eliasson, Rainbow Bridge, 2017. Painted and mirrored glass with powder-coated steel. Purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Art Society, Jeffrey Yabuki, Donna and Donald Baumgartner, Sue and Bud Selig, Herzfeld Foundation, Steve and Janice Marcus, Ken and Kate Muth, Flavius Cucu and Miriam Van de Sype, Jason and McKenzie Edmonds, Tim and Sue Frautschi, Lincoln and Lilith Fowler, Mark and Judy Garber, Michael and Jennifer Keough, Joan Lubar and John Crouch, Justin and Susanna Mortara, Buddy and Catherine Robinson, Christine Symchych and James McNulty, and friends of the Contemporary Art Society M2017.126. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.
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From the Collection: An Illuminated Manuscript

French, Leaf from a Liturgical Psalter, early 14th century. Tempera, ink, and gold leaf on parchment. 6 3/8 × 4 7/16 in. (16.19 × 11.27 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Paula Uihlein M1932.108. Photo credit: John R. Glembin

French, Leaf from a Liturgical Psalter, early 14th century. Tempera, ink, and gold leaf on parchment. 6 3/8 × 4 7/16 in. (16.19 × 11.27 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Paula Uihlein M1932.108. Photo credit: John R. Glembin

Before the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century, books were handwritten. Imagine… every time a copy of a text needed to be made, someone had to do it painstakingly by hand. In our world of quick reproductions and the ease of hitting “print”, this can be hard to believe!

The exhibition The Art of Devotion: Illuminated Manuscripts from Local Collections, on view at the Milwaukee Art Museum through June 16, 2019, aims to provide an introduction to these handwritten texts–called manuscripts–that were made in the middle ages and early Renaissance. A good number of those manuscripts are also illuminated, or decorated with gold, silver, and bright colors that make them literally look like they shine from within.

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All The Ways to Play at MAM

Because many museums house precious objects and valuable artworks, they tend to have a “look, but don’t touch” and “keep quiet” reputation. Doesn’t sound too fun, does it?

We often hear the misconceptions that museums aren’t spaces for children, that art museums are boring, or that older art objects lack relevance—when in fact, at MAM, there are countless opportunities for visitors to engage with and connect to art, make your own masterpiece, play games, get active, and even enjoy a beer (or two!). Read below for all the ways to play at the Museum.

See and make art at Story Time in the Galleries or Play Date with Art.

It’s never too early to learn to love art! Bring your little ones to engage with artworks in the Museum’s Collection through stories, music, and hands-on activities. Story Time in the Galleries is hosted every Saturday, starting at 10:30 a.m., and Play Date with Art is offered on one Friday each month.

Spark your creativity with a Family Guide or an ArtPack Station activity.

Family Guides bring a playful lens to feature exhibitions, allowing you and your whole family to participate in fun games and activities as you journey through the exhibition. Your family can also explore the Museum’s Collection Galleries with picture books, puzzles, puppets, and even sketching materials—ArtPack station activities can travel with you, transforming an afternoon at the Museum into an imaginative adventure. Both are free with Museum admission.

Bring out your inner artist in the Kohl’s Art Generation Studio.

Paint, sculpt, draw, and sketch to create your own masterpiece inspired by works in the Museum’s Collection. This is a great space for visitors of all ages to get creative, even if that means getting a little messy in the process. The Studio is open every day the Museum is open and closes one hour before Museum close.

Hang out with friends at Teen Night.

Teens—make new friends and celebrate the talents of your peers at this special event, held two times each year. Hosted by the Museum’s Teen Interns, this event features live music, art-making, teen-led tours, and a collaborative exhibition.

Sign-up for a personalized tour.

No matter your age or interest, we have the perfect art tour for you or your group. Bring a student group to discover animals in art, celebrate a bachelorette on our “Naughty Bits” tour, or build your own adventure—Museum staff are happy to create a special tour, just for you!

Party at MAM After Dark.

Hosted ten times each year, MAM After Dark is Milwaukee’s artiest party, tailored to young adults. Dance to live music, join quirky art tours, strike a pose with friends in the Front Room photo booth, sip on a cocktail, and engage in a variety of activities at this after-hours event—plus, enjoy a new art-inspired theme each month.

Stop by after work for Happy Hour on the East End.

Every Thursday from 5–7:30 p.m., enjoy discounts on beer, select wines, and cocktails at the Museum’s East End Café. Unwind after work with a glass of your go-to beverage—or try something new—all while enjoying stunning views of Lake Michigan. Then, take a stroll through the galleries*; the Museum is open until 8 p.m. every Thursday.

*Museum admission required, if entering the Collection Galleries.

Say “Namaste” under the wings.

Stretch your mind and body at Yoga @ the Museum, offered monthly. Recharge for the week ahead in an inspiring space, as omTown Yogis guide you through an all-levels yoga class. Then, spend the afternoon exploring art—your registration includes same-day Museum admission.



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Mom & MAM

Not sure what to give Mom for Mother’s Day? From creative gifts to inspiring experiences, the Milwaukee Art Museum has you covered. Here are five ways to spoil Mom at MAM this year.

Make her a masterpiece in the Kohl’s Art Generation Studio.

Drop in the Studio the week before Mother’s Day to write a kind message, decorate a card, or draw a fridge-worthy picture just for Mom.

Explore the masterful paintings inside Bouguereau & America—together.

Bring Mom to see 41 grand canvases by French academic painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau, who enjoyed remarkable popularity during America’s Gilded Age, before the exhibition closes on May 12.

Shop one-of-a-kind gifts in the Museum Store.

Discover artwork, home décor, clothing, jewelry, and so much more that Mom will love—or opt for a gift card so she can shop for herself. Browse on-site or online.

Give her a year of inspiring experiences.

Moms should be celebrated every day. Give her the gift of a Museum membership so she can enjoy exclusive access, special discounts, and Member-only events all year long.

Bouguereau & America images:

  1. William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Charity, 1859. Oil on canvas. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Bequest of Henry C. Lewis, 1895.96.
  2. William-Adolphe Bouguereau, The Madonna of the Roses (La Madone aux roses), 1903. Oil on canvas. On loan from Lyndhurst, a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  

Membership images by Matt Haas Photography.

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