If Milwaukee’s Festivals were Works of Art…

Warrington Colescott (American, b. 1921), Suite Louisiana: The Music of the Folks, 1996. Color soft-ground etching, aquatint, and spit bite, with à la poupée inking, and relief rolls through stencils. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the artist and Frances Myers M2004.538. Photo credit: Michael Tropea © Warrington Colescott

Warrington Colescott (American, b. 1921), Suite Louisiana: The Music of the Folks, 1996. Color soft-ground etching, aquatint, and spit bite, with à la poupée inking, and relief rolls through stencils. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the artist and Frances Myers M2004.538. Photo credit: Michael Tropea © Warrington Colescott

Milwaukee has earned the title “City of Festivals,” and for very good reason. If you are looking to celebrate music, art, film, cultural heritage, specific holidays or simply a love of craft beer, Milwaukee has a festival for you!

In the summer months, when Wisconsin weather is arguably most pleasant for those outdoor activities that do not require snowsuits, you might even find yourself at a different festival every weekend. The Milwaukee Art Museum itself contributes to the city’s lively “festival culture” by hosting the Lakefront Festival of Art every June.

To coincide with the height of our local festival season, I’ve selected some works from the Museum’s collection for their visual resemblance to some of Milwaukee’s most popular upcoming summer festivals.  Have fun!

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From the Collection: Anders Zorn Returns to Sweden

The current exhibition in the European works on paper rotation space (on view until July 31) is Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Painter-Etcher. Featuring all 18 prints in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection by Zorn, this is the first time ever that they have been on view at the same time. This is the fourth in a series of posts focusing on the exhibition.

Anders Leonard Zorn (Swedish, 1860–1920), Skerikulla, 1912. Etching and engraving. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gertrude Nunnemacher Schuchardt Collection, presented by William H. Schuchardt M1924.140. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.

Anders Leonard Zorn (Swedish, 1860–1920), Skerikulla, 1912. Etching and engraving. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gertrude Nunnemacher Schuchardt Collection, presented by William H. Schuchardt M1924.140. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.

So far, in our most recent series of posts, we have seen that, in the 1880’s, the lively cultural scene in newly urban Paris not only inspired Anders Zorn to adopt a modern artistic sensibility but also provided him with modern subject matter. In 1896, however, Zorn and his wife decided to move their permanent residence from Paris back to their native Sweden.

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American Epics on the Silver Screen: Classic Clips

lg1_002457American artist Thomas Hart Benton continues to be praised for his ability to translate the dynamism of a major motion picture onto a two-dimensional canvas. Having worked directly on film sets, Benton captured the entire production process and behind-the-scenes culture of Hollywood. To him, the movie industry was “very much American” and significantly focused on real-world themes such as war and the quest to achieve the “American dream.”

To accompany the Museum’s feature exhibition of Benton’s work, American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood, the Museum is screening four of the films that inspired the artist’s vibrant, dramatized pieces.

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From the Collection: Anders Zorn Captures Modern Life

The current exhibition in the European works on paper rotation space (on view until July 31) is Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Painter-Etcher. Featuring all 18 prints in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection by Zorn, this is the first time ever that they have been on view at the same time. This is the third in a series of posts focusing on the exhibition.

Anders Leonard Zorn (Swedish, 1860–1920), Girl With A Cigarette II, 1891. Etching. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gertrude Nunnemacher Schuchardt Collection, presented by William H. Schuchardt M1924.131. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.

Anders Leonard Zorn (Swedish, 1860–1920), Girl With A Cigarette II, 1891. Etching. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gertrude Nunnemacher Schuchardt Collection, presented by William H. Schuchardt M1924.131. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.

Paris in the 1880’s was like no other place.

Citizens from all over France joined with immigrants from all over the world.  Some flocked there to take advantage of new opportunities in industry, others to experience an avant-garde culture.  The population more than doubled in the second half of the nineteenth century.

New entertainment venues popped up to cater to the masses.  Circuses, dance halls, cabarets, theaters, operas, museums (including the first wax museum in Paris) added to the excitement of the city.

Meanwhile, Napoleon III, the Emperor of France, hired an urban planner who changed the entire look of the city.  A warren of medieval buildings was transformed into a modern city with wide boulevards.

Paris was experiencing the growth of a modern urban center–and all the problems and benefits of that growth.  It is probably not surprising that visual artists found inspiration with new subject matter and developed innovative ways to depict it.

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From the Collection: Anders Zorn’s Portrait Prints

The current exhibition in the European works on paper rotation space (on view until July 31) is Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Painter-Etcher.  Featuring all 18 prints in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection by Zorn, the exhibition is the first time ever that they have been on view at the same time.  This is the second in a series of posts focusing on the exhibition.

Anders Leonard Zorn (Swedish, 1860–1920), King Oscar II (or Oscar II), 1898. Etching and aquatint. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Greene M1979.23. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.

Anders Leonard Zorn (Swedish, 1860–1920), King Oscar II (or Oscar II), 1898. Etching and aquatint. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Greene M1979.23. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.

Last time, we were introduced to career of Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860–1920). In this post, we’ll consider a few more of his portrait prints.

In the Milwaukee Art Museum exhibition, there are portraits of two members of the Swedish royal family: the King of Sweden, Oscar II (left), and the Crown-Princess Margaret (below), who was married to Gustav Adolf, the grandson of King Oscar. Margaret herself was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England.

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