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Art Museum Store

Milwaukee Studio Visit and Coloring Book Collaboration: Reginald Baylor

Cover art for the Collector’s Edition coloring book with Baylor’s drawing of The Wood Gatherer, 1881 by Jules Bastien-Lepage.
Cover art for the Collector’s Edition coloring book with Baylor’s drawing of The Wood Gatherer, 1881 by Jules Bastien-Lepage.

This coloring book is a perfect dialogue between myself as an artist and the art museum in my hometown. –Reginald Baylor

Ted and I visited Reginald Baylor’s studio space in development in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood to talk about his new coloring book collaboration with the Art Museum during a freakishly cold spring storm.

Car heater roaring and windshield wipers racing, we pulled up to a charming mid-century building on the corner of Sherman and North that was clearly undergoing an exciting renovation and re-invention by the Finney Arts Incubator.

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Art Museum Store

Objects of Affection: A Love Letter

Degas scarfMost Beautiful and Highly Esteemed Friends-

Your adoring Museum Store has so many gifts that say “I love you,” you may very well swoon with delight! Read on to uncover some of our favorite gifts, then check out the online Valentine’s Day gift guide for more inspirational ideas to help you lavish your beloved with objects of affection.

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Museum Store

Artful Holiday Gifts Galore

Snowy Afternoon OrnamentThe secret is out: museum stores are the savviest shopping destination for unique gifts. Most shopping malls and department stores are so much of the same—let us help you find thoughtful gifts that stand out from the crowd!

The crown jewel in the Museum Store’s gift offerings this year is the wintry, yet vibrant Snowy Afternoon ornament  designed by Milwaukee illustrator Christiane Grauert. This artful ornament celebrates the historic renovation of the Art Museum against a backdrop of the Milwaukee lakefront cityscape…and if you visit the Store on December 3rd  (also a Member Double Discount Day), Grauert will even personalize your ornaments for truly one-of-kind gift-giving.

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Behind the Scenes Education Events Museum Store

Milwaukee Studio Visit: Author and Illustrator Lois Ehlert–Part Two

Lois and Donele. Photo by Megan Yanz Photography
Lois and Donele. Photo by Megan Yanz Photography
I recently had the privilege of visiting the home and studio of Lois Ehlert, Milwaukee’s award-winning children’s book author, along with my photographer friend Megan Yanz. Ehlert published a personal and inspiring new book in March called The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life, which you can learn more about in our previous post about our visit to Ehlert’s studio. Ehlert’s home, as you can see from Megan’s photos that accompany this post, is a welcoming gallery-like space that deserves its own story. Please enjoy this continuation of our visit to Lois Ehlert’s home and studio, and note that there is a giveaway at the end of this post.

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Art Behind the Scenes Education Museum Store

Milwaukee Studio Visit: Author and Illustrator Lois Ehlert

Stack of books. Photo by Megan Yanz Photography
Stack of books. Photo by Megan Yanz Photography

Our senses were first enticed by the lovely scent of fresh, natural flowers as we approached Lois Ehlert’s apartment in a beautiful old downtown building on an otherwise blustery day.

Ehlert welcomed me and Megan Yanz so Megan could photograph her remarkable collection of folk art while I learned more about Ehlert’s newest publication for children, The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life (a limited quantity of copies signed by the author are available to buy online). With the feature exhibition Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Art now on view at the Art Museum, the timing was perfect to visit Ehlert’s cozy, artful and welcoming home.

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Behind the Scenes Museum Store

Milwaukee Studio Visit: Beth Eaton Pottery

Chatting in the studio. Photo by Megan Yanz Photography
Chatting in the studio. Photo by Megan Yanz Photography
Visiting the Bay View studio of Beth Eaton Pottery, I had the enviable sense of the elements of work and family, business and creativity in harmonious balance. Beth Eaton’s work is featured in the Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Art exhibition store, and is full of warmth and laughter and radiates a go-with-the-flow attitude as well as a clear vision. She is someone who both creates and responds to possibilities. An early example: When Beth and her husband bought their home in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood, the property needed a garage. Even though their family was just starting out at the time, she thought, why not take the opportunity to create a studio space in this new structure, full of possibility? Although when her children were very young Beth had less time to dedicate to her craft, now that they are older (Hedy just celebrated her seventh birthday and Charlie is twelve), the space is now the base of operations for a growing professional pottery studio. Read on to learn more about Beth and see pictures of her beautiful studio (and for a giveaway!).

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Museum Store

Milwaukee Studio Visit: Heather Hambrecht’s Studio (h(om)e)

Win this (h(om)e) handbag! Photo by Donele Pettit-Mieding
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.)

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Behind the Scenes Museum Store

Local Designer Profile: Renotta Thompson

I was first introduced to local designer Renotta Thompson‘s work the weekend of the Art of the Table event at the Museum in November 2010.

The Museum Store featured her work in the Art of the Table “satellite store” that weekend, and even in the company of great international design houses, her RRT Designs pewter jewelry line (crafted by her own hand right here in Southeastern Wisconsin) stood out.

Doing my research for her biographical card on display in the Store (we call it an “Artist Provenance”), I came across Renotta’s blog, 365 Days of Design. It remains one of my favorite blogs for many reasons: the simple concept (one design a day, alternating media, but usually featuring fiber), the showcase of the breadth of her talent, her focus on lovely photography, and letting the designs speak for themselves in natural settings.  In her jewelry designs, like this cuff, you can see the techniques she has perfected in textile design are being uniquely translated in the medium of pewter.

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Art Behind the Scenes Education Museum Store

It’s Always a “Sunny” Day at the Museum!

Sunny in Baumgartner Galleria
Sunny in Baumgartner Galleria
Written by “Sunny” the Dog

You know how sometimes you just need to become a tourist in your own hometown in order to truly appreciate all the wonderful places to go and things to do?  Although the Milwaukee Art Museum is my permanent home, I recently decided to spend the day like I was visiting for the very first time.

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Behind the Scenes Exhibitions Museum Store

The Making of an Exhibition Store

The potters in place
Ceramics in place

If you’ve read curator Mel Buchanan’s posts Painting the Gallery Walls or Layers of Exhibition Paint, you already have a general sense of how an exhibition physically comes together.  A lot of those same processes apply to the execution of an exhibition store, as well.

While Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper was still in full swing, Director of Retail Operations Karen McNeely and Store Manager Jeanne Tripi met with the Museum’s Exhibition Designer John Irion to discuss the dimensions and the colors of the Accidental Genius: Art from the Anthony Petullo Collection exhibition store.  In fact, the Impressionism store and the Accidental Genius store are located in the exact same space–just the configuration of the walls has shifted.