Categories
Art Collection Curatorial Modern

From the Collection–Chaïm Soutine’s Children and Geese

Many of the artists featured in the special exhibition Van Gogh to Pollock: Modern Rebels, Masterworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery are also represented in the collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum. This is the third in a series of blog posts that will highlight Milwaukee’s artworks during the run of the exhibition.

Chaïm Soutine (Russian, 1893–1943, active in France), Children and Geese, 1934. Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1959.375. Photo credit: Efraim Lev-er. ©2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
Chaïm Soutine (Russian, 1893–1943, active in France), Children and Geese, 1934. Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1959.375. Photo credit: Efraim Lev-er. ©2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Comparing the painting by Chaïm Soutine (Russian, 1893–1943, active in France) in the Modern Rebels show (Carcass of Beef) with the one in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection (Children and Geese, seen at left), it is almost difficult to believe that the two works are by the same artist. The former depicts the body of a cow, flayed open from neck to tail, its scarlet inner organs glistening vividly against the shadowed blue background. In contrast, the artwork within Milwaukee’s own collection is a simple rural scene: a young boy and girl walking down a country path, with abstract brushstrokes suggesting a flock of white geese beside them.

A shockingly graphic image of blood and death versus an innocent, bucolic portrayal of childhood. How could these two works have been painted by the same artist?

Categories
Art Collection Curatorial European Modern

From the Collection–Wassily Kandinsky’s Fragment I for Composition VII

Many of the artists featured in the special exhibition Van Gogh to Pollock: Modern Rebels, Masterworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery are also represented in the collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum. This is the second in a series of blog posts that will highlight Milwaukee’s artworks during the run of the exhibition.

Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944), Fragment I for Composition VII (Center), 1913. Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1958.12. Photo credit: Larry Sanders.
Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944), Fragment I for Composition VII (Center), 1913. Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1958.12. Photo credit: Larry Sanders.

Only one artwork from the Milwaukee Art Museum’s own collection is displayed as part of the newly-opened Modern Rebels exhibition: Wassily Kandinsky’s Fragment I for Composition VII. When one reads the title of the equally vibrant artwork from the Albright-Knox Gallery hung next to it, the reason for its inclusion becomes instantly clear.

Fragment I for Composition VII, meet Fragment II for Composition VII.

Categories
Behind the Scenes Education

Reflections of an Intern: Exploring the Milwaukee Art Museum

Emma Fallone, Digital Learning Intern, Milwaukee Art Museum. Photo courtesy the author
Emma Fallone, Digital Learning Intern, Milwaukee Art Museum. Photo courtesy the author
Some of my favorite rainy afternoons during my childhood were spent exploring the Milwaukee Art Museum. My family spent hours wandering through the halls – I would often stop and stare at a work, entranced by the interplay of colors or rich, varied textures, and then have to run and catch up with my parents. The experience always continued to inspire my brother and me for days afterwards, and we would spend our free time creating our own artworks or making up stories inspired by our favorite pieces.

Categories
Behind the Scenes Education

MAM Behind-the-Scenes: Brigid Globensky, Senior Director of Education and Programs

Brigid Globensky, Senior Director of Education and Programs. Photo by Chelsea Emelie Kelly
Brigid Globensky, Senior Director of Education and Programs. Photo by Chelsea Emelie Kelly
This is the sixth in a series of blog posts highlighting a variety of different positions within the Milwaukee Art Museum. 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 the many people whose work makes the Milwaukee Art Museum a source of inspiration and education.

Can you give a brief description of your job, in thirty seconds or less?
I have a very far-reaching job. The great thing about my work is that in the course of one day, I can be working with kindergartners, adults, and everyone in-between. I can go from the sublime to the ridiculous in a heartbeat! I can be both serious and playful about art within a very short time, which I love. The range of my job responsibilities encompasses everything from strategic planning to teaching children. And, despite my many administrative tasks, I always try to maintain some creative projects, such as developing the education gallery or spending some time teaching tour groups, to make sure that I remain engaged and energized.

Categories
Behind the Scenes

MAM Behind-the-Scenes: Eric Boehle, Comptroller

Erich Boehle, Comptroller. Photo by the author
Erich Boehle, Comptroller. Photo by the author
This is the fifth in a series of blog posts highlighting a variety of different positions within the Milwaukee Art Museum. 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 the many people whose work makes the Milwaukee Art Museum a source of inspiration and education.

Can you give a brief description of your job, in thirty seconds or less?
My job is to maintain the financial assets of the Milwaukee Art Museum in a secure fashion. My primary role is to ensure that there are proper controls in place, so that the museum’s assets stay safe. “Proper controls” consist of management oversight and reviews of all of the documentation that we process – ticket receipts, store sales, café sales, and so on. We monitor all of their activity to make sure that they are generating revenue and to ensure that they are in compliance with all of the necessary regulations. So, we really control the financial assets of the museum.

Categories
Art Collection Contemporary Photography and Media Arts

From the Collection–Taxi Ride to Sarah’s Studio by Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell (American, b. 1956), Taxi Ride to Sarah's Studio, 2010. LEDs, wire, custom electronics. Milwaukee Art Museum, purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Art Society, M2011.25. Photo credit: John R. Glembin. © Jim Campbell
Jim Campbell (American, b. 1956), Taxi Ride to Sarah’s Studio, 2010. LEDs, wire, custom electronics. Milwaukee Art Museum, purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Art Society, M2011.25. Photo credit: John R. Glembin. © Jim Campbell
It’s not unusual to see the work of an engineer at an art museum–especially here in Milwaukee. From the first step under the stunning Brise Soleil in the Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum, it becomes clear that an incredible mind must have devised this unique building. But what you may not know is that inside this engineering marvel, there is artwork by another artist with an engineering background: Jim Campbell’s Taxi Ride to Sarah’s Studio.

Categories
Behind the Scenes Curatorial

MAM Behind the Scenes: Tanya Paul, Curator of European Art

Tanya Paul, Isabel and Alfred Bader Curator of European Art
Tanya Paul, Isabel and Alfred Bader Curator of European Art
This is the fourth in a series of blog posts highlighting a variety of different positions within the Milwaukee Art Museum. 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 the many people whose work makes the Milwaukee Art Museum a source of inspiration and education.

Can you give a brief description of your job, in thirty seconds or less?
As a curator, I do many different things. I work on everything from research and building the permanent collection, to working on exhibitions, to the display of the permanent collection – and that’s one of the big projects we’re working on now, the renovation and re-installation of the collection.

Categories
Behind the Scenes

MAM Behind the Scenes: George Rebicek, Lead Security Officer

George Rebicek, Lead Officer. Photo by the author
George Rebicek, Lead Officer. Photo by the author
This is the third in a series of blog posts highlighting a variety of different positions within the Milwaukee Art Museum. 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 the many people whose work makes the Milwaukee Art Museum a source of inspiration and education.

Can you give a brief description of your job, in thirty seconds or less?
Our team is here to secure the people, the art, and the building – which can mean something slightly different each day. There are always different challenges to address. And, a large part of our job is also customer service: helping people to find the restroom, or locate a favorite work of art. We’re there to help the visitors.

Categories
Art Collection Contemporary

From the Collection–Felt Suit by Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys (German, 1921–1986), Felt Suit (Filzanzug), 1970. Felt. Milwaukee Art Museum, gift of Norman and Donna Hodgson, by exchange, M1989.74. Photo credit: P. Richard Eells. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Joseph Beuys (German, 1921–1986), Felt Suit (Filzanzug), 1970. Felt. Milwaukee Art Museum, gift of Norman and Donna Hodgson, by exchange, M1989.74. Photo credit: P. Richard Eells. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
A man’s suit is not an unusual sight within an art museum – though usually one would expect such a garment to be worn by a visitor, and not hanging up on the wall as a work of art itself. Yet this is the case with Joseph Beuys’ artwork, entitled Felt Suit (Flizanzug). It consists of simply that: a man’s suit, made entirely of a soft grey felt, suspended neatly on a hanger on the museum wall. In the large gallery space, surrounded by brightly-colored canvases and monumental works of sculpture, this piece seems quite out-of-place. It is easy to imagine amusing backstories for the existence of this intriguing piece of clothing–perhaps a curator had brought a suit to change into for an evening event, yet had no room to hang it in his office, so he simply wandered into the galleries and hung it upon an unused nail?

Categories
Behind the Scenes Exhibitions

MAM Behind the Scenes: David Russick, Exhibition Designer

David Russick, Exhibition Designer. Photo by the author
David Russick, Exhibition Designer. Photo by the author

This is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting a variety of different positions within the Milwaukee Art Museum. 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 the many people whose work makes the Milwaukee Art Museum a source of inspiration and education.

Can you give a brief description of your job, in thirty seconds or less?
To use an analogy: the exhibition designer is the person who shows up on moving day when you’re moving into a new apartment, and helps you to arrange everything so that the space is used efficiently and everything looks really good! At the Milwaukee Art Museum, the “apartment” is usually the special exhibition space, which is cleared out and rearranged for each new show. So, every time we have a new special exhibit, it’s like one tenant is moving out and another is moving in – and their belongings are the artworks which are going to be displayed. The exhibition designer works with the curator to figure out what goes where, so that you don’t have your kitchen appliances in the bathroom, so to speak!