When I returned to the Milwaukee Art Museum after the state’s Safer at Home order, one of the first things I did was visit an old friend: Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb (1630/34) by the Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbarán. I’ve walked by the painting nearly every workday in my time at the Museum, but never have I been more appreciative of its quiet contemplativeness and the sense of stability it brings me. Indeed, the painting is such a fixture of the Museum that it is hard to imagine that it was ever not here, that it lived in three different countries, across two continents, before arriving in Milwaukee.
Alberto Rios is not only one of the Museum’s wonderful third-shift security officers; he is also a talented photographer. You may have seen some of his photos featured on the Museum’s social media pages. He captured this gorgeous sunrise on the East End and an image of Schroeder Galleria lit up for Pride Month, among other views of the Museum. Because he has such a great eye, and he has the unique opportunity to capture the Museum at a time when most are asleep, I asked if he would create a photo diary, taking viewers through one of his shifts. Get a behind-the-scenes—and somewhat eerie—look at the Museum (after dark!) below.
—Erin Aeschbacher, associate content writer
We invite you to join us as each curator focuses on a single work of art, exploring both that object and how the object speaks to the collection as a whole, as well as to the chosen theme in particular.
Did you know that the Museum’s Windhover Hall was named after one of donor Harry Quadracci’s favorite poems: The Windhover (published 1918) by Gerard Manley Hopkins? Read the full poem, and hear the work read aloud by Alicia Rice, Kohl’s Art Generation Community Relations Coordinator.
English history can appear to be a long list of kings and queens with the same names. The queen that most of us are familiar with today is Queen Elizabeth II. The first and only other Queen Elizabeth ruled from 1558 to 1603.
Make your own drawing inspired by the action-packed artwork of Luis Jiménez.
On Wednesday, September 16, we invited the Museum’s social media followers to ask the curators anything—and they delivered! Check out some of the questions and responses below.
July marked the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. July was also when the Museum reopened to the public after being closed for four months to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic has necessarily brought new attention to concerns about safety and access—something that Museum docent Mauree Childress, who uses a wheelchair, said “people with disabilities have top of mind whenever they leave home—pandemic or not.” Based on conversations we’ve had over the years, I invited Mauree to write about her experience as a person with a disability who frequents the Museum—and what the anniversary of the ADA meant to her.
—Amy Kirschke, director of adult, docent, and school programs
The Krei Family Sponsors a Month of Free Admission in Memory of Melinda Krei
The Museum is honored to have received the Krei family’s tremendous gift to support amonth of free admission for all visitors when we reopened to the public this past summer. The family provided the sponsorship in memory of the late Melinda Krei, and comments from guests overwhelmingly expressed their thanks to the family.
“Melinda was one of the Museum’s greatest advocates, and her legacy is sharing the comfort and inspiration she found here with the community during this challenging time,” said Marcelle Polednik, PhD, Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director, Milwaukee Art Museum.
Learn about an abstract painting, and then make a summer-inspired work of your own.