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Art Education Events

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: Nov. 8–15

It’s the start of another busy week at the Museum full of classes, lectures, and another free admission day for veterans.

On Thursday, November 11, the Museum is offering free admission to all veterans in honor of Veterans Day. The Museum staff extends heartfelt “Thank You” to all the men and women who have served in the armed forces.

Also, this is the last week to bring in your donations for our “Soup for Soup” food drive to benefit Hunger Task Force. It is your chance to give back to the community and enjoy a wonderful meal in a beautiful setting, all at the same time.

Categories
Art

From the Collection–‘Tis the Season

Ludwig Knaus, Dance Under the Linden Tree (Festival in Westphalia), 1881. Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation. Photo credit P. Richard Eells
Ludwig Knaus, Dance Under the Linden Tree (Festival in Westphalia), 1881. Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation. Photo credit P. Richard Eells
Earlier this week, as I walked to work, seeing my breath in front of me with my hands stuffed in my pockets, noticing that the trees were mostly bare, I had to admit to myself: winter just might be here. But part of me doesn’t want to dig out the winter coat and put away the flip-flops. I’m channeling my split-season-personality in this post by featuring two works in our Von Schleinitz collection of German art, which live right next to each other in Gallery 9.

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Art Events

If You Had 15 Words to Last Forever, What Would You Say?

Dave Project workshop participants cutting the clay that will be inscribed

This past spring Theaster Gates created an installation at the Milwaukee Art Museum called To Speculate Darkly: Theaster Gates and Dave the Potter. The installation was centered on a Dave Drake ceramic pot. Dave Drake, also known as Dave the Potter, was an enslaved potter in antebellum South Carolina. He was, and is still, unique in that he not only made 40-gallon pots (any experienced potter can tell you how hard this is to do), but in that he wrote couplets on these pots and signed his name. Dave did this at a time when it was illegal for slaves to be literate.

Categories
Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: Nov. 1–Nov. 7

Metdish Dish, attributed to Solomon Loy, Alamance County, North Carolina, 1825–40. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. 15 in. Private collection. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

This week, there are a lot of opportunities to experience the Museum, including an American Ceramics Circle Symposium; free admission for everyone on Thursday, November 4, and free admission for veterans on Saturday, November 6; a lecture with Luke Beckerdite on the Art In Clay exhibition on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.; and a European Design Since 1985 Express Talk.

This Thursday, November 4, is Target Free First Thursday. Admission to the Museum is FREE for everyone, thanks to Target. It’s a great opportunity to experience everything the Museum has to offer. And while you are here, be sure to experience the European Design Since 1985 Express Talk at 12 p.m.

Categories
Art Curatorial

From the Collection—George Mann Niedecken

George Niedecken’s reputation is that of a masterful Prairie School interior architect. However, because he worked as a collaborator to the master Prairie School architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, Niedecken’s legacy is often diminished. In addition to his famous collaborations on Wright’s Robie House (Chicago, Illinois) and Bogk House (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Niedecken was committed to new American styles for the twentieth century right here in Milwaukee. He studied the European Art Nouveau, Secessionist, and Arts and Crafts movements in Paris and Berlin, and applied these ideas to inspired designs for the living rooms of his Midwestern clients.

Categories
Art Curatorial

My Favorite Portrait Miniatures

I can’t believe that we’re already at the last week of the exhibition Intimate Images of Love and Loss: Portrait Miniatures.  Once the show closes this Sunday, October 31, these incredible, tiny masterpieces go back into Museum storage.

In a world before photography, portrait miniatures were the wallet photographs or their day. Made to be held, worn, and hung on the wall of the home as a type of “family album,” the small-scale portraits afford us an extremely personal glimpse into the past.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Categories
Art Membership

The Woodgatherer in my memory, and on a bag!

Jules Bastien-Lepage, Le Père Jacques (Woodgatherer), 1881. Milwaukee Art Museum, Layton Art Collection, Gift of Mrs. E. P. Allis and her daughters in memory of Edward Phelps Allis. Photo by John R. Glembin.

When I was a freshman in high school, I came to the Milwaukee Art Museum on a field trip with my art class. We were instructed to sit in front of Jules Bastien-Lepage’s The Woodgatherer (1881) and take as many notes as possible on what we saw and what it meant to us, so that we could later write a paper on it.

Categories
Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Museum: Oct. 25–Oct. 31

Kohl's Art Generation Family Sunday: Dia de los Muertos

This is a busy time of year at the Museum. On view is European Design Since 1985 and On Site: Chakaia Booker, and Portrait Miniatures closes on October 31. That means there’s plenty to do here, and lots of reasons to visit.

On Tuesday, October 26, the Museum will start its “Soup for Soup” food drive to benefit Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee. Every visitor who makes a donation at the Museum will receive a voucher for a complimentary cup of soup at the Museum’s own Cafe Calatrava. “Soup for Soup” runs through Sunday, November 14. Stop by the admissions desks to learn more.

Categories
Art

From the Collection–Francisco de Zurbarán’s “St. Francis”

Francisco de Zurbarán, Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, ca. 1630/34. Purchase M1958.70. Photo credit John Nienhuis, Dedra Walls
Francisco de Zurbarán, Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, ca. 1630/34. Purchase M1958.70. Photo credit John Nienhuis, Dedra Walls
Ever wondered what it’s like to experience a religious epiphany? Just walk into Gallery 6 and look to Francisco de Zurbarán’s St. Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, one of the great masterpieces in the Museum’s Collection. St. Francis towers above us in a massive, stark painting, lit only by unseen torchlight, his face hidden and a skull cradled in his palms. The space is unclear, the colors muted. He is monumental, and walks towards us: his foot pokes out of his robes, entering into our space. When I stand in front of this painting, I always feel like I should take a step back and get out of his way.

Categories
Art Exhibitions

From the Collection–Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Shepherdess

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Shepherdess, ca. 1750/52. Bequest of Leon and Marion Kaumheimer. Photo credit John Nienhuis, Dedra Walls
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Shepherdess, ca. 1750/52. Bequest of Leon and Marion Kaumheimer. Photo credit John Nienhuis, Dedra Walls

In my high school art history class, my teacher, having covered with reverence the high-contrast drama of the Baroque, flipped the slide machine to show Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s The Swing and paused, glaring at the slide in the darkened room. Then she pronounced: “The Rococo. I loathe the Rococo! The Rococo is art history’s porn!”