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Art Behind the Scenes

The Man That Time Forgot: Duane Hanson’s “Janitor”

Time changes everyone—or almost everyone. Through the years, the Janitor has remained a constant in the galleries of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

A Museum visitor (Jeff) with Duane Hanson’s ‘Janitor’ in 1976, and again in 2010. Thanks for the photos, Jeff!
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Art Behind the Scenes

We’re Keeping the Lights On for You (but only figuratively speaking)

As we wait to welcome you back to the Museum, work continues behind the scenes. In the conservation department, we prepare for many different disaster scenarios that might potentially strike our collection. Fire, flood, insect infestations, mold, and even terrorism are all covered in the Museum’s Emergency Preparedness Plan; COVID-19 and Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order are not. Having the Museum closed to the public for an extended period presented us with an entirely new set of challenges.

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Art Behind the Scenes Curatorial

The Curators’ Game: Collection Rotation

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tasman Sea, Ngarupupu, 1990. Gelatin silver print. Purchase, Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation Acquisition Fund, M2001.154. Copy photo by John R. Glembin.

What happens when a group of curators following the Safer at Home order plays a game with works from the Museum’s collection? You’re about to find out.

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Art Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes with the Museum’s Art Preparators

Just how does Robert Indiana’s The American LOVE sculpture make its way from the truck bed to become a fixture on the lakefront? What does the back of a Robert Henri painting look like? How does a three-dimensional sculpture get packed for safe travel to Spain?

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Art Behind the Scenes Curatorial Education Events Exhibitions

The House of Cards Project

spiral
UWM-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts students (left to right) Anna Emerson, Paul Manley, and Jessica Schubkegel installing the House of Cards spiral. Photo: Ray Chi.

In the early 1950s, designers Charles and Ray Eames painstakingly arranged penny cars, pencils, pills, and papers to photograph for their House of Cards construction set. They probably never imagined that decades later, thousands of children and adults in the Milwaukee region would meticulously decorate their own House of Cards, let alone that these cards would be installed together in a towering spiral at the Milwaukee Art Museum in conjunction with the exhibition Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America.