Categories
Art European

Granida and Daifilo: Celebrating Dutch Theater in the Collection of Alfred Bader

Granida and Daifilo by Jacob Andriaensz
Granida and Daifilo by Jacob Andriaensz

Opening September 29 at the Milwaukee Art Museum is Art, Life, Legacy: Northern European Paintings in the Collection of Isabel and Alfred Bader. The 75 paintings presented in the exhibition were assembled while the Baders, longtime Museum patrons and supporters, were living in Milwaukee. They not only gave artworks to the Museum—many of which are on view in the collection galleries—but were formative in the development of the European art program at the Museum.

In anticipation of the exhibition, today we’ll look at two paintings with the same subject that passed through Alfred Bader’s hands: one is on view in the Museum’s collection galleries and the other is in the exhibition.

Categories
Art Behind the Scenes Contemporary

Conserving “The Suitcase”

Children looking into a suitcase in the gallery

For more than two years, the conservation team at the Milwaukee Art Museum has been collaborating with other experts to conserve Robert Gober’s Untitled installation so it can return to the galleries and again immerse viewers in an animated, watery scene, as the artist originally intended. When visitors peer inside the suitcase, they often think the watery tableau is created by a screen. The truth is much more exciting! What you see is a sculpted pool filled with gently lapping water, silicone seaweed, and wax limbs. But this installation, like all artwork, is not inert. Gober made the work in 1997, and over the course of 26 years, mechanical elements became worn and algae grew.

Categories
20th and 21st Century Design Exhibitions Library/Archives

Paging Through the Publications on View in “Scandinavian Design and the United States”

Colorful manuals about people
Colorful manuals about people

Alongside the brightly colored Dala horses, large-scale woven artworks, and fabulous furniture featured in the Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980 exhibition are eight publications from the Milwaukee Art Museum Research Center—two magazines, an exhibition catalogue, three books, a beautiful serigraph, and an interactive ergonomics manual.

Why, you may be asking, are these publications on display in an exhibition with works of art and design?

Categories
American Art Collection Contemporary

American Artworks Newly on View

Tie-dyed cloth hanging from the ceiling

True or false: the Museum’s collection galleries always stay the same?

Categories
Art Behind the Scenes Collection Reflection Curatorial European

Questions of Provenance: Recent Discoveries: “Wedding Procession in the Tyrol” by Wilhelm Ludwig Friedrich Riefstahl

Wilhelm Ludwig Friedrich Riefstahl (German, 1827–1888), Wedding Procession in Tyrol (detail), ca. 1866. Oil on canvas. Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation, M1962.90.

Periodically in the past, the blog has featured a series of posts called “Questions of Provenance,” which discussed issues related to provenance, or the history of ownership of a work of art. Over the next few months, this series will continue with posts highlighting recent research into works in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection. In case you missed it, the first one was published in January.

The last story I shared was about an accidental discovery related to the provenance of the painting Dance Under the Linden Tree (1881) by Ludwig Knaus. Today, I’m going to share a similar surprise discovery, about Wedding Procession in the Tyrol by Wilhelm Ludwig Friedrich Riefstahl (German, 1827–1888).

Categories
Art Contemporary Education Spotlight Sessions

Spotlight Sessions: “Nobody’s Watching” by Klassik

Man with headphones and a mic standing in front of Untitled Anxious Audience by Rashid Johnson
Local artist Klassik performing in front of Untitled Anxious Audience (detail), 2017, by Rashid Johnson (American, b. 1977). Ceramic tile, soap, and wax. 95 1/2 × 159 × 2 1/2 in. Purchase, with funds from Mark and Debbie Attanasio, Marianne and Sheldon Lubar, Joanne Murphy, the African American Art Alliance, and the Modern and Contemporary Art Deaccession Funds, M2017.60 © Rashid Johnson

The Milwaukee Art Museum is excited to introduce Spotlight Sessions, a virtual series featuring an artist or local luminary interpreting or responding to an artwork in the collection. This series captures the unique perspective an artist brings to either their own or another’s work of art, broadening the experience of a painting, sculpture, or other selected work. Over the next three years, six local and visiting artists will be featured in this series. Viewers will have a range of opportunities to learn about and engage with Spotlight Sessions, including on the website, through social media, and at in-person events.

Categories
Art Behind the Scenes Contemporary

A Living Collection: The Contemporary Art Galleries

Three men preparing to hang an abstract work of art
Paul Jenkins (American, 1923 – 2012), Phenomena 831 Broadway, 1963. Acrylic on canvas. 111 × 69 in. (281.94 × 175.26 cm). Gift of Jane Bradley Pettit, M1975.187. © Estate of Paul Jenkins/Licensed by ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York

The Museum’s collection of more than 32,000 works of art spans from antiquity to the present and includes gifts and purchases dating from 1888 to today. There are the favorites that everyone looks forward to seeing with each visit, yet works come in and out and are frequently moved about. They rest (in the vault), travel to other institutions, and enter new social circles in the galleries, striking up new conversations. Each work of art has a “life” that makes the collection itself dynamic—one with many stories to share. 

Categories
Art Behind the Scenes Collection Reflection Curatorial European

Questions of Provenance: Recent Discoveries: “Dance Under the Linden Tree” by Ludwig Knaus

Gathering of people dancing underneath a large tree
Ludwig Knaus (German, 1829–1910), Dance under the Linden Tree, 1881 (detail). Oil on canvas. Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation M1962.31. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.
Gathering of people dancing underneath a large tree
Ludwig Knaus (German, 1829–1910), Dance under the Linden Tree, 1881. Oil on canvas. Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation M1962.31. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.

Periodically in the past, the blog has featured a series of posts called “Questions of Provenance,” which discussed issues related to an artwork’s provenance, or its history of ownership. Over the next few months, this series will continue with monthly posts highlighting recent research that focuses on provenance.

The curatorial staff of the Milwaukee Art Museum are constantly researching the collection. Sometimes we request books and articles through interlibrary loan. Other times, we page through archival files either in person or online. And it’s not unusual to talk to colleagues in the field. But believe it or not, every once in a while, an important discovery is made by accident.

Categories
Art Behind the Scenes Collection Curatorial European Exhibitions Prints and Drawings

Early Printed Books: A Chance to Turn the Pages

Woodcut by Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff. Printed by Anton Koberger and Johannes Schoensperger, Two leaves from the book The Nuremberg Chronicle (Liber Chronicarum or Weltchronik), with a woodcut of a view of Bamberg, 1493 (detail). Woodcut and letterpress, Purchase, Gertrude Nunnemacher Schuchardt Fund, presented by William H. Schuchardt M1970.51. Photo by John R. Glembin.
Woodcut by Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff. Printed by Anton Koberger and Johannes Schoensperger, Two leaves from the book The Nuremberg Chronicle (Liber Chronicarum or Weltchronik), with a woodcut of a view of Bamberg, 1493 (detail). Woodcut and letterpress, Purchase, Gertrude Nunnemacher Schuchardt Fund, presented by William H. Schuchardt M1970.51. Photo by John R. Glembin.

I’m a book lover. Always have been, always will be. For me, the physicality of a book—the tactile qualities of holding it in my hands, the smell of the paper and ink, and the sound of turning the pages—it is part of a complete experience that I never want to give up. And I’m not the only one. Although e-readers have taken part of the book market, readers still prefer physical books and physical books outsell e-books.

I don’t own an e-reader, but I do a lot of reading on screens, usually on my computer. Compared to even ten years ago, an enormous amount of important scholarship for the art historian is on the internet. I still conduct good and thorough research using printed books, but it’s amazing what is available with a few taps of the keyboard.

Categories
Art Collection Contemporary Local Artists Membership

Reginald Baylor and the Museum’s Collectible Member Mug

Man sketching a woman's head on paper
Image courtesy of Reginald Baylor Studio.

This year, the Milwaukee Art Museum was pleased to work with artist and Milwaukee-area native Reginald Baylor for its annual Member mug. The mug features a detail of his painting On Duty, Not Driving, which is part of the Museum’s collection and currently on view.

I recently took the opportunity to ask Baylor a few questions, including some about the painting.