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Art Collection Contemporary Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Shopping for Inspiration

Do you remember a time when you wanted a new toy that looked awesome in its box? Maybe you were drawn to the bright colors, fun characters, and exciting words that covered the outside. Or have you ever wanted to try a new snack because the pictures on the packaging made it look extra flavorful? 

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Art Collection Contemporary

Remembering Truman Lowe

Truman Lowe, Inni-che-ru-he (Stone Wall), from The Canyon Series, 1995. Installation of chalk on paper and willow branches. Purchase, Doerfler Fund M1997.25.

Celebrated Wisconsin artist and beloved University of Wisconsin–Madison professor Truman Lowe passed away on March, 30, 2019, leaving behind a powerful legacy.

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Art Behind the Scenes Collection Contemporary Curatorial Prints and Drawings

From the Vault: Rubber Stamp Portfolio, 1977

Tom Wesselmann (American, 1931–2004), Shiny Nude, from the Rubber Stamp Portfolio, 1976, published 1977. Rubber stamp print, printed in color. Image: 5 7/8 × 5 11/16 in. (14.92 × 14.45 cm); sheet: 8 × 8 in. (20.32 × 20.32 cm). Gift of Virginia M. and J. Thomas Maher III M1994.263.1. © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
Tom Wesselmann (American, 1931–2004), Shiny Nude, from the Rubber Stamp Portfolio, 1976, published 1977. Rubber stamp print, printed in color. Image: 5 7/8 × 5 11/16 in. (14.92 × 14.45 cm); sheet: 8 × 8 in. (20.32 × 20.32 cm). Gift of Virginia M. and J. Thomas Maher III M1994.263.1. © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

As the Collections Manager of Works on Paper, one of my duties is to facilitate the movement of the prints, drawings and photography in the collection for exhibitions, rotations, loans and viewings for researchers in the Herzfeld Study Center.

Our works on paper storage vault is organized into logical, easy-to-use groupings by size, century, nationality and then by artist’s last name (OK; it’s highly organized).

While pulling a print to go on view in the galleries, I stumbled upon a print by Carl Andre from a portfolio that I have never worked with before.

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20th and 21st Century Design Art Collection Contemporary Curatorial Modern

Dandelions and Deck Chairs: Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia (American, b. Italy, 1915–1978), Dandelion, 1970. Gold-plated bronze and beryllium. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1975.131. Photo credit: P. Richard Eells. © 2010 Estate of Harry Bertoia / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Harry Bertoia (American, b. Italy, 1915–1978), Dandelion, 1970. Gold-plated bronze and beryllium. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1975.131. Photo credit: P. Richard Eells. © 2010 Estate of Harry Bertoia / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Now that it’s finally starting to feel like summer, let’s talk about dandelions. Sure, they’re technically weeds, and you probably don’t want them taking over your lawn. But it’s fun to make wishes on the white puffy ones, even if it does scatter seeds and just increases the dandelion population exponentially.

Categories
Art Collection Contemporary Photography and Media Arts

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

Illuminated wires with square blocks that start densely packed on the left and slowly get more sparse
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 by John R. Glembin. © Jim Campbell
Illuminated wires with square blocks that start densely packed on the left and slowly get more sparse
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 by 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.

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Art Collection Contemporary

From the Collection: Felt Suit by Joseph Beuys

Gray felt suit on a hanger
Joseph Beuys (German, 1921-1986), Felt Suit [Filzanzug], 1970 (detail). Felt 67 x 39 in. (170.18 x 99.06 cm). Gift of Norman and Donna Hodgson, by exchange M1989.74. Photo by P. Richard Eells. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Joseph Beuys (German, 1921-1986), Felt Suit [Filzanzug], 1970. Felt 67 x 39 in. (170.18 x 99.06 cm). Gift of Norman and Donna Hodgson, by exchange M1989.74. Photo by 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?

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Art Collection Contemporary Education

From the Collection: MMPI (Self-Portrait in Yellow) by Tony Oursler

Yellow doll trapped under a chair with a face projected on
Tony Oursler (American, b. 1957), MMPI (Self-Portrait in Yellow), 1996 (detail). Video installation with video projector, VCR, video tape, small cloth figure, and metal folding chair. Dimensions variable. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, with funds from Donald and Donna Baumgartner, Marianne and Sheldon B. Lubar, Allen and Vicki Samson, Dr. and Mrs. Philip Shovers, and Sibyl and David Wescoe. M1998.136a-i. Photo by Larry Sanders
Yellow doll trapped under a chair with a face projected on
Tony Oursler (American, b. 1957), MMPI (Self-Portrait in Yellow), 1996. Video installation with video projector, VCR, video tape, small cloth figure, and metal folding chair. Dimensions variable. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, with funds from Donald and Donna Baumgartner, Marianne and Sheldon B. Lubar, Allen and Vicki Samson, Dr. and Mrs. Philip Shovers, and Sibyl and David Wescoe. M1998.136a-i. Photo by Larry Sanders

Walking through the center of the Milwaukee Art Museum’s main level galleries, visitors often become aware of something out of place: a single, monotone voice echoing faintly through the spacious galleries. Those curious enough to follow the noise to its source will stumble upon an unexpected scene. Just around the corner from the central staircase, a small cloth doll lies on the museum floor, a bright yellow folding chair leaning precariously against its head. Projected onto the doll’s blank head is the expressionless face of an adult man, speaking a series of short phrases slowly and deliberately.

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20th and 21st Century Design Art Collection Contemporary Curatorial

Celebrating Chihuly in Wisconsin

Dale Chihuly (American, b. 1941) Isola di San Giacomo in Palude Chandelier II, 2000 Blown glass 183 x 86 x 96 diameter in. (464.82 x 218.44 x 243.84 cm) Gift of Suzy B. Ettinger in memory of Sanford J. Ettinger M2001.125 Photo credit John R. Glembin © 2009, Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly (American, b. 1941), Isola di San Giacomo in Palude Chandelier II, 2000. Blown glass; 183 x 86 x 96 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Suzy B. Ettinger in memory of Sanford J. Ettinger. Photo John R. Glembin.© 2013, Dale Chihuly

One cannot walk through the doors of the Milwaukee Art Museum without taking in a colorful burst of Dale Chihuly’s glass artwork. The Museum’s Isola di San Giacomo in Palude Chandelier II (at left) is one of the most popular works in the Museum, located at the entry of the Quadracci Pavilion. Milwaukee’s Suzy B. Ettinger, who was recently featured in a great Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Style article, donated the artwork in 2001 to brighten the Museum’s new white Santiago Calatava-designed addition.

Museum visitors have been posing for photos with it ever since (it even appears snaking behind my own mother in her Facebook profile picture). Chihuly’s universal popularity encourages many museums to place his glass artwork front and center as a cheerful greeting.

In fact, in the almost 50 years since he lived and studied in Wisconsin, no other artist can claim to have brought as much popular attention to American art glass as Dale Chihuly.

This weekend, Wisconsin is celebrating Chihuly’s achievements.

Categories
Art Art News Collection Contemporary

Warhol, Warhol, Everywhere a Warhol

Colorful recreation of a Campbell's soup can
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Campbell’s Soup, 1965 (detail). Acrylic on canvas 36 × 24 in. (91.44 × 60.96 cm). Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1977.156. Photo by Efraim Lev-er © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Colorful recreation of a Campbell's soup can
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Campbell’s Soup, 1965. Acrylic on canvas 36 × 24 in. (91.44 × 60.96 cm). Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1977.156. Photo by Efraim Lev-er © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Everybody loves Andy Warhol! Who isn’t immediately attracted to the bright colors, crisp lines, and repetition in Andy Warhol’s artwork? Not to mention the fact that Warhol himself was such a character, playing with the art world, celebrity, and fame.

One of Warhol’s most iconic images, that of the Campbell’s Soup Can, is now available for mass-market purchase. For 75 cents. That’s right. 75 cents for your very own piece of Andy Warhol art history!

Categories
Art Collection Contemporary Curatorial

Can I walk on it?

Carl Andre (American, b. 1935) 144 Pieces of Zinc, 1967 Zinc plates each plate: 12 x 12 x 3/8 in. (30.48 x 30.48 x 0.95 cm) Purchase, National Endowment for the Arts Matching Funds M1969.22 Photo credit Larry Sanders © Carl Andre/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Carl Andre (American, b. 1935), 144 Pieces of Zinc, 1967. Zinc plates;
each plate: 12 x 12 x 3/8 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, National Endowment for the Arts Matching Funds M1969.22.
Photo by Larry Sanders.
© Carl Andre/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Yes!

Carl Andre’s 144 Pieces of Zinc is one of the few artworks in the Museum’s Collection that is meant to be experienced physically, and that visitors may touch.  The artist felt that the qualities inherent in the material were the most important aspect of his work, and that they were meant to be discovered through touch.

Imagine 144 Pieces of Zinc wasn’t in a museum, but, say, come upon in a hardware store surrounded by a bunch of home improvement tiles.   You don’t have to imagine.  The Tate Museum did it.  They installed their collection’s 144 Magnesium Square on the floor in a hardware store in Liverpool, England, and then asked residents of Liverpool what they thought about seeing the minimalist work in a non-art context.

As you see in the video, people have strong feelings about this sort of thing…