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Art Art News Collection Curatorial Membership Prints and Drawings

Happy 40th Anniversary Print Forum

People riding into a party on horseback
Warrington Colescott, I Ride with the Blue Riders. We Visit die Brücke Picnic and Enjoy a Bratwurst, Reminding Me of Summer in Milwaukee, from the portfolio My German Trip, 1992. Color soft-ground etching, spit bite bitumen aquatint, and color relief; plate: 11 13/16 × 13 7/8 in., sheet: 14 11/16 × 20 in. Purchase with funds from Print Forum, M2006.38.9. Photo by Michael Tropea. © Warrington Colescott
People riding into a party on horseback
Bratwurst, Reminding Me of Summer in Milwaukee, from the portfolio My German Trip, 1992. Color soft-ground etching, spit bite bitumen aquatint, and color relief; plate: 11 13/16 × 13 7/8 in., sheet: 14 11/16 × 20 in. Purchase with funds from Print Forum, M2006.38.9. Photo by Michael Tropea. © Warrington Colescott

Nearly forty years ago, in 1981, a group of twelve Museum Members with an interest in prints and drawings established Print Forum. George Evans and Kent Anderson served as the group’s first president and vice-president, respectively. One of the Museum’s nine currently active support groups, Print Forum is among the longest standing.

Categories
Art Collection Curatorial European Library/Archives

A Painting, a Director, and the Mexican Film Industry

Francisco de Zurbarán, Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, 1630/34. Oil on canvas. Purchase, M1958.70. Photo by John R. Glembin.
Man in brown hooded robe looking down at a skull in his hands
Francisco de Zurbarán, Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, 1630/34 (detail). Oil on canvas. Purchase, M1958.70. Photo by John R. Glembin.

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.

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Art Collection Collection Reflection Contemporary Curatorial

Collection Reflection: Curator Margaret Andera on Beth Lipman

Various glassware stacked and laid out on top of a short, black, wooden table
Beth Lipman, Laid Table (Still Life with Metal Pitcher), 2007. Blown, sculpted, lamp-worked, and kiln-formed glass on wood table. 85 × 103 × 96 in. (215.9 × 261.62 × 243.84 cm). Purchase, Jill and Jack Pelisek Endowment, Jack Pelisek Funds, and various donors by exchange M2009.48. Photo credit by John R. Glembin © Beth Lipman
Various glassware stacked and laid out on top of a short, black, wooden table
Beth Lipman, Laid Table (Still Life with Metal Pitcher), 2007. Blown, sculpted, lamp-worked, and kiln-formed glass on wood table. 85 × 103 × 96 in. (215.9 × 261.62 × 243.84 cm). Purchase, Jill and Jack Pelisek Endowment, Jack Pelisek Funds, and various donors by exchange M2009.48. Photo credit by John R. Glembin © Beth Lipman

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.

Categories
Art Collection Curatorial European

From the Collection: Portrait of Henry VII of England

Probably after Meynnart Wewyck, Henry VII of England, 1504/09. Bequest of Catherine Jean Quirk, M1989.63. Photo by P. Richard Eells.
Man with medium-length hair wearing a black hat and a red and yellow robe
Probably after Meynnart Wewyck, Henry VII of England, 1504/09 (detail). Bequest of Catherine Jean Quirk, M1989.63. Photo by P. Richard Eells.

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.

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Art Collection Education Modern Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Paint and Pour

Abstract paint strokes of black, blue, and red on a white background
Helen Frankenthaler, Hotel Cro-Magnon, 1958. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1966.153. © 2010 Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Abstract paint strokes of black, blue, and red on a white background
Helen Frankenthaler, Hotel Cro-Magnon, 1958 (detail). Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1966.153. © 2010 Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

When you look at the painting below, what do you see? American artist Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) was an Abstract Expressionist; these artists used line, shape, and color to express themselves.

Frankenthaler invented her own painting technique, which she called “soak staining.” First, she added turpentine to her oil paints to make them thinner (and very runny!). Then, she laid a cotton canvas flat on the floor, and poured, dripped, and brushed the paint onto its surface. Since her canvases were unprimed, or raw, the paint soaked into the fabric.

Categories
Art Collection Contemporary Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Picturing Pets, Sunny

Gray, long-haired dog sitting in a field by the lake with its tongue out
Alex Katz, Sunny #4, 1971. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, M1975.143. Photo by John R. Glembin. © 2019 Alex Katz/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York
Alex Katz, Sunny #4, 1971 (detail). Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, M1975.143. Photo by John R. Glembin. © 2019 Alex Katz/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

We commonly refer to dogs as everyone’s best friend, and for me, that’s true. But I have many other best friends, too, including my cat, my rabbit, and some nice people. Each has their own unique personality. Artworks can also have unique “personalities,” or styles. Artistic styles help us explain how artworks look and how they were made. There are many different styles of art.

Alex Katz’s Sunny #4, a larger-than-life portrait of the artist’s dog, is painted in the Pop Art style. Pop artists often used bold lines, flat shapes, and vivid colors in their artworks. Here, Katz used long, straight brushstrokes to paint Sunny’s hair, and for Sunny’s tongue, he painted a flat, pink rectangle.

Let’s make our own drawings inspired by Sunny!

Categories
Art Collection Education Modern Prints and Drawings Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Chalk the State

Rooster in bright colors with both eyes on the same side
Pablo Picasso, Rooster, 1938. Pastel on paper. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1959.373. Photographer by Larry Sanders © 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Rooster in bright colors with both eyes on the same side
Pablo Picasso, Rooster, 1938 (detail). Pastel on paper. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1959.373. Photographer by Larry Sanders © 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
JULY 25–26, 2020

This weekend, take to your sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots to create bright, joyful chalk art! We’re joining with the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) and many other arts organizations throughout the state to encourage a weekend of outdoor art making. Spread positive messages to family, friends, and neighbors—or create your own masterpiece, inspired by works in the Museum’s collection!

Many famous artists have used chalk to make both sketches and finished works of art. To create the drawing below, Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) used pastels. Pastels are made from pigment, or color, and chalk; the two are blended and held together with a binder. Picasso’s pastel drawing of a rooster shows many of the special things you can do with this material. Use sidewalk chalk to make a drawing outdoors. Save pastels for drawing on paper!

Here are some tips and tricks for working with chalk and pastels:

Categories
Art Collection Contemporary Education

Letters to Sunny

Sunny #4 by Alex Katz is one of the most beloved pieces in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection. Many visitors make sure to visit Sunny every time they come into the galleries.

Gray, long-haired dog sitting in a field by the lake with its tongue out
Alex Katz, Sunny #4, 1971. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, M1975.143. Photo by John R. Glembin. © 2019 Alex Katz/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York
Gray, long-haired dog sitting in a field by the lake with its tongue out
Alex Katz, Sunny #4, 1971 (detail). Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, M1975.143. Photo by John R. Glembin. © 2019 Alex Katz/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

Who wouldn’t love this sweet face?

While the Museum was closed, our artworks felt very lonely—and Sunny was no exception! When we heard how much he missed his regular visitors, we knew we had to do something. For the entire month of June, we opened the Museum’s mailbox to messages and drawings for Milwaukee’s most popular pup. 

Categories
American Art Collection Curatorial Modern

Loïs Mailou Jones and “The Ascent of Ethiopia”

Egyptian face in the foreground with a group of people climbing a hill to the city
Lois Mailou Jones, The Ascent of Ethiopia, 1932. Oil on canvas. 23 1/2 × 17 1/4 in. Purchase, African American Art Acquisition Fund, matching funds from Suzanne and Richard Pieper, with additional support from Arthur and Dorothy Nelle Sanders, M1993.191. Photo by John R. Glembin. © Lois Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust
Lois Mailou Jones, The Ascent of Ethiopia, 1932. Oil on canvas. 23 1/2 × 17 1/4 in. Purchase, African American Art Acquisition Fund, matching funds from Suzanne and Richard Pieper, with additional support from Arthur and Dorothy Nelle Sanders, M1993.191. Photo by John R. Glembin. © Lois Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust
Lois Mailou Jones, The Ascent of Ethiopia, 1932 (detail). Oil on canvas. 23 1/2 × 17 1/4 in. Purchase, African American Art Acquisition Fund, matching funds from Suzanne and Richard Pieper, with additional support from Arthur and Dorothy Nelle Sanders, M1993.191. Photo by John R. Glembin. © Lois Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust

The artistic talent of Lois Mailou Jones (1905–1998) was recognized at an early age. She received a wide range of encouragement, including scholarships to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in her native Boston, and after graduating with honors, she assumed teaching was a likely next step. But, in what was the first of several rejections in an openly racist society, she was told to go south and help “her people.”

Categories
Art Collection Contemporary Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Art in Motion

Harry Bertoia, Dandelion, 1970. Gold-plated bronze and beryllium, 78 × 34 in. (198.12 × 86.36 cm). 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, Untitled, 1970. Stainless steel, 66 × 48 in.(67.64 × 121.92 cm). Purchase, with funds given in memory of Maurice W. Berger, President of the Board of Trustees, 1964-1968. M1970.88 © Estate of Harry Bertoia / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Harry Bertoia, Dandelion, 1970. Gold-plated bronze and beryllium, 78 × 34 in. (198.12 × 86.36 cm). Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley. M1975.131 Photo credit: P. Richard Eells © 2010 Estate of Harry Bertoia / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Make moving art inspired by the kinetic sculpture of Harry Bertoia.