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.
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.
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.
I recently had the opportunity to represent the Milwaukee Art Museum at the Fine Furnishings & Fine Craft Show held at The Garage at the Harley-Davidson Museum. First of all—what a great venue! If you haven’t yet been to the Harley-Davidson Museum, the cool industrial architecture is definitely worth checking out. Also, the Show was a perfectly timed experience for me, with the European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century exhibition open at the same time at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Our exhibition explores notions of design as either primarily for function, or for a more conceptual idea. I was able to see more examples of how craft and design intersect at the Fine Furnishings Show. Apart from one prototype plastic chair, the objects there demonstrate a beautiful melding of function and handcrafted one-of-kind design.
Attention art lovers: The Art Auction, sponsored by the Museum’s Contemporary Art Society, is happening this Saturday, October 23. Place your bids on over 150 items up for auction, currently on display in the Contemporary Galleries. The Art Auction is a semi-annual event that raises money to benefit new acquisitions for the Museum. Don’t miss out! Tickets are still available.