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Art Behind the Scenes Exhibitions

Wright Changes to the 20th-century Design Gallery

Milwaukee Art Museum 20th-Century Design gallery. Before changes (above) and after (below).

When you visit the Museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century exhibition, you’ll notice that in addition to a trove of architectural drawings from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the installation includes drawings and furniture from the Museum’s permanent collection.

In the “Commissioned Houses” section, alongside stunning drawings of Wright’s homes for specific clients, the Museum’s George Mann Niedecken Combination Daybed/Writing Desk/ Lamp sits grandly on a center pedestal. Designed for Wright’s Irving House in Illinois, the desk is reunited with an Irving House lamp on loan from a private collection. In the exhibition’s section on “Enlightened Workspaces” the Desk (on long term loan to the Museum) designed for the S. C. Johnson Company building in Racine is on view along side site plans, presentation renderings, and models.

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Art Events Exhibitions Membership

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Feb. 7-Feb 13

Taliesin East, Spring Green, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Jim Steinhart.

It’s finally here! The opening of the new exhibition on “America’s greatest architect.” Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century opens to the public on Saturday, February 12. But there’s lots of opportunities before that to see it (and save money!). Keep reading!

As always, Members see it first, and this exhibition is no exception. On Thursday, February 10, Members can experience Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century in an exclusive 12-hour preview day, featuring lectures at 1:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. by Bruce Pfeiffer of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and chief Curator Brady Roberts, respectively.  Tickets for both lectures will be available at 10 a.m. on that day, and are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

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Art Exhibitions Library/Archives

The ‘American Engineer’, My ‘Big Chief’… Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography.  Frank Lloyd Wright.  London: Longman’s, Green and Co., 1932.
Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography. Frank Lloyd Wright. London: Longman’s, Green and Co., 1932.

As we approach the opening of Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century (February 12–May 15, 2011) this is the perfect opportunity to highlight one of the library’s most interesting volumes:  a first edition of Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography (1932).

Written with wit and charm, Frank Lloyd Wright’s (1867–1959) An Autobiography is an account of the master architect’s philosophy and work, as well as the story of his personal life, turmoil and all.  From his youth in rural Wisconsin to his apprenticeship with Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan in Chicago (where Wright found inspiration for his signature style), through to the tragic fire and murders at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s autobiography tells the tale of a man that was truly larger than life.

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Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: Jan 17-Jan 23

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to everyone. The Museum is open today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Kohl’s Art Generation Studio is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids 12 and under are free, so brave the elements and bring the whole family. (Don’t forget the heated, underground parking at the Museum!)

On Tuesday, January 18, Chief Educator Barbara Brown Lee will be giving a Gallery Talk on “The Lunatic Fringe” at 1:30 p.m.

This Friday, MAM After Dark returns with MAD HOT, a night filled with Salsa dancing, live music by Cache, a salsa tasting station, Bloody Mary’s courtesy of Jimmy Luv, and as always, DIY and Photobooth, plus food by Cafe Calatrava.

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Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: January 10–January 16

Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Jim Steinhart, TravelPhotoBase.com

After a highly successful and much-raved-about run, European Design Since 1985 has closed, and now the Museum looks forward to its next feature exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century. Stay tuned here for more information about this extraordinary look at “America’s greatest architect.”

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Art Behind the Scenes Curatorial Exhibitions

A quick trip to the Niedecken archives

George Mann Niedecken archival materials relating to designs for Milwaukee's Frederick Bogk House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

This afternoon I had to run a quick errand to the Museum’s George Mann Niedecken archives (formerly Prairie Archives) and decided to take a camera, and you blog readers, along for the trip.

As we prepare for the upcoming Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century exhibition, we are going through our own rich design holdings to see what we have that supplements the Wright drawings coming from the collection of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Art Exhibitions

From the Collection–Claude Mellan’s “The Sudarium”

Claude Mellan, The Sudarium, 1649, printed ca. 1720. Engraving. Gift of the Hockerman Charitable Trust. Photo credit John R. Glembin
Claude Mellan, The Sudarium, 1649, printed ca. 1720. Engraving. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the Hockerman Charitable Trust. Photo by John R. Glembin

So your family members (or out-of-town friends, or in-laws, take your pick!) are in town for the holidays, presents have been opened, feasts eaten, and now you need to entertain them. Naturally, you bring them to the Museum, knowing that you’ll be able to impress them with the architecture, a work of art in and of itself. But you want to impress them in the galleries, too; you want to show them something so incredible that it’ll even stun the know-it-all of the group.

Look no further than Claude Mellan’s Sudarium, currently on view in the Museum’s exhibition, Framing a Decade: Acquisitions of Prints and Drawings, 2001–2011. Skim through this blog post, impress your family with a mini-tour, and prepare to watch jaws drop. Guaranteed!

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Art Education Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: December 13-19

MAM After Dark: Euro Bash
MAM After Dark: Euro Bash
As winter unleashes its cold, there’s lots to warm up to at the Museum this week. And for families, don’t forget that kids under 12 are always free at the Museum!

The new exhibition Framing a Decade has opened to rave reviews and the newest acquisition by the Museum, a work by Ludwig Meidner, will be installed in the exhibition on Tuesday, so be sure to stop in this week and see just a small sampling of the over 3,000 prints and drawings that the Museum has acquired since 2001.

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Art Education Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: Dec. 6-Dec 12

With a new exhibition opening this week and “Holiday By Design” Family Sunday, it is a very busy time here.

This Thursday, December 9, the Museum opens its newest exhibition, Framing a Decade: Acquisitions of Prints and Drawings, 2001-2011. Featured in the Koss Gallery, this exhibition showcases 50 of the over 3,000 works on paper that the Museum has acquired since the Quadracci Pavilion opened in 2001. It includes works by Picasso, Rembrandt, Gauguin, Nauman, Francis, and more.

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Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Museum: Nov. 15-21

Well, it’s here. The first-ever Art of the Table event at the Museum starts Thursday, November 18. The family-friendly event features 22 art-inspired tabletop designs by area designers, including local artists and national retailers, who were given a
10 x 10 foot space within the galleries to create their nontraditional installations.

The event was inspired by the On Site installation in the Museum by Robert Therrien, called Under the Table. This larger-than-life dining room table is perched in the heart of Windhover Hall and is quite a sight to see.