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Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Museum: Oct. 25–Oct. 31

Kohl's Art Generation Family Sunday: Dia de los Muertos

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.

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Events Exhibitions

Working the Fine Furnishings Show

Hans Gottsacker and Michael McCarthy in their booth at the Fine Furnishings Show in Milwaukee.

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.

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Art Exhibitions

From the Collection–Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Shepherdess

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Shepherdess, ca. 1750/52. Bequest of Leon and Marion Kaumheimer. Photo credit John Nienhuis, Dedra Walls
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Shepherdess, ca. 1750/52. Bequest of Leon and Marion Kaumheimer. Photo credit John Nienhuis, Dedra Walls

In my high school art history class, my teacher, having covered with reverence the high-contrast drama of the Baroque, flipped the slide machine to show Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s The Swing and paused, glaring at the slide in the darkened room. Then she pronounced: “The Rococo. I loathe the Rococo! The Rococo is art history’s porn!”

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Exhibitions

European Design—Escape from the Gallery!

Since I started working (almost two years ago!) on the exhibition European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century, I’ve been on a personal scavenger hunt. I want to gather as many of the featured designs “in the wild” as possible. Sure, these fabulous contemporary designs are easy to spot in museums or galleries, but my goal is to find them in hotel lobbies and friends’ apartments.

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Art Events Exhibitions

What’s happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum Sept. 30-Oct. 9

It is a busy week at the Museum, with two exhibitions opening and one closing, plus free admission on Thursday, October 7. The time to visit is now!

On Thursday, September 30, experience the opening of the newest on site installation by featured artist Chakaia Booker. Manhattan-based Booker uses cut tires to create relief, free standing, pedestal, and outdoor sculpture. Over a dozen works will be on display in Baumgartner Galleria through February, 2011, for On Site: Chakaia Booker.

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Curatorial Exhibitions

Recording a Museum Audio Guide

Did you ever wonder what goes into producing Museum audio guides? I imagined that it involved a script, some research and a microphone, but I had no idea what the technical side looked like. I didn’t know if we recorded this at the Museum, or how everyone manages to sound so clear and polished. Now I know the answer to both.

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Events Exhibitions Museum Store

Quilt History in the Making

Bruce Seeds, Garden Quilt
Bruce Seeds, Garden Quilt (detail)

The thing I find particularly thrilling about the American Quilts Exhibition Store is that because quilts are such a living medium, a part of everyday lives, they often inspire very personal dialogues as visitors pass into the exhibition store. Every day we meet visitors who are eager to share their sewing stories—they admire the works in the exhibition in a profound way because of a shared experience with those artists. We learn about still-vibrant family traditions of sewing, memories of people’s mothers hand-stitching their clothing when they were children, the various techniques seamstresses develop over time, and the agony and the ecstasy of piecing those wee slippery scraps of fine fabric together.