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.
In honor of the upcoming celebration for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite rare books in the Museum’s Collection, the Monografía: Las Obras de José Guadalupe Posada, Grabador Mexicano. This first edition monograph, published in 1930, includes 406 of the estimated 20,000 works cut by the illustrator and engraver José Guadalupe Posada (Mexican, 1851–1913).
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.
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!”
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.