Have you ever been downstairs at the Milwaukee Art Museum? If you haven’t, next time you visit the Museum, walk by the contemporary art, as if going towards the Warrington Colescott exhibition. On the way, you will find a staircase punctuated by a hypnotic video drawing you downstairs. There you will find the interactive Chair Park made up of various reproductions of historical chairs, which you can sit on, relax, and experience fully as you converse with others sitting around you. You will also find the Word Cloud, a social tagging experiment that asks you to describe three seemingly disparate pieces with one word. Continuing east, you will come upon a small installation titled The Body Politic.
This week is National Dog Week – and what better Museum dweller to highlight than brave Jocko (and his unfortunate companion, the hedgehog) in honor of this important holiday?
The most exciting and challenging part of my job this semester is teaching the Satellite Program, a 30-year-old program meant to introduce high school students to Western art history. Not only do I have big shoes to fill (Chief Educator Barbara Brown Lee passed the Satellite torch to me this year), but I also have a couple of big questions to consider: How do I teach a solid, but fun, overview of art history using the Museum’s collection as our textbook? How can I incorporate new technology into the class to enhance our looking experience, and not distract from the artwork?
I’ll admit truly: one of my favorite pastimes is helping people pick out jewelry. I’ll watch a person walking casually along the outside rim of the cases Santiago Calatrava designed for the Museum Store, and then I’ll see the double-take and the excitement in their eyes as they hold that special item in their view.
Everyone knows what a library is. But did you know that most art museums have their own libraries? And they’re not just for Museum staff–they’re for anyone and everyone who is interested in looking at anything from an exhibition catalogue for the artist George Catlin from 1848, to a letter from Georgia O’Keeffe from 1972. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s library, tucked within the Saarinen building, is a treasure trove of anything and everything to do with our Collection.