MAM Celebrates 150 Years of Frank Lloyd Wright–Part One: Presenting Prairie Style

Frank Lloyd Wright (American, 1867–1959). "Tree of Life" Window from the Darwin D. Martin House (Buffalo, New York), 1904. Glass with zinc cames. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the Frederick Layton Art League in memory of Miss Charlotte Partridge and Miss Miriam Frink M1978.262. Photo credit: Richard Beauchamp. © Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Frank Lloyd Wright (American, 1867–1959). “Tree of Life” Window from the Darwin D. Martin House (Buffalo, New York), 1904. Glass with zinc cames. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the Frederick Layton Art League in memory of Miss Charlotte Partridge and Miss Miriam Frink M1978.262. Photo credit: Richard Beauchamp. © Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

This year marks a whopping 150 years since the birth of world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

As institutions across the United States host specials exhibitions and events to mark the occasion, the Milwaukee Art Museum has particular reason to celebrate: although Wright has come to represent Midwestern and American architecture at large, he was born and spent much of his life in our own beloved state of Wisconsin.

Wright’s first home was the small farming community of Richland Center, Wisconsin, where he was born in 1867. Wright also spent most of his childhood in Wisconsin (his family relocated briefly to Massachusetts when he was nine), and he attended both high school and college in Madison.

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John J. Reiss: Artist, Designer, and Collector

John J. Reiss, photographed for Wisconsin Architect, January 1968

John J. Reiss, photographed for Wisconsin Architect, January 1968

Milwaukee has been home to many talented designers over the years, but they often fly under the radar. A designer’s main concern is to convey a message or idea on behalf of a client; one’s identity is secondary, but a talented designer finds a way to stand out.

John J. Reiss is one such designer. He was born in Milwaukee in 1922, and while he spent some time in New York, Milwaukee was ultimately where he made his home and his mark. As a design associate for the Milwaukee Art Center (now the Milwaukee Art Museum), he created many of the exhibition catalogues, invitations, and advertisements in the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. However, he won recognition on a national and international level as well.

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From the Collection–The Temple of Flora

The current exhibition in the European works on paper rotation space (on view until December 3) is The Temple of Flora. The show features fifteen large-scale color prints from the illustrated book The Temple of Flora. They reflect the true passion of English doctor John Robert Thornton: botany. In honor of the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), Thornton hired eminent artists to produce the engravings, envisioning a series of seventy plates. The extreme cost of hiring top artists to create such labor-intensive prints, however, resulted in the creation of only thirty-three plates, which he released individually between 1799 and 1812. Learn more about what makes these prints so unique with today’s post.

Richard Earlom (English, 1743–1822), after Philip Reinagle (English, 1749–1833), The Superb Lily, published June 1, 1799. Color aquatint, etching, stipple, and mezzotint with hand coloring, varnished. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William F. Pabst Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Starr III in memory of Mrs. Carl Eberbach M1973.100. Photog credit: John R. Glembin.

Richard Earlom (English, 1743–1822), after Philip Reinagle (English, 1749–1833), The Superb Lily, published June 1, 1799. Color aquatint, etching, stipple, and mezzotint with hand coloring, varnished. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William F. Pabst Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Starr III in memory of Mrs. Carl Eberbach M1973.100. Photog credit: John R. Glembin.

Giving a bouquet of flowers to your sweetheart? You’d probably agree, that’s very romantic!

It makes sense, then, that the prints of flowers from the series known as The Temple of Flora would be Romantic, too, right? Well, kind of.

Notice that I wrote Romantic, with a capital “R”. What does that mean?

Romanticism is one of those “isms” that art historians like to use. These terms provide general information about the style and context of an artwork. They offer guidelines for further exploration. For example, in an earlier post, we learned about the style called Mannerism. Romanticism, like Mannerism, is more complicated than a single term suggests but provides a good starting point.

So, let’s take a closer look at The Temple of Flora and see how these flower prints are Romantic.

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Social before Social Media: Paul Druecke: A Social Event Archive, 1997–2007

The exhibition Paul Druecke: A Social Event Archive, 1997–2007 has been extended until August 27th! Come discover this Milwaukee artist’s project that looks at how “social” was defined in the era before social media.

In 1997, conceptual artist Paul Druecke began going door to door asking local residents to contribute a snapshot of a “social occasion, public or private, current or historical” to his project A Social Event Archive. Predating Instagram and Facebook and the blurring of private and public that such social media platforms encourage, the collected 731 photographs reflect a democratic definition of social events, up to and including picnics and potlucks, planned events and spontaneous moments.

We interviewed attendees at the exhibition opening on May 11, 2017 about their reactions to the photographs on view. Take a listen as our Curator of Photography and Media Arts, Lisa Sutcliffe, talks about the work and the public’s reactions to this visionary project. Paul Druecke: A Social Event Archive, 1997–2007 will be on view until August 27, 2017 in the Museum’s Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts.

 

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What is the Neighborhood Discount Program? Discounts (and high fives) for Milwaukee Art Museum Members

What is the Neighborhood Discount Program?

The NDP, as we at the Museum affectionately refer to it, is a network of businesses in the Milwaukee area that support the mission of the Milwaukee Art Museum by offering our card-carrying Members access to special perks. It’s like the businesses are saying, “Hey, thanks for supporting culture in Milwaukee. Cheers to that; here’s 20% off your coffee.”

Which businesses participate in the Neighborhood Discount Program?

The kinds of businesses that participate range from cafes, to hotels, to fine furniture purveyors, to wine shops and bars, to wellness studios, and more. The roster of businesses changes from year to year and can be found here.

What can you do with your discounts?

Well, it depends what you’re into. If you love doing yoga, then you’ll want to check out Yama Yoga Studio, the Museum’s neighboring Yoga Studio in the Third Ward. If sunny patio-sitting and great Mexican-inspired food is more your style, then you might like to head to a BelAir Cantina and take advantage of the great discount offered at all their locations. Or, maybe you want to make sure your fridge is stocked with wine for an upcoming gathering at your house. Head to a Thief Wine store, and enjoy a 10% discount on wine. Maybe you don’t live downtown, but you’re thinking it would be fun to plan a getaway to downtown Milwaukee to check out the next feature exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and catch a play or concert in the evening.  You’ll definitely want to lock in the special suite rate available to Museum Members at Hotel Metro. Or, perhaps your home could stand to take some inspiration from the Museum’s “chair wall” in our Design galleries? In that case you’ll want to check out the awesome assemblage of genuine Midcentury Modern furniture Brew City Salvage.

Whatever you’re into, it’s super easy to take advantage of deals and specials all over the city, and beyond.

How long are the discounts active?

Most businesses renew with us annually each August. Some businesses are sponsors and arrange for special short term offerings—like Madewell’s store at Mayfair. They just opened this summer and are offering our Members 20% off! But don’t delay. The offer only lasts through next summer. You will probably want to buy that cute pair of mules (or jeans, or dress, or pair of earrings…) sooner, rather than later!

How often can I use my NDP discounts?

As often as you like. There’s no limit on frequency of use. There are specific rules about not combining discounts from some of the businesses, which are listed on the website.

Help! My dog ate my membership card!

Well, we do want to make sure that we make it easy for our businesses to consistently honor the promotions and identify our members. You can either show them the “Calatrava wings” tattoo you have*, or plan to present your current membership card. If you need to order a replacement card, please call the Membership Hotline at (414) 224-3284.

*Please note, if you do have a Calatrava tattoo, I am afraid I was just being cheeky. Please do reorder a membership card. But also, tell us if you have this tattoo because we definitely want to see a picture of it!

It’s been a while. Is my membership still active?

You can always give us a call at the Membership Hotline (414) 224-3284, available M-F 9 am–5 pm to have us double check for you, or shoot an email to membership@mam.org and you’ll get a reply shortly if it’s during those same hours. You can also send a picture of your Museum tattoo to us at this address, or any pictures of yourself taking advantage of the Neighborhood Discount Program. Or, better yet, Instagram or tweet that to us! Assuming your image is Instagram appropriate… @milwaukeeart #neighborhooddiscountprogram

Your membership matters. In lieu of being able to high-five each member personally, we try to show our appreciation in multiple ways, including the Neighborhood Discount Program. Your support is how the Museum continues to offer world-class artistic programming and fantastic events (not to mention, keep the lights on). We hope you’ll enjoy taking advantage of the small “thank you” perks available to you around the city.

Thank you for being supporters! Cheers!

-Elisabeth

Enjoying 20% off at BelAir Cantina.

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Yes, they have a Milwaukee Art Museum Member button! It’s that easy.

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Brew City Salvage will make you want to build an exhibition wall in your home just for beautiful chairs. And you can meet an actual bulldog, the charming Zoey!

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Brew City Salvage shares a space with Joint Effort Studio, purveyors of inspired architectural furniture pieces, like this desk.

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Don’t forget to bring your membership card to receive the special discounts on treasures like these brass deer candle holders from Brew City Salvage.

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