French, Leaf from a Liturgical Psalter, early 14th century. Tempera, ink, and gold leaf on parchment. 6 3/8 × 4 7/16 in. (16.19 × 11.27 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Paula Uihlein M1932.108. Photo credit: John R. Glembin
Before the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century, books were handwritten. Imagine… every time a copy of a text needed to be made, someone had to do it painstakingly by hand. In our world of quick reproductions and the ease of hitting “print”, this can be hard to believe!
The exhibition The Art of Devotion: Illuminated Manuscripts from Local Collections, on view at the Milwaukee Art Museum through June 16, 2019, aims to provide an introduction to these handwritten texts–called manuscripts–that were made in the middle ages and early Renaissance. A good number of those manuscripts are also illuminated, or decorated with gold, silver, and bright colors that make them literally look like they shine from within.
Because many museums house precious objects and valuable artworks, they tend to have a “look, but don’t touch” and “keep quiet” reputation. Doesn’t sound too fun, does it?
We often hear the misconceptions that museums aren’t spaces for children, that art museums are boring, or that older art objects lack relevance—when in fact, at MAM, there are countless opportunities for visitors to engage with and connect to art, make your own masterpiece, play games, get active, and even enjoy a beer (or two!). Read below for all the ways to play at the Museum.
See and make art at Story Time in the Galleries or Play Date with Art.
It’s never too early to learn to love art! Bring your little ones to engage with artworks in the Museum’s Collection through stories, music, and hands-on activities. Story Time in the Galleries is hosted every Saturday, starting at 10:30 a.m., and Play Date with Art is offered on one Friday each month.
Spark your creativity with a Family Guide or an ArtPack Station activity.
Family Guides bring a playful lens to feature exhibitions, allowing you and your whole family to participate in fun games and activities as you journey through the exhibition. Your family can also explore the Museum’s Collection Galleries with picture books, puzzles, puppets, and even sketching materials—ArtPack station activities can travel with you, transforming an afternoon at the Museum into an imaginative adventure. Both are free with Museum admission.
Bring out your inner artist in the Kohl’s Art Generation Studio.
Paint, sculpt, draw, and sketch to create your own masterpiece inspired by works in the Museum’s Collection. This is a great space for visitors of all ages to get creative, even if that means getting a little messy in the process. The Studio is open every day the Museum is open and closes one hour before Museum close.
Hang out with friends at Teen Night.
Teens—make new friends and celebrate the talents of your peers at this special event, held two times each year. Hosted by the Museum’s Teen Interns, this event features live music, art-making, teen-led tours, and a collaborative exhibition.
Sign-up for a personalized tour.
No matter your age or interest, we have the perfect art tour for you or your group. Bring a student group to discover animals in art, celebrate a bachelorette on our “Naughty Bits” tour, or build your own adventure—Museum staff are happy to create a special tour, just for you!
Party at MAM After Dark.
Hosted ten times each year, MAM After Dark is Milwaukee’s artiest party, tailored to young adults. Dance to live music, join quirky art tours, strike a pose with friends in the Front Room photo booth, sip on a cocktail, and engage in a variety of activities at this after-hours event—plus, enjoy a new art-inspired theme each month.
Stop by after work for Happy Hour on the East End.
Every Thursday from 5–7:30 p.m., enjoy discounts on beer, select wines, and cocktails at the Museum’s East End Café. Unwind after work with a glass of your go-to beverage—or try something new—all while enjoying stunning views of Lake Michigan. Then, take a stroll through the galleries*; the Museum is open until 8 p.m. every Thursday.
*Museum admission required, if entering the Collection Galleries.
Say “Namaste” under the wings.
Stretch your mind and body at Yoga @ the Museum, offered monthly. Recharge for the week ahead in an inspiring space, as omTown Yogis guide you through an all-levels yoga class. Then, spend the afternoon exploring art—your registration includes same-day Museum admission.
*Within the disability community today, some may prefer identity-first language (e.g., “disabled person”), or person-first language (e.g., “person with a disability”). Because the curators do not know the preferences of the historical subjects in the “Functional Fashions” display, they chose to use identity-first language based on the recommendations of collaborators.
The mistaken belief that there is no history of clothing designs for disabled users has had a number of repercussions. Among them: nearly all designers treat their own iterations as inaugural, there has been a dearth of innovation as designs are continuously repeated, and disability-led innovation is written out of the historical record . Not only is there a long history of clothing designed by and for disabled persons, but in some cases it sets a higher standard than the efforts that followed. “Functional Fashions,” a display in the 20th- and 21st-Century Design Galleries at the Milwaukee Art Museum, introduces the largest collaborative clothing line for disabled persons in American history.
Installation view, “Functional Fashions,” Milwaukee Art Musuem, 2019.
Members—May is all about you! The Milwaukee Art Museum is so thankful for your support throughout the year, and to show our appreciation, we are giving you a full month of added benefits, special offers, and extra Member-only events.
Bring an additional guest to the Museum for FREE during each visit this month. Share your love of MAM with a family member or friend—especially if they’ve never visited the Museum before.
Café Calatrava, Windhover Coffee, and the East End Café
Take advantage of 20% off food and beverage* purchases all month long. Whether you’re looking to recharge with a coffee or linger over a gourmet lunch, our cafés are sure to satisfy.
Receive 20% off your full purchase* every Thursday in May, plus free shipping on online orders over $25 (after discount).
*Discount cannot be combined with any other offers or vouchers.
Enjoy special Member-only events throughout the month, starting with Member Swap Day on May 5. For one day only, receive free general admission to a number of area museums when you show your Milwaukee Art Museum Member card.
Reserve your spot on May’s Member Trip to Crab Tree Farm, a dairy farm turned lakeside estate in Lake Bluff, Illinois. Inspired by the exhibition Charles Radtke: Contained, the trip will not only highlight the estate’s eclectic architecture, but also the stunning furniture housed on the property.
New and long-time Members alike can learn more about utilizing a Museum membership at the Member Morning: Orientation on May 19. Enjoy early access to Windhover Coffee, followed by an hour-long orientation and tour.
We close out Member Month with the Annual Members’ Meeting on May 28. Join us as we celebrate our accomplishments and look ahead to the Museum’s future. RSVP by Monday, May 20.
Thank you for helping the Museum remain an important space for education, creativity, and inspiration. We hope you, as Members, feel special not just this month, but every time you walk through our doors.
Not a Member? Join today, and start taking advantage of all the benefits of membership.