July marked the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. July was also when the Museum reopened to the public after being closed for four months to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic has necessarily brought new attention to concerns about safety and access—something that Museum docent Mauree Childress, who uses a wheelchair, said “people with disabilities have top of mind whenever they leave home—pandemic or not.” Based on conversations we’ve had over the years, I invited Mauree to write about her experience as a person with a disability who frequents the Museum—and what the anniversary of the ADA meant to her.
—Amy Kirschke, director of adult, docent, and school programs
Donor Profile: The Krei Family
The Krei Family Sponsors a Month of Free Admission in Memory of Melinda Krei
The Museum is honored to have received the Krei family’s tremendous gift to support amonth of free admission for all visitors when we reopened to the public this past summer. The family provided the sponsorship in memory of the late Melinda Krei, and comments from guests overwhelmingly expressed their thanks to the family.
“Melinda was one of the Museum’s greatest advocates, and her legacy is sharing the comfort and inspiration she found here with the community during this challenging time,” said Marcelle Polednik, PhD, Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director, Milwaukee Art Museum.
Learn about an abstract painting, and then make a summer-inspired work of your own.
When you look at the painting below, what do you see? American artist Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) was an Abstract Expressionist; these artists used line, shape, and color to express themselves.
Frankenthaler invented her own painting technique, which she called “soak staining.” First, she added turpentine to her oil paints to make them thinner (and very runny!). Then, she laid a cotton canvas flat on the floor, and poured, dripped, and brushed the paint onto its surface. Since her canvases were unprimed, or raw, the paint soaked into the fabric.
We commonly refer to dogs as everyone’s best friend, and for me, that’s true. But I have many other best friends, too, including my cat, my rabbit, and some nice people. Each has their own unique personality. Artworks can also have unique “personalities,” or styles. Artistic styles help us explain how artworks look and how they were made. There are many different styles of art.
Alex Katz’s Sunny #4, a larger-than-life portrait of the artist’s dog, is painted in the Pop Art style. Pop artists often used bold lines, flat shapes, and vivid colors in their artworks. Here, Katz used long, straight brushstrokes to paint Sunny’s hair, and for Sunny’s tongue, he painted a flat, pink rectangle.
Let’s make our own drawings inspired by Sunny!
Did you miss Story Time at the Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays at Home: Animals in Art event last month? Catch it here! Emily reads Help! A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller.
Enjoy a highlight from our recent virtual event, Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays at Home: Animals in Art. “Step inside” a painting with Ali, and learn to move like a lion!
Did you miss Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays at Home: Animals in Art? No worries! We’re featuring some of our favorite activities from the virtual event right here, on the blog.
Check out Brett’s animal drawings, and then make your own sketchbook.
JULY 25–26, 2020
This weekend, take to your sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots to create bright, joyful chalk art! We’re joining with the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) and many other arts organizations throughout the state to encourage a weekend of outdoor art making. Spread positive messages to family, friends, and neighbors—or create your own masterpiece, inspired by works in the Museum’s collection!
Many famous artists have used chalk to make both sketches and finished works of art. To create the drawing below, Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) used pastels. Pastels are made from pigment, or color, and chalk; the two are blended and held together with a binder. Picasso’s pastel drawing of a rooster shows many of the special things you can do with this material. Use sidewalk chalk to make a drawing outdoors. Save pastels for drawing on paper!
Here are some tips and tricks for working with chalk and pastels:
Letters to Sunny
Sunny #4 by Alex Katz is one of the most beloved pieces in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection. Many visitors make sure to visit Sunny every time they come into the galleries.
Who wouldn’t love this sweet face?
While the Museum was closed, our artworks felt very lonely—and Sunny was no exception! When we heard how much he missed his regular visitors, we knew we had to do something. For the entire month of June, we opened the Museum’s mailbox to messages and drawings for Milwaukee’s most popular pup.