As the Collections Manager of Works on Paper, one of my duties is to facilitate the movement of the prints, drawings and photography in the collection for exhibitions, rotations, loans and viewings for researchers in the Herzfeld Study Center.
Our works on paper storage vault is organized into logical, easy-to-use groupings by size, century, nationality and then by artist’s last name (OK; it’s highly organized).
While pulling a print to go on view in the galleries, I stumbled upon a print by Carl Andre from a portfolio that I have never worked with before.
This coloring book is a perfect dialogue between myself as an artist and the art museum in my hometown.
Ted and I visited Reginald Baylor’s studio space in development in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood to talk about his new coloring book collaboration with the Art Museum during a freakishly cold spring storm.
This year the Milwaukee Art Museum celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Mrs. Harry L. Bradley Collection. Upon its donation in 1975, the collection elevated the status of the Milwaukee Art Museum from a local art museum to a museum with a world-class collection.
The collection contains an assortment of European and American paintings, prints, watercolors, and sculptures from the late nineteenth century to the early 1970s, including works by Braque, Picasso, and Kandinsky, to name a few. During my time at the Museum I had the chance to attend a Member lecture with Barbara Brown Lee, a longtime educator at the Museum and personal friend of Mrs. Bradley, to learn more about the collection and the woman behind it.
“If I were not making the paintings I make, I would paint like Matisse,” Pablo Picasso once said of his rival and dear friend, Henri Matisse. Both artists are featured in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s latest exhibition, Van Gogh to Pollock: Modern Rebels.
In the early twentieth century, the relationship between Picasso and Matisse had developed out of a nature of competitiveness and grew to be one of mutual admiration—at times. When Picasso came onto the European modern art scene, Matisse, being eleven years older, had already established himself as a rebel in that world. After meeting in 1906 at the Parisian salon of famous writer Gertrude Stein, the two artists would continuously look to one another’s work to both pose criticism and find inspiration.
Today we celebrate the birthday of famous American pop artist Andy Warhol. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s permanent collection boasts a number of works by Warhol, but one of his most iconic pieces is featured in the Museum’s current temporary exhibition, Van Gogh to Pollock: Modern Rebels. The piece, titled 100 Cans, was completed in 1962.
Comparing the painting by Chaïm Soutine (Russian, 1893–1943, active in France) in the Modern Rebels show (Carcass of Beef) with the one in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection (Children and Geese), it is almost difficult to believe that the two works are by the same artist. The former depicts the body of a cow, flayed open from neck to tail, its scarlet inner organs glistening vividly against the shadowed blue background. In contrast, the artwork within Milwaukee’s own collection is a simple rural scene: a young boy and girl walking down a country path, with abstract brushstrokes suggesting a flock of white geese beside them.
A shockingly graphic image of blood and death versus an innocent, bucolic portrayal of childhood. How could these two works have been painted by the same artist?
From June 18 to September 20, the Milwaukee Art Museum is proud to temporarily house works by some of the most famous artists in history in an exhibition titled Van Gogh to Pollock: Modern Rebels. One such rebel artist, whose painting Self-Portrait with Monkey is displayed in this extraordinary exhibition, is Frida Kahlo. In honor of her 108th birthday on July 6, we celebrate the life and mind of this strong woman and creative artist.
Only one artwork from the Milwaukee Art Museum’s own collection is displayed as part of the newly-opened Modern Rebels exhibition: Wassily Kandinsky’s Fragment I for Composition VII. When one reads the title of the equally vibrant artwork from the Albright-Knox Gallery hung next to it, the reason for its inclusion becomes instantly clear.
Though many of his formal principles are similar, Edgar Degas (1834–1917) stands out from the other major Impressionists because of his decision to depict urban spaces and the people that inhabit them, rather than natural landscapes. Arguably Degas’ most famous subject is the Parisian Opéra and its ballet dancers.