Art Curatorial

From the Collection–Girolamo Mengozzi’s “Architectural Fantasy with Figures”

Attributed Girolamo Mengozzi, Architectural Fantasy with Figures, ca. 1750. Oil on canvas34 3/8 x 28 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Myron Laskin,M1982.37. Photo by P. Richard Eels.

I have always loved architecture. As a child, nothing excited me more than a big old Victorian farmhouse. Greek Revival, Carpenter Gothic, Second Empire, Queen Anne—I was probably one of the only Wisconsin middle-schoolers who knew the nuances of American house design and could read—and draw—a floor plan.

As an undergraduate, one of my majors was Classical Civilization, and my interest in architecture easily translated to ancient buildings. When I studied in Rome during my junior year and was able to see ruins that I had been studying in photographs, I was so excited.

I actually cried a little when I walked into the Pantheon for the first time!

Working in the European department at the Milwaukee Art Museum doesn’t allow me a lot of possibilities to directly study architecture, but I have found one way to explore it indirectly. Tucked away in the corner of the Italian Baroque gallery (Gallery #6) is a painting that most visitors probably miss. It is Architectural Fantasy with Figures attributed to Girolamo Mengozzi (Italian, ca. 1688–ca. 1766).

Art Exhibitions Membership

Must-See at the Museum: November

Cryopreservation Unit, Cryonics Institute, Clinton Township, Michigan, 2004/2007 Chromogenic print 37 ¼ x 44 ½ in. © Taryn Simon. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

Big things are happening in November at the Milwaukee Art Museum – from lectures and classes to after-hours soirees and artist visits. This is the place to be!

Thursday, November 3: See the art for free on Target Free First Thursday. The Museum is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Stop in for two Express Talks on Impressionism, one at noon and another at 5:30.

Saturday, November 5: Come be a part of the dialogue with curator Lisa Hostetler and photographer Taryn Simon as part of “Coffee, Art, and Conversation” at 10:30 a.m. Learn more about Taryn Simon: Photographs and Texts, and talk to the artist directly via Skype. Plus veterans receive free admission all day, and a special discount in the Museum Store.

Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: April 11-April 17

Frank Lloyd Wright in His Workroom at Taliesin, Spring Green, WI, 1956, Photo by Ed Obma, © 2010 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ.

The Museum has a jam-packed week of events, lectures, and more, which means there’s plenty to do and see! Let’s get started!

On Tuesday, April 12, there’s a Frank Lloyd Wright Gallery Talk scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and on Thursday, April 14, there’s a Frank Lloyd Wright Express Talk scheduled for noon. Come in and learn even more about “America’s greatest architect” and why he is still so relevant today.

Behind the Scenes Exhibitions Library/Archives

Listen to Frank–“The past always hangs to the future by a thread”

Frank Lloyd Wright, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left, 1954. World Telegram & Sun photo by Al Ravenna. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)
Frank Lloyd Wright, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left, 1954. World Telegram & Sun photo by Al Ravenna. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

“… Remember this, that society always continues. That the past always hangs to the future by a thread. And organic architecture and the thought behind it and the philosophy it represents is going to be that thread. I am sure of it. …” –Frank Lloyd Wright

Recently, while sifting through hundreds of reel-to-reel recordings of past lectures, our Audio Visual Librarian Beret Balestrieri Kohn stumbled upon a lecture labeled “Historical Master: Reel #93 Frank Lloyd Wright 1940-50 – Lecture at Episcopal at Nashotah.” We sent the recording away for professional transfer and, upon its return, settled into a quiet office to listen to a lecture we thought would be about the work of Frank Lloyd Wright from 1940-1950.

Art Education Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: Feb 28-March 6

Illustration for Family Sundays: The Art of ArchitectureIt’s another busy week at the Museum, and it includes a free admission day! There’s plenty of art and activities for adults and kids alike—you don’t want to miss out.

This Thursday, March 3, is another Target Free First Thursday and your first opportunity to see the feature exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century for free!

On Thursday evening, there is a lecture on Mrs. Olgivanna Lloyd Wright and her influence on her husband. The lecture begins at 6:15 p.m. in Lubar Auditorium and includes a screening of “A Girl is a Fellow Here: 100 Women Architects in the Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright.” It’s a great opportunity to learn more about life at Taliesin and the role women played in Wright’s work.

In addition, there is a Book Sale from March 3 through March 6 inside Windhover Hall; this is your chance to purchase books (and select items from the Museum Store!) at a discounted rate. Proceeds go to the Museum’s book acquisition fund.