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Art Exhibitions

Visiting Wright Near Home

Frank Lloyd Wright, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc Administration Building, Racine, Wisconsin, 1936-39. Farrell Grehan/Arcaid Images.

In the interest of immersing myself in the Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century exhibition (and fulfilling my goal of becoming a tourist in my home state), I have been visiting Wright-designed buildings in Wisconsin over the past few months.

First I went to nearby Racine to tour Wright’s 1939 “Wingspread” House built for Herbert Fisk Johnson, Jr. and the 1936 administration building for the S. C. Johnson Company.  The Museum’s Chief Curator Brady Roberts pointed out to us on an exhibition tour that Santiago Calatrava visited the Johnson administration building seeking local inspiration when designing the Milwaukee Art Museum expansion—you can see a similar effect of the Johnson building’s cathedral-like glass ceiling interpreted in Windhover Hall.  I think that the building model on view in the Museum exhibition beautifully captures the effect of the sky-lighting in the “great workroom” at the Johnson Administration Building.  Of course, it was great to be able to verify this personally.

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Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Feb 14-Feb 20

Unity Temple, Oak Park, Illinois. (c) 2011 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

This week, it’s all about Frank Lloyd Wright. After a smashing opening weekend of events and nearly record-breaking attendance, as well as rave reviews by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, OnMilwaukee.com, Third Coast Digest, and others, Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century is off and running.

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Art Events

Art and Lego

LEGO® model of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater (1934), co-developed and designed by architect Adam Reed Tucker. Available online from the Milwaukee Art Museum Store.

Tomorrow’s “MAM After Dark: Mr. Wright” will celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century. There will be great music, tours of the exhibition, and a twenty by twenty foot Lego pit, hosted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). I can’t contain my excitement!

I’ll be in there in the Lego pit, building Frank Lloyd Wright inspired buildings, happily looking up like a two-year-old at the larger-than-life Robert Therrien table and chairs in Windhover Hall.

In my Lego-mania, I discovered online that I’m not alone. Notably, in the fall of 2005 the Liverpool Museum’s Walker Art Gallery had an exhibition by The Little Artists (John Cake and Darren Neave) who built their own miniature exhibition of modern and contemporary art made out of Lego bricks.

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Art Events Exhibitions Membership

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Feb. 7-Feb 13

Taliesin East, Spring Green, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Jim Steinhart.

It’s finally here! The opening of the new exhibition on “America’s greatest architect.” Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century opens to the public on Saturday, February 12. But there’s lots of opportunities before that to see it (and save money!). Keep reading!

As always, Members see it first, and this exhibition is no exception. On Thursday, February 10, Members can experience Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century in an exclusive 12-hour preview day, featuring lectures at 1:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. by Bruce Pfeiffer of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and chief Curator Brady Roberts, respectively.  Tickets for both lectures will be available at 10 a.m. on that day, and are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Categories
Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: January 10–January 16

Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Jim Steinhart, TravelPhotoBase.com

After a highly successful and much-raved-about run, European Design Since 1985 has closed, and now the Museum looks forward to its next feature exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century. Stay tuned here for more information about this extraordinary look at “America’s greatest architect.”

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Art Behind the Scenes Curatorial Exhibitions

A quick trip to the Niedecken archives

George Mann Niedecken archival materials relating to designs for Milwaukee's Frederick Bogk House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

This afternoon I had to run a quick errand to the Museum’s George Mann Niedecken archives (formerly Prairie Archives) and decided to take a camera, and you blog readers, along for the trip.

As we prepare for the upcoming Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century exhibition, we are going through our own rich design holdings to see what we have that supplements the Wright drawings coming from the collection of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Categories
Art Curatorial

From the Collection—Elderkin Great Chair

A treasure you’ll find at the Milwaukee Art Museum: One of the oldest known pieces of American furniture to survive. Let me say that again: At the Museum is one of the oldest known pieces of American furniture.

This dramatic chair was made sometime in the mid-1600s in Connecticut or Massachusetts. Of course, at the time of its construction, its maker would have identified himself and the style of this chair as English. And yes, three-legged chairs of this type were not uncommon in England, but on the faraway shores of New England, this Great Chair was a great novelty.