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Art Curatorial

To touch, or not to touch?

Jon Prown, Executive Director of Chipstone, sitting on Tanya Aguiñiga's Rock Sofa
Jon Prown, Executive Director of Chipstone, sitting on Tanya Aguiñiga's Rock Sofa
Art museums, as opposed to children or science museums, are often thought of as places for looking and not touching. As you walk through the galleries you will hear parents reminding their children to not touch, and most people immediately understand why. You wouldn’t want to accidentally stain William Merrit Chase’s Portrait of Grace Beatrice Dickerman or break Beth Lipman’s carefully blown glass still life. While recently speaking about the Chipstone Foundation’s Green Furniture exhibition, however, I found myself discussing the merits of touch and the opportunities the Milwaukee Art Museum presents for exploring this sense.