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Behind the Scenes Exhibitions

Behind the Scenes–The Music of the “Wings”

Quadracci Pavilion, Milwaukee Art Museum. Designed by Santiago Calatrava.
Quadracci Pavilion, Milwaukee Art Museum. Designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Picture this: You’re watching the wings open on the Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion and you realize you hear music… Ever wonder who is behind its creation? I have! The answer is the talented Kris Martinez, Interactive Designer at the Museum. Below, straight from Kris, is everything you ever wanted to know about the music of the Museum.

My name is Kris Martinez, and I am an Interactive Designer at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Some of my daily tasks include designing websites for our feature exhibitions, creating interactive installations, and creating television commercials. I also compose musical themes for the Museum.

For the past year, the Museum has featured short musical pieces that play when the wings open and close. This happens three times a day: 10 AM when the Museum opens, noon when the wings flap, and 5 PM (or 8 PM on Thursdays) when the Museum closes. Each arrangement is unique and is inspired by the Museum’s feature exhibition.

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.”

Categories
Events

Art of the Table

Robert Therrien, Under the Table, 1994. Wood, metal, and enamel. 117 x 312 x 216 in. overall. The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica. ©Robert Therrien. Photo ©Douglas M. Parker Studio, Los Angeles.
Robert Therrien, Under the Table, 1994. Wood, metal, and enamel. 117 x 312 x 216 in. overall. The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica. ©Robert Therrien. Photo ©Douglas M. Parker Studio, Los Angeles.

Alberto Alessi. Giant tables. The Museum’s Collection. Anthropologie. Broadway Paper. JoAnna Poehlmann. What could these people, places, and objects possibly have in common? Nothing less than the event I’m perhaps most excited about this year at the Museum: Art of the Table! Taking inspiration from Art in Bloom and European Design Since 1985, Art of the Table brings together interior designers, artists, and home furnishers to create tabletop, in-gallery installations inspired by the Museum’s artwork. Oh, and there is that 10-foot-tall table in Windhover Hall…

Categories
Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Museum: Nov. 15-21

Well, it’s here. The first-ever Art of the Table event at the Museum starts Thursday, November 18. The family-friendly event features 22 art-inspired tabletop designs by area designers, including local artists and national retailers, who were given a
10 x 10 foot space within the galleries to create their nontraditional installations.

The event was inspired by the On Site installation in the Museum by Robert Therrien, called Under the Table. This larger-than-life dining room table is perched in the heart of Windhover Hall and is quite a sight to see.

Categories
Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: Nov. 1–Nov. 7

Metdish Dish, attributed to Solomon Loy, Alamance County, North Carolina, 1825–40. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. 15 in. Private collection. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

This week, there are a lot of opportunities to experience the Museum, including an American Ceramics Circle Symposium; free admission for everyone on Thursday, November 4, and free admission for veterans on Saturday, November 6; a lecture with Luke Beckerdite on the Art In Clay exhibition on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.; and a European Design Since 1985 Express Talk.

This Thursday, November 4, is Target Free First Thursday. Admission to the Museum is FREE for everyone, thanks to Target. It’s a great opportunity to experience everything the Museum has to offer. And while you are here, be sure to experience the European Design Since 1985 Express Talk at 12 p.m.

Categories
Events

What’s happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: Oct. 18–24

Chuck Close, Lucas/Woodcut, 1993. Woodcut with pochoir. 46 ½ x 36 in. (sheet, approx.), edition of 50. From a charitable trust.

Attention art lovers:  The Art Auction, sponsored by the Museum’s Contemporary Art Society, is happening this Saturday, October 23. Place your bids on over 150 items up for auction, currently on display in the Contemporary Galleries. The Art Auction is a semi-annual event that raises money to benefit new acquisitions for the Museum. Don’t miss out! Tickets are still available.

For those interested in learning more, there will be a Gallery Talk with Chief Curator Brady Roberts on The Art Auction on Tuesday, October 19 at 1:30 p.m. The talk is free with Museum admission.

Categories
Art Exhibitions

From the Collection–Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Shepherdess

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Shepherdess, ca. 1750/52. Bequest of Leon and Marion Kaumheimer. Photo credit John Nienhuis, Dedra Walls
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Shepherdess, ca. 1750/52. Bequest of Leon and Marion Kaumheimer. Photo credit John Nienhuis, Dedra Walls

In my high school art history class, my teacher, having covered with reverence the high-contrast drama of the Baroque, flipped the slide machine to show Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s The Swing and paused, glaring at the slide in the darkened room. Then she pronounced: “The Rococo. I loathe the Rococo! The Rococo is art history’s porn!”

Categories
Exhibitions

European Design—Escape from the Gallery!

Since I started working (almost two years ago!) on the exhibition European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century, I’ve been on a personal scavenger hunt. I want to gather as many of the featured designs “in the wild” as possible. Sure, these fabulous contemporary designs are easy to spot in museums or galleries, but my goal is to find them in hotel lobbies and friends’ apartments.

Categories
Events

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: Oct. 11–17

Ole Jensen, Washing Up bowl and brush, 1996. Photo courtesy Normann Copenhagen.
Ole Jensen, Washing Up bowl and brush, 1996. Photo courtesy Normann Copenhagen.

Have you seen the Museum’s newest feature exhibition, European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century? This colorful exhibition explores the work of over 100 European designers with over 200 objects, including chairs, tables, lamps, vases, watering cans, utensils, metalworks, and even a vacuum cleaner. European Design Since 1985 has been receiving rave reviews from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Third Coast Digest, OnMilwaukee.com and even the New York Times. Experience for yourself why these are not just objects!

Categories
Art Curatorial

From the Collection—Bengtsson’s Slice Chair

Mathias Bengtsson (Danish, b. 1971) Slice Chair, 1999 Aluminum 29 1/2 x 35 x 29 in. (74.93 x 88.9 x 73.66 cm) Gift of Friends of Art M2011.11 Photo credit John R. Glembin © Mathias Bengtsson, Courtesy of Industry Gallery
Mathias Bengtsson (Danish, b. 1971), Slice Chair, 1999. Aluminum; 29 1/2 x 35 x 29 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Friends of Art M2011.11. Photo credit John R. Glembin. © Mathias Bengtsson, Courtesy of Industry Gallery.

In honor of last week’s opening of European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century, I thought I’d share a bit about why the Museum has used this striking aluminum chair so heavily in the exhibition’s marketing.

You saw this chair’s curves on banners and the cover of the MAM Insider (the Museum’s Member magazine), all over the Museum’s exhibition website, and even on little details like admission vouchers.

As a lover of beautiful things, I’m drawn to the dazzling shimmer of the aluminum surface and the undulating form of this design.

As a curator who loves to talk about art, I’m also drawn to the ideas behind the chair. I feel like you could talk about this chair all day.