Categories
Art Curatorial

Questions of Provenance—Doubting Thomas by Adriaen van der Werff, Part 2

Adriaen van der Werff (Dutch, 1659–1722). Self-portrait with the Portrait of his Wife, Margaretha van Rees, and their Daughter Maria, 1699. Oil on canvas. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, SK-A-465.
Adriaen van der Werff (Dutch, 1659–1722). Self-portrait with the Portrait of his Wife, Margaretha van Rees, and their Daughter Maria, 1699. Oil on canvas. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, SK-A-465.

In the first part of this post, using the Milwaukee Art Museum’s painting Doubting Thomas, we explored the biography and style of Dutch artist Adriaen van der Werff (a self-portrait of him from the Rijksmuseum is to the left).  This week, we’re going to trace the provenance of Doubting Thomas and see what it tells us about the history of taste in art and trends in collecting.

Van der Werff was one of the most famous painters of his day and was known internationally throughout his career. He was in demand in his earlier career for his rich portraits in the popular “Fine School” style. One example of his early work is the 1685 painting in the National Gallery, London called Portrait of a Man in a Quilted Gown.

Then in the 1690’s van der Werff’s paintings became more and more influenced by the classical style admired in France. He already had a tendency to use richer detail and elegant lines in his Fine School paintings. An important reason for this transition is the fact that the new style was preferred by patrons in the late Baroque period. If you want to make a living, you paint want people want to buy!

Categories
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.