Art Events Exhibitions

What’s happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum Sept. 30-Oct. 9

It is a busy week at the Museum, with two exhibitions opening and one closing, plus free admission on Thursday, October 7. The time to visit is now!

On Thursday, September 30, experience the opening of the newest on site installation by featured artist Chakaia Booker. Manhattan-based Booker uses cut tires to create relief, free standing, pedestal, and outdoor sculpture. Over a dozen works will be on display in Baumgartner Galleria through February, 2011, for On Site: Chakaia Booker.

Behind the Scenes Curatorial

Layers of Exhibition Paint

Between each exhibition in the Museum’s Baker/Rowland Galleries, the walls are entirely rearranged. This past weekend, I watched (bringing donuts, getting in the way, occasionally being helpful) as the installation crew moved walls and started spackling and painting in preparation for European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century.

As the team moved large 12 foot x 10 foot x 2 foot wall sections from their American Quilts exhibition layout into the new European Design arrangement, I was surprised at what was revealed behind—layers and layers of paint that colorfully represents our exhibition history.


Ask a Curator Day

Robert Gober (American, b. 1954) Untitled, 1997. Photo credit courtesy of Robert Gober Studio © Robert Gober, courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery
Robert Gober (American, b. 1954) Untitled, 1997. Photo credit courtesy of Robert Gober Studio © Robert Gober, courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery

Does the Museum show work by Wisconsin artists? What’s the deal with frames? What’s the piece that has a hole in the floor? How do curators deal with new technology? Any ancient Chinese paintings? And the all-important question: are we hiring? These are just a sampling of the many juicy questions asked by visitors on Ask a Curator Day, last week.

Curatorial Exhibitions

Recording a Museum Audio Guide

Did you ever wonder what goes into producing Museum audio guides? I imagined that it involved a script, some research and a microphone, but I had no idea what the technical side looked like. I didn’t know if we recorded this at the Museum, or how everyone manages to sound so clear and polished. Now I know the answer to both.

Art Curatorial

Painting the Gallery Walls

Preparations for the design of an exhibition begin many months, sometimes years, in advance of installation. For us at the Milwaukee Art Museum, planning for the placement of art in our main exhibition begins the minute the previous exhibition opens. For instance, when Street Seen opened in January, the next week the exhibition designer removed little to-scale black and white photographs from the gallery model, and our team went to work carefully placing pictures of miniature quilts for the summer’s American Quilts: Selections from the Winterthur Collection exhibition.