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Art

Modern Lamps in Midcentury America

Zahara Schatz, manufactured by Heifetz Manufacturing Company, Table Lamp, 1951. Aluminum, enameled brass. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift from the George R. Kravis II Collection. Photo courtesy of Wright.
Zahara Schatz and Heifetz Manufacturing Company, Table Lamp, 1951. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift from the George R. Kravis II Collection. Photo courtesy of Wright.

In 1950, the Museum of Modern Art and New York-based Heifetz Manufacturing Company announced a design competition for floor and table lamps, offering cash prizes and the tantalizing promise that Heifetz would put at least three-quarters of the winning designs into production. [1] Ultimately, eight table lamps and two floor lamps were chosen for manufacture from over 600 entries. [2] These lamps were exhibited at MoMA from March 27–June 3, 1951 (alongside drawings, diagrams, photographs of the designs), published in Arts & Architecture magazine, and offered for sale across the United States at numerous stores, including Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. in Chicago and Macy’s in New York and San Francisco. [3] Now, two of these lamps are on view at the Milwaukee Art Museum as part of Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America (Sept 28, 2018-Jan 6, 2019).

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Art Museum Store

Milwaukee Studio Visit and Coloring Book Collaboration: Reginald Baylor

Cover art for the Collector’s Edition coloring book with Baylor’s drawing of The Wood Gatherer, 1881 by Jules Bastien-Lepage.
Cover art for the Collector’s Edition coloring book with Baylor’s drawing of The Wood Gatherer, 1881 by Jules Bastien-Lepage.

This coloring book is a perfect dialogue between myself as an artist and the art museum in my hometown. –Reginald Baylor

Ted and I visited Reginald Baylor’s studio space in development in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood to talk about his new coloring book collaboration with the Art Museum during a freakishly cold spring storm.

Car heater roaring and windshield wipers racing, we pulled up to a charming mid-century building on the corner of Sherman and North that was clearly undergoing an exciting renovation and re-invention by the Finney Arts Incubator.

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Art Behind the Scenes Education Museum Store

Milwaukee Studio Visit: Author and Illustrator Lois Ehlert

Stack of books. Photo by Megan Yanz Photography
Stack of books. Photo by Megan Yanz Photography

Our senses were first enticed by the lovely scent of fresh, natural flowers as we approached Lois Ehlert’s apartment in a beautiful old downtown building on an otherwise blustery day.

Ehlert welcomed me and Megan Yanz so Megan could photograph her remarkable collection of folk art while I learned more about Ehlert’s newest publication for children, The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life (a limited quantity of copies signed by the author are available to buy online). With the feature exhibition Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Art now on view at the Art Museum, the timing was perfect to visit Ehlert’s cozy, artful and welcoming home.

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Art Curatorial Exhibitions

30 Encounters with 30 Americans: Conversations XXVIII – XXX

Karin Ormson and Valerie Curry visit the Museum on August 28, 2013. Photo by the author.
Karin Ormson and Valerie Curry. Photo by the author.

30 Encounters with 30 Americans is a ten week blog series showcasing the perspectives of thirty visitors to the Milwaukee Art Museum’s 30 Americans exhibition (June 14 – September 8, 2013).

Read about the experiences of these visitors–from couples to families, from students to scholars–and see how their thoughts compare to your own. What are visitors saying about this dynamic exhibition of paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, video, and more made by African American artists since 1970?

As the 30 Americans exhibition draws to a close, so too does the 30 Encounters with 30 Americans blog series.  Since July, it has been a pleasure to engage with this project and have the opportunity to speak with a variety of visitors on their perceptions of selected artworks from the Rubell Family Collection.  Sunday, September 8th is the final day to visit 30 Americans at the Milwaukee Art Museum.  As the exhibition continues its tour at the Frist Center for Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee on October 11th, may all those who view 30 Americans spark further conversations.

Categories
Art Curatorial Exhibitions

30 Encounters with 30 Americans: Conversations XXV – XXVII

Sarah Bare and James Huber visit the Museum on August 28, 2013. Photo by the author.
Sarah Bare and James Huber. Photo by the author.

30 Encounters with 30 Americans is a ten week blog series showcasing the perspectives of thirty visitors to the Milwaukee Art Museum’s 30 Americans exhibition (June 14 – September 8, 2013).

Read about the experiences of these visitors–from couples to families, from students to scholars–and see how their thoughts compare to your own. What are visitors saying about this dynamic exhibition of paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, video, and more made by African American artists since 1970?

Conversations XXV-XXVII discuss how art, whether it is walked over or walked around, and history can intertwine to portray influential messages about society.