Categories
Art Curatorial Exhibitions

John J. Reiss: Artist, Designer, and Collector

John J. Reiss, photographed for Wisconsin Architect, January 1968
John J. Reiss, photographed for Wisconsin Architect, January 1968

Milwaukee has been home to many talented designers over the years, but they often fly under the radar. A designer’s main concern is to convey a message or idea on behalf of a client; one’s identity is secondary, but a talented designer finds a way to stand out.

John J. Reiss is one such designer. He was born in Milwaukee in 1922, and while he spent some time in New York, Milwaukee was ultimately where he made his home and his mark. As a design associate for the Milwaukee Art Center (now the Milwaukee Art Museum), he created many of the exhibition catalogues, invitations, and advertisements in the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. However, he won recognition on a national and international level as well.

Categories
Art Curatorial

And All That Jazz!

What did socialites in Milwaukee read during the jazz age of the late 1920s?

Well, naturally, everyone was reading The Modern Milwaukeean!

The magazine circulated from September of 1928 through the spring of 1930 and billed itself as the key publication for keeping up with the latest technological trends and everything modern. It proposed modernity as a way of life, but what really set The Modern Milwaukeean apart was its modern graphic design.

Categories
Art Events

If Milwaukee’s Festivals were Works of Art…

Warrington Colescott (American, b. 1921), Suite Louisiana: The Music of the Folks, 1996. Color soft-ground etching, aquatint, and spit bite, with à la poupée inking, and relief rolls through stencils. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the artist and Frances Myers M2004.538. Photo credit: Michael Tropea © Warrington Colescott
Warrington Colescott (American, b. 1921), Suite Louisiana: The Music of the Folks, 1996. Color soft-ground etching, aquatint, and spit bite, with à la poupée inking, and relief rolls through stencils. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the artist and Frances Myers M2004.538. Photo credit: Michael Tropea © Warrington Colescott

Milwaukee has earned the title “City of Festivals,” and for very good reason. If you are looking to celebrate music, art, film, cultural heritage, specific holidays or simply a love of craft beer, Milwaukee has a festival for you!

In the summer months, when Wisconsin weather is arguably most pleasant for those outdoor activities that do not require snowsuits, you might even find yourself at a different festival every weekend. The Milwaukee Art Museum itself contributes to the city’s lively “festival culture” by hosting the Lakefront Festival of Art every June.

To coincide with the height of our local festival season, I’ve selected some works from the Museum’s collection for their visual resemblance to some of Milwaukee’s most popular upcoming summer festivals.  Have fun!

Categories
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.

Categories
Art Behind the Scenes Education

Teens Discuss Postcards from America

Donovan Wylie (British, b. Northern Ireland, 1971). The Preparatory City. Marquette Interchange, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2014. Inkjet print, 60 × 80 in. (152.4 × 203.2 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, purchase, Herzfeld Foundation Acquisition Fund, M2014.36.
Donovan Wylie (British, b. Northern Ireland, 1971). The Preparatory City. Marquette Interchange, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2014. Inkjet print, 60 × 80 in. (152.4 × 203.2 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, purchase, Herzfeld Foundation Acquisition Fund, M2014.36.
On one of the last warm days in October, I led sixteen teens into the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Postcards from America: Milwaukee exhibition. This blog post is a description of our experience spending one hour together looking at a single photographer’s work in the exhibition.

Postcards from America: Milwaukee shows the recent work of eleven Magnum Photographers, invited to photograph Milwaukee during the prior year as part of the Postcards for America project. None of these photographers were local, so their photographs—ranging from portraits at the Wisconsin State Fair to polaroids to an installation memorial for a deceased musician—were provocative for a group of high schoolers who have spent their whole lives here.