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Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: June 13-June 19

Photo Courtesy of Front Room Photography

Welcome to the Summer of CHINA! This weekend marked the official opening of the Museum’s long-anticipated series of exhibitions celebrating 3,000 years of Chinese art and culture. If you haven’t seen it yet, make a point to stop in this week and experience these breathtaking objects.

The feature exhibition for the summer, The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City is garnering much acclaim from the press. Check out with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Third Coast Digest, and the Business Journal had to say about it.

The Summer of CHINA includes a long list of programs, events, and lectures to complement the art, and a list of programming can be found here. We hope you will come and experience everything the Summer of CHINA has to offer.

Categories
Art Exhibitions

“Summer of CHINA” Primer–Scholar’s Rocks

Zhan Wang, Artificial Rock No. 43 (detail), 2008. Stainless steel. Private collection. Photo by the author.
Zhan Wang (Chinese, b. 1962), Artificial Rock No. 43 (detail), 2008. Stainless steel. Private collection. Photo by the author.

What do you think of when I say rocks?

Probably not much of consequence. Rocks scattered on the ground, surrounded by grass and dirt. Perhaps lining a path somewhere. Maybe caught in your shoe. Rocks are not a huge part of daily American culture (unless, perhaps, you are a gardener).

But in China (you knew that was coming, right?), rocks played an important cultural role in the life of an intellectual. For that reason, rockeries (or, rock gardens) are a theme threading through many of the Summer of CHINA exhibitions here at the Museum. Let’s bring those threads together in this primer on an essential component of Chinese art and culture: scholar’s rocks!

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American Art Collection Curatorial

From the Collection—“Chippendale” Philadelphia High Chest

Philadelphia, High Chest of Drawers, 1760-75. Walnut, yellow poplar, white cedar, brass hardware (replaced),94 1/2 x 46 3/4 x 23 3/4 in.  Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, Virginia Booth Vogel Acquisition Fund M1984.120. Photo by John Nienhuis.

If you need an excuse for cake, Thomas Chippendale would have celebrated his 293rd birthday today. Indulge and then come to the Museum’s American Collections Galleries on the Lower Level and appreciate several sumptuous forms of “Chippendale” style furniture.

Chippendale was born in England on June 5, 1718. He became a London cabinetmaker in the 1750s, and though his furniture appears in many grand 18th-century English homes, he is more widely known for publishing books on trendy furniture design.  His publication was so influential that the name “Chippendale” stuck as shorthand for a wildly popular style of ornament.

As an example, you can stand in front of the Museum’s High Chest and refer to it as either “Rococo” or “Chippendale” in style. You’d be looking at an American object that Mr. Chippendale didn’t know about or help make, but your term would still be apt because its American craftsman knew about Chippendale’s ideas of good taste when he put together the exquisite carved ornament on this monumental object.

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Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: May 30-June 5

Happy Summer to everyone! With Memorial Day marking the unofficial start to summer, the Museum will have expanded hours, and offer free admission to active duty military and their families.

Categories
Art Events Exhibitions

What’s Happening at the Milwaukee Art Museum: May 23-May 29

On Thursday, May 26, the Museum will host a discussion about the controversy surrounding the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at 7:30 p.m. in Lubar Auditorium. The discussion will focus on the removal of “A Fire in My Belly,” a video by artist David Wojnarowicz and will feature Jonathan D. Katz, the co-curator of the exhibition and Chair of the Visual Studies Doctoral Program at SUNY Buffalo. The event is free with Museum admission and open to the public.

In other news, the Museum announced that it is once again participating in the Blue Star Museums program for the summer, and will offer free admission to active duty military and their families from Monday, May 30 through Monday, September 5. Servicemen and women, as well as their spouses and children, receive free admission with a valid military ID.

Categories
Behind the Scenes Education Exhibitions

How We’re Getting Ready for the Summer of CHINA

Zhan Wang, Artificial Rock No. 43, 2008. Stainless steel. Private collection. Image courtesy of the artist and Long March Space, Beijing. This work is in the "On Site: Zhan Wang" exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum this summer.
Zhan Wang, Artificial Rock No. 43, 2008. Stainless steel. Private collection. Image courtesy of the artist and Long March Space, Beijing. This work is in the "On Site: Zhan Wang" exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum this summer (2011).

When one exhibition closes, another always opens.

While I’m bummed that Frank (are we allowed to be on a first-name basis after my exhibition Express Talks and school tours?) is leaving the Museum after May 15, I am so excited for the epic series of upcoming exhibitions included in the Summer of CHINA!

You might have heard about this endeavor: the Museum will have no less than five–five!–exhibitions that feature thousands of years of Chinese art, all in one place here at the Museum. (You can read all about them in the press release.) Right now, as I’m studying The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City exhibition catalog, I thought I’d give you all a sneak peek as to some of the things that happen around here before an exhibition opens to the public.

Warning: This post might exhaust you! We get pretty busy…