Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI



The Milwaukee Art Museum sits near the waterfront in Milwaukee, Wisconsin not only offering a handy location, but one with beauty. The museum was founded to preserve art collections, as well as to educate the community. Inside the building are 20,000 works of art. They receive close to 300,000 visitors a year. The art collected spans about 120 years of history. Much of the work is even rooted in Milwaukee. The first art gallery on the spot was opened in 1888, and it has since grown to be an icon for the city. The current building is 341,000 square feet with a War Memorial Center, the Kahler Building, and Quardracci Pavillion. Each was built in 1957, 1975, and 2001 respectively.

Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 5pm, and Thursday from 10am to 8pm. The museum is closed on Mondays, except for specific holidays. Admission for adults is $12, students $10, and free for members and children under 12. Residents can attend the museum on Wednesdays with a proof of residency. There are also memberships available.

Feature exhibits are shown periodically at the museum. They have from January 30, 2010 to April 25, 2010 the Street Seen. This exhibit looks at 1940 to 1959 in art. There is quite a bit of abstract expressionism, film noir, and Beat Poetry on display. Also on display is the Green Furniture Design, Fifty Works from Fifty States, and Quilts in a Material World.

The museum also offers certain exhibits that are permanent. The first of this is the Mrs. Harry L. Bradley Collection. The collection was assembled in the later part of the 20th century with prints and sculptures from the 1970's and up. Paintings include Georges Braque and Maurice de Vlaminck. Another collection is The Richard and Erna Flagg Haitian Art exhibit. This exhibit began in 1973, when the Flaggs began to collect Haitian art. 90 paintings and sculptures from the 20th century are included in the works.

The Hall Collection is American Folk Art. It offers 270 objects that date from the 1800's to the present. Much of the pieces have roots in colonial America and are by self taught artists. The Layton Art Collection was created by two predecessor institutions in Milwaukee. The Layton Art Gallery opened in 1888, but has since become a part of this larger museum, thus they have many of the works such as 38 original paintings that show William Adolphe Bouguereau's best European works. James Tissot, Lawrence Alma Tadema, and Frederic Leighton pieces are also a part of the collection.

The American Decorative Arts and Chipstone Foundation has pre 1900 art. The museum has held these objects since 2001. The foundation was started in 2008 as a non profit gallery. They have a number of historic objects and paintings to show the history of furniture, particularly 18th century Philadelphia works from the Garvan Carvar. There are five other collections offered at the museum that run the gambit from modern pieces to the more historical pieces.

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