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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

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Milwaukee Art Museum has unveiled its Plan for the Future.
Milwaukee Art Museum has unveiled its Plan for the Future.

MAM announces Plan for the Future

After spending two years preparing a new campaign to bring the Milwaukee Art Museum into the future, museum officials have released its plan for the future, called, well, Plan for the Future.

The campaign – for which the museum will seek financial support from the public – aims to re-install the museum's galleries and to restore Eero Saarinen's 1957 War Memorial and the 1975 Kahler building to the east of the War Memorial.

Much-needed repairs and restoration work on the War Memorial building – as well as at MAM – will begin in autumn. The problems include mold, roof leaks, broken concrete, HVAC system issues, leaky windows and foundation problems. Many of them are longstanding issues.

The museum will remain open during the restoration process.

"In spring of 2013, Milwaukee County made a generous $10 million contribution toward repairing the Saarinen and Kahler buildings, which house the Museum’s Collection galleries," said MAM Director Daniel Keegan in a statement today. "Thanks to this support, the damage that has accumulated over the years will be fixed."

"In partnership with the county, and in recognition of our role in the community, the museum pledged to raise an additional $15 million to make repairs, renovations associated with the restoration of the buildings and the re-installation of the collections. We are pleased to have already received significant support toward our goal, and are now in the final stages of fundraising."

Keegan will lunch with members of the media and Board of Trustees President Ken Krei tomorrow at the museum to discuss the campaign in further depth.

The museum has committed $15 million to the $25 million project, which will be undertaken in partnership with Milwaukee County, which owns the War Memorial building.

"Public support of our initiative to restore the state’s most significant war memorial, as well as protect its most important art collection, is key," said Keegan.

"We want our visitors, supporters, and neighbors to know that they are integral to the success of the museum. The Milwaukee Art Museum is a community treasure, and the Plan for the Future will reinvigorate the galleries and the collection itself, making the museum more accessible for tourists and visitors."

According to today's news release, The Plan for the Future will:

  • Improve the environment for visitors and provide a safe home for the over 30,000 works of art in the museum’s world-class collection by repairing the Saarinen building and Kahler addition, after decades of deferred maintenance.
  • Make it possible for more art to be on view to the public by significantly increasing gallery
  • With the addition of a new lakeside entrance, establish easier public access to the museum, the collection, and a critical exhibition gallery– thereby providing a better visitor experience.
  • Re-imagine how visitors approach the collection and experience the art, through significant changes to the presentation of the art and a more intuitive layout.
  • Conserve energy and improve the lighting of the art, with the installation of new LED bulbs throughout the museum’s galleries.
  • Add bathrooms on every level.

We'll be at tomorrow's meeting and will post an update afterward.

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