By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 05, 2019 at 9:15 AM

Love is here to stay!

The late Robert Indiana’s "The American LOVE (1966-69)" sculpture – an icon of American pop art – made its street debut at the foot of Wisconsin Avenue in spring 2018 as part of the second edition of Sculpture Milwaukee, and not long after the end of the run, it was announced that an anonymous donor purchased the work and donated it to Milwaukee Art Museum.

The museum announced it would install the work along the lakefront next to the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion and that installation officially climaxes today, Sept. 5, with a grand unveiling event at 5:30 p.m.

"The Milwaukee Art Museum is thrilled to receive this iconic sculpture for the collection," said Margaret Andera, interim chief curator and curator of contemporary art, Milwaukee Art Museum, in a statement.

"Robert Indiana’s work has always connected with Milwaukee; his design for the MECCA floor in the 1970s is a Milwaukee icon, and now the LOVE sculpture’s prominent location on the lakefront will allow both locals and Museum visitors to enjoy his work for years to come."

The event begins inside the museum at the Lubar Auditorium as Joe Martin Lin-Hill, deputy director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, talks about Robert Indiana, who died in May 2018, and his career.

Then, the sculpture will be unveiled on the East End patio, facing Lake Michigan, at 6:45 p.m.

The museum is also showing a number of other Indiana works – including Indiana’s study for the MECCA basketball court floor, color screenprints and an important early wood sculpture – in K108 Gallery.

Today is also a Meijer Free First Thursday, which means admission to the museum is free all day to everyone.

"Sculpture Milwaukee is honored to have community partners who are helping build a world-class legacy of sculpture in the city, which includes the donation of Robert Indiana’s LOVE to the Milwaukee Art Museum," added Marilu Knode, director, exhibitions and programs, Sculpture Milwaukee, in the statement.

OnMilwaukee is the media sponsor for the event.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.