By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 15, 2021 at 3:02 PM Photography: Bobby Tanzilo

On July 15, 1957, the Milwaukee Art Center opened in the new Milwaukee War Memorial, designed by architect Eero Saarinen, on the Milwaukee lakefront.

Exactly 64 years later, Milwaukee Art Museum (the name was changed in 1980) fully reopened to the public after more than a year of shutdowns, and limited hours and gallery access.

In addition, there are three new exhibits on view: "The Quilts of Pauline Parker," "First Impressions: Early Printed Books in Europe" and "American Memory: Commemoration, Nostalgia, and Revision."

The "Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820–1920" exhibition, in the main Baker/Rowland Galleries, opened in June.

“We’re thrilled to welcome visitors back to a fully reopened Museum,” said Robert Stein, Deputy Director and Chief Experience Officer when the reopening announcement was made.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the community to reconnect with many of their favorite works of art that they haven’t seen in over a year. We’re especially excited for guests to experience Pauline Parker’s incredible quilts first hand.”

The museum shop is open in its new location in Windhover Hall, the East End restaurant has also reopened and the new Lakeside at MAM activated outdoor space is up and running.

Note that all museum staff will be masked and visitors are also required to wear face coverings and observe social distancing. View details here.

The museum's hours are Friday-Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Thursday, 10-8.

Ticket reservations to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum can be made at

Tickets are $19 for adults; $17 for students with ID Seniors (65 and over) and military;  Free admission for members, Wisconsin K-12 teachers with ID or pay stub and children 12 and under.

When MAM reopened last year on a limited basis after being shut down for a few months, I stopped in for a visit and marveled how great it felt to be back inside this familiar, comfortable place, even on a limited basis.

And then another wave of Covid-19 arrived and shuttered the museum again.

Amazingly, even after that jinx, MAM invited me back to see the now almost completely reopened museum. (I say almost because the lower level Herzfeld Galleries and The Collaboratory were roped off when I stopped in Thursday.)

But, again, it felt great to not only be back in the museum – I was there last month to see "Americans in Spain," but to have almost complete access again to the whole building as a visitor.

And there were quite a few folks of all ages in nearly all areas of the museum and every single one was masked. (And I only saw one uncovered nose!)

Windhover Hall


Look, we can walk up the stairs!


Museum shop in its new location




Lakeside at MAM




The Quilts of Pauline Parker


Posing with the janitor


The janitor is one of the few that can be maskless


Layton Collection classics


Milwaukee's George Mann Niedecken


Georgia O'Keeffe!




Contemporary and design


Bradley Collection


My favorite space: K218, a gallery with a view



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 has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.