Milwaukee art collectors Jan Serr and John Shannon opened their own museum in December, called The Warehouse, at 1635 W. St. Paul Ave. on a strip in the Menomonee Valley that has been seeing a lot of development lately, including a furniture store, a craft brewery, office space and more.
The 4,000-square foot museum, which is free and open to the public, occupies space in a previously vacant five-story factory building erected in 1924.
The Warehouse is currently open by appointment on weekdays. Appointments may be made here.
The first show at the museum, called "Concentrations," includes 70 artworks from the duo’s own collection, including works by Henri Matisse, David Hockney, Keith Haring, Sally Mann and others. It closes on Feb. 8.
Serr and Shannon also announced today that Laura Sims Peck has been hired as curator at the museum. Peck previously worked as curator and manager of the UWM Union Art Gallery.
"It is a tremendous honor to join The Warehouse in this role at this formative time," Peck said in a statement.
"We are creating exhibitions and events, and also operating procedures and communication portals so we might best reach our audience. The Warehouse collection is available for scholars, students, and art lovers, and works are available for institutional loans. Admission to the Warehouse is free and by appointment."
Serr and Shannon (pictured above) have a collection that contains more than 3,600 works of art and they are active in local arts organizations. Shannon bought the St. Paul Avenue building in 2014, where he opened Guardian Fine Art Services which stores and protects artwork. That business continues to occupy space in the building.
"We see The Warehouse as a new arts hub for Milwaukee and Wisconsin," Shannon said in the statement today. "We look forward to hosting shows from our collection and of works of significant artists, as well as hold events that will benefit the arts community and arts lovers."
Upcoming events at The Warehouse include performances of Wild Space Dance Company’s "Making/Unmaking," from Feb. 21 to 24, and the exhibit, "On Belonging," a collaboration between artist Nirmal Raja and photographer Lois Bielefeld that explores identity, place and belonging, from March 8 to May 31.
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 an episode of TV's "Party of Five," 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 OnMilwaukee.com 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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.