The museum houses 15th to 20th century European and American paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, decorative arts, folk art, Haitian art and outsider art.
MAM's cafe also offers great lunches in a luminous setting with lake views.
Visit the Milwaukee Art Museum's Web site for hours, admission fees and a full description of current exhibitions.
Eastman Johnson in Focus
In Eastman Johnson in Focus, the Milwaukee Art Museum unites in conversation Johnson’s two masterpieces: his major antebellum painting Negro Life at the South, from the New-York Historical Society, and his post–Civil War masterwork The Old Stagecoach, from Milwaukee’s Layton Art Collection. When first painted, both works inspired praise and evoked ire, their seemingly idyllic scenes igniting discussions on issues of slavery, poverty, and the nation’s history. This exhibition explores briefly the artist’s career, as well as the historical context of each work.
MAM Exhibit: Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller is one of the premier Austrian artists of the Biedermeier era. He worked in a range of genres, producing beautifully refined portraits, landscapes, still lifes and genre scenes, each displaying not only his academic training, but also his early study of old master paintings. While at first glance his work appears highly traditional in nature, closer scrutiny reveals a dynamism, and a surprising interest in the modern that makes him a particularly fascinating figure.
MAM Exhibit: How Posters Work
As a medium of communication, the poster has a long history and a wide range of social functions, from selling a product to promoting a cause. Despite the rise of digital media, the print poster remains a vital and oftentimes radical form of visual communication.
Featuring rarely-seen posters from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s permanent collection, alongside loans from the Merrill C. Berman collection, How Posters Work demonstrates how some of the world’s most creative designers have employed and pushed the boundaries of two-dimensional design, harnessed the mechanics and psychology of perception, and mastered the art of storytelling to produce powerful acts of visual communication. The exhibition includes work by prominent designers, including Lucian Bernhard, Herbert Bayer and Josef Müller-Brockmann, together with a large number of prominent contemporary designers. The exhibition dissects the designers’ creative uses of design principles and visual expression to underscore the significance of a designer’s and the viewer’s eye to the design process.
This traveling exhibition is complemented by a presentation of work by nationally recognized Milwaukee graphic designers, including posters by Lois Ehlert and catalogues by John J. Reiss.
How Posters Work
How Posters Work at the Milwaukee Art Museum reveals how some of the world’s graphic artists have continued to push the boundaries of two-dimensional design, harnessing the mechanics and psychology of perception and mastering the art of storytelling to produce powerful visual messages. Despite the rise of digital media, the print poster remains a vital and oftentimes radical form of visual communication. Presenting over 125 posters from the early 20th to the 21st century, this exhibition highlights the significance of both the designer and the viewer to achieving memorable, compelling designs.
MAM Exhibit Paul Druecke: A Social Event Archive
Milwaukee native Paul Druecke has long examined how historical and social events are commemorated and interrogated why certain events are chosen for celebration while others remain invisible. For the 2014 Whitney Biennial Druecke celebrated the untold story of a head guard who served at the Whitney Museum of American Art for 39 years. His public art works have been shown internationally from the Poor Farm in rural Wisconsin to Cologne, Germany. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of A Social Event Archive, Druecke’s prescient and insightful conceptual project inviting friends, neighbors and his audience to donate a snapshot of what they considered to be a social event. Predicting the rise of social media and the blurring of public and private spheres, Druecke collected these vernacular pictures to study collective habits and examine how the presence of the camera alters behavior. The exhibition presents the entire archive of nearly 800 photographs together for the first time and invites Druecke to select works from the permanent collection that provide a context for his work. Druecke will also organize events such as concerts, poetry readings and cultural celebrations in conjunction with the exhibition to turn the exhibition itself into a social experiment.
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