Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Milwaukee Art Museum on a Rainy Day

It's raining in Milwaukee (and sort of snowing), so that makes it a good time to go to a museum. I've never been to the Milwaukee Art Museum before.

Thankfully, MAM is one of the museums that allows anyone to shoot nonflash photos of the works, so I have some things to share.

White ovoid hallway
The Calatrava addition to the museum is a work of art itself. Thought it's hard not to wonder how they keep all that whiteness clean.

Frank Lloyd Wright's picture across a large white space
The special exhibition hall, across the wide atrium.

Windows onto lake, shaped like the prow of a white shi
The prow of the addition extends out to the edge of Lake Michigan.

Intensely colorful glass pieces close up
In the midst of all that whiteness, this glass work by Dale Chihuly is startling.

We didn't visit the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit, preferring to check out the exhibits in the main building. First, the Modern Design collection.

Orange Art Deco-looking settee
What decade would you guess this settee dates from? I would have thought the 1920s or 30s. But no -- it's from 1825-30 Vienna.

Yellow stilted uncomfortable-looking chair and yellow plastic sensuous chair
The design pieces were generally grouped by color, including this odd couple -- Frank Lloyd Wright's 1921-22 Peacock Chair beside Eero Saarinen's Pastille chair from 1968.

We spent a lot of time looking at paintings from many different eras, but I'll spare you those photos.

Dark human silhouette against a black field of regularly spaced stars
This is the Infinity Cube. I didn't note the artist's name, but it's a black box with mirrors and lights that's quite disconcerting to spend time in.

Black and white pixel portrait of a woman, very large
This pixellated portrait of Madam C.J. Walker, by Sonya Clark, was quite striking and the closer I got to it, the more interesting it got.

Close up of the portrait, showing that it's made of black plastic combs
Walker was the first black female millionaire, and she made her money in hair products for black women. Clark used black plastic combs as her medium.

MAM has a nice collection of folk art on display as well. Many interesting figural sculptures, but here are two painted works:

Folk art painting of a house with garden in front
Morris Hirshfield, Landscape with House II, 1940.

Carved madonna and child, painted, in an iconic style
John Perates, Madonna and Child, also 1940. I love the staring eyes and the miniature figures that frame the main image. It has the feel of being made from bottle caps, even though it's not.

Milwaukee Art Museum logo and enter sign
The museum's logo gives another idea of what the building looks like from the outside. All in all, it's a good museum, well worth a visit.

1 comment:

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Thanks for this post. I came to love many of the pieces in the collection when I lived in Milwaukee 40-some years ago. Visited the new wing a couple of years ago; isn't it spectacular?