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May 2, 2013
From journal The Wisconsin Series - More Milwaukee Please
December 5, 2002
The Burke Brise Soleil "wings" of the Quadracci Pavilion opens and closes at noon every day, as well as during the opening and closing times for the museum itself. It is a magnificent, graceful object that deserves as much notice as it should get. Some may say that it is a relatively small object and is merely the new entry to the museum, a la Pei's glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris. But what an entrance! Stare upward once you step into the Grand Reception Hall, where you will marvel at the play of light through the Brise Soleil and the structural elements. True, it is not a high-rise or an entire building, but the pavilion stamps Milwaukee as a legitimate world-class city that may eventually step out of the long shadow of nearby Chicago.
One should not forget that this is actually a pretty good art museum. The original galleries have a bit of a brutalist design scheme, housing a permanent collection that features European and American artists from many eras. There is also a smattering of Haitian, African and Asian art. Outsider art also has found a surprising niche here.
Just north of Calatrava's museum addition is the War Memorial Building, designed by noted Finnish architect Eero Saarinen (famed for his work on the St. Louis Arch and the TWA Terminal at New York City's JFK Airport. This is actually the original part of the museum building (constructed 1955-57 with associate architect Maynard Meyer of Milwaukee). A tiled mosaic by artist Edmund Lewandowski of Wisconsin embellishes its west exterior. This artwork commemorates World War II and the Korean War. Other parts of its exterior are currently scaffolded. The interior is sparsely decorated, with an information desk, glass cases for medals and displays, and a counter for Milwaukee tourism brochures. There is an elevator with access to offices and a "back door" entrance to the main museum. There are lavatories on the lower level open to the public. An addition to the museum, opening in 1975, was designed by the local firm Kahler Fitzhugh and Scott.
As befitting a world-class art museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum is now open seven days a week (it was formerly closed on Mondays). It is open late until 8PM on Thursdays. The Images Cafe, with some excellent views of the lakefront, is a pleasant place for a bite to eat. If you have only a little time, visit during the last hour for free admission into the regular galleries.
From journal Bill in the USA - MILWAUKEE
June 24, 2001
If you choose to go inside you, will be thrilled by the first rate collection of art the museum. There is a large permanent collection of American Folk Art which rivals any museum in the country. Great displays of paintings, carvings and sculpture will give you a different perspective on what is art. My favorite things in this collection are the wonderful assortment of walking sticks and the powerful carvings of Elija Pierce.
There is also an extensive collection of German Expressionist art from the 1920s and 30s that really surprised me when I first toured the collection. The Pabst family donated much of the contemporary art in this collection and they purchased wonderful art from the turn of the century through the depression.
Another permanent collection that surprised and delighted me was the Haitian Art collection which is the largest and most extensive in the country. This collection is really outstanding and is a nice compliment to the American Folk art Collection downstairs.
Finally I really enjoy viewing the furniture collection on the top floor. Many interesting pieces from frank Lloyd Wright and other contemporary furniture designers grace this collection. http://www.mam.org
From journal Milwaukee Fun
by Maria F.
July 31, 2000
From journal Summer in Milwaukee