Milwaukee architecture varies from classic to modern. Movable parts can be found in the mesmerizing roof of Miller Park, as well as the wing like design of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Sitting on the shore of Lake Michigan, the post-modern design of the Quadracci Pavilion by Santiago Calatrava, incorporates elements of the original 1957 building, maritime themes and hints of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Looking at the building, one would never guess that the museum is one of the largest in the country with a collection of over 25,000 works. The collections range from Ancient Art to Pop Art. There is surely something for every art lover.
One of the most popular pieces the gallery houses is a collection of Marilyn Monroe screen prints from Andy Warhol. The 1962 silk screen prints captured the pop icon in fluorescent hues ranging from teal blue to hot pink.
The Marilyn Monroe prints are elegantly displayed against a white wall with nothing to distract. Soaking them in, you can feel life to them which can not be felt when looking at the images in a book or on a computer screen.
For art lovers who prefer the complexities of the Impressionist Movement, you will find yourself mesmerized by the brush strokes of Claude Monet. From afar, the painting seems simple. However the painting is placed where the viewer can get right up close to it. As you look further into the painting, each stroke becomes far more intricate. Yellows, purples and the brightest colors line each wave. A small boat appears out of the fog. A bridge with tunnels pops out of the fog and mist. Smokestacks billow over the town. It doesn’t take much time to understand why Monet’s works are masterpieces.
There is no end to the artists represented in the collection. A Picasso teases the viewer with it’s simplistic lines. Kadinsky’s mesmerize the eye with controlled chaos. Pollock, Rothko and O’Keefe all bring their unique styles to their designated walls. But the gallery is so much more than paintings. Photography, Folk Art and Sculptures are also on display in the museum. Perhaps one of the most intriguing sections of the museums is the influence of art on mid-century furnishings and the art deco design of appliances ranging from radios to toasters.
The Milwaukee Art Museum is a worthwhile visit to anyone in the area. True art connoisseurs will be pleased by the diverse representation of artists across all genres. For those less knowledgeable about art, the museum is arranged in a manner to make the displays interesting and enjoyable.