Milwaukee, Wisconsin's nickname is "Brew Town", the city being famous for its many breweries.  Milwaukee has many other great places to visit.  I love visiting zoos and one of my favorites is the Milwaukee County Zoo

Driving to the zoo will allow you to pass Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.  Even though I am a Cubs fan, I've always wanted to see a game in this park.  It's said to be one of the most beautiful baseball parks in the Major Leagues.

And of course as I wrote about in my last post, Milwaukee has a world-class art museum.  Not only is the building itself an architectural masterpiece, the collection itself contains many masterpieces.  Here are some of my favorites.

We'll start with the Impressionists...

Here are two beautiful paintings by Monet:

The Cliff at La Porte d'Aval (1883) by Claude Monet

Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight Effect (1900) by Claude Monet

Here is a painting by Camille Pissarro, an artist who I haven't mentioned previously.  He is known as "The Father of Impressionism" and was a mentor to Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin.

Sunset at Rouen (1885) by Camille Pissarro
In my blog post about the American painters at the Art Institute of Chicago, I showed a painting by William Glackens.  The Milwaukee Art Museum has another of his wonderful paintings...

Breezy Day, Tug Boats, New York Harbor (1910) by William Glackens

Ernest Lawson, along with William Glackens, was a member of the same art movement group called The Eight; an artistic movement that came into prominence during the early part of 20th century, best know for works portraying scenes of daily life in New York.

Boat Club in Winter (1915) by Ernest Lawson
Another member of the same The Eight group was Maurice Prendergast. Though he was a member of The Eight group, he really was a "Post-Impressionist" painter...most of his work is more reminiscent of his friends, Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard, who belonged to the Nabi art movement with its bright, bold use of color.

Holiday in the Park (1913-1915) by Maurice Prendergast
And yet another member of The Eight group was John French Sloan.  He too was known for his paintings of the life and nature around New York City. 
Dunes at Annisquam (1914) by John Sloan

Another one of my favorite painters is Maurice de Vlaminck. He is considered one of the founders of the Fauvist art movement, known for its bold use of color.  The colors in this painting are so vivid! 

The Wheat Field (1906) by Maurice de Vlaminck
Georges Braque, in the early part of this career, was another major contributor in the Fauvist movement...in his later years Braque, along with Picasso, created the Cubist art style.

Seated Nude (1906) by Georges Braque

And speaking of Pierre Bonnard, here are two marvelous examples of his work, this one painted late in his life in the area of southern France (fantastic light and colors; remember Vincent van Gogh and his incredible Arles work) where he lived for over twenty years.

View from the Artist's Studio, Le Cannet (1945) by Pierre Bonnard
I love this painting below:

Girl in Straw Hat (1903) by Pierre Bonnard

I have mentioned in several posts that it was during my visit to this museum that I discovered the fantastic work of the German Expressionists painters, and specifically the work of Gabriele Münter.  Here are three superb paintings: the colors are so bold and bright!

Road in Multicolored October  (1959) by Gabriele Münter

In Schwabing (1912) by Gabriele Münter

Staffelsee (1920) by Gabriele Münter

There are many other wonderful paintings by other German Expressionists:

Isn't this painting fantastic?  It's incredible that during the early years of the Nazi regime over 300 of Max Pechstein's paintings were confiscated from German museums and sixteen of his works were included in the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) Exhibition of 1937.

Calla Lilies (1914) by Max Pechstein

Early Morning, Leba (1922) by Max Pechstein

I've written in several other blog posts that Ernst Ludwig Kirchner is one of my favorite painters.  Like Pechstein's works, in 1937 the Nazis confiscated nearly all of his paintings that were in German museums (over 600).  Already suffering from mental problems (he suffered a nervous breakdown during his service in World War I), Kirchner committed suicide in 1938.  The painting below of his psychiatrist's stepmother was painted while he was a patient at the Bellevue Sanitarium in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland during World War I.
The Visit: Mrs. Binswanger (1917) by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Emil Nolde is another one of the marvelous German Expressionists whose works were confiscated by the Nazis during the early 1930s; the Nazis removed over 1,000 of his paintings, more than for any other artist.  Unbelievable as it seems, in 1941, the Nazis even forbade him to paint at all, even in the privacy of his own home.  How ironic that Nolde had actually been a Nazi supporter in the 1920s and believed he would be immune to the Nazi propaganda campaign since he was not Jewish.  But like Pechstein and Kirchner, Nolde's works were also included in the 1937 Entartete Kunst Exhibition. 

Roses on a Path (1935) by Emil Nolde
I wrote about Max Beckmann in my post discussing my visit to the St. Louis Art Museum and the largest collection of paintings by Max Beckmann.  Beckmann actually lived and worked in St. Louis.  Beckmann also was subjected to the same injustices as the other German painters: losing his job at the art school and having his works confiscated and displayed as "degenerate" art.

Wally Barker (1948) by Max Beckmann

If you would like to read more about the German Expressionists, click here to read that blog post.

The Mrs. Harry L. Bradley Collection

"Assembled by Mrs. Harry L. Bradley during the second half of the 20th century, the Bradley Collection contains important European and American painting, prints, watercolors, and sculpture from the late 19th century to the early 1970s.  Work includes Fauve paintings by Georges Braque and Maurice de Vlaminck, seminal Expressionist paintings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Vassily Kandinsky, and magnificent works by Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti.  A generous challenge grant from the Bradleys gave rise to the construction of the Bradley Wing in 1975, which features Mrs. Harry L. Bradley’s impressive collection."  Taken from www.mam.org.

The paintings shown above by Maurice de Vlaminck, George Braque, Pierre Bonnard and two of the paintings by Gabriele Münter are part of the Bradley Collection.  Here are a few of the other 380 works of art that Mrs. Bradley gave to the Milwaukee Art Museum:

The Horseman (1966) by Marc Chagall

Fragment I for Composition VII: Center (1913) by Wasilly Kandinsky

Completed after Nazi troops evacuated Paris in November 1944, this painting by Pablo Picasso celebrates the liberation of the city.  The rooster, the emblem of France, announces the rising sun and the dawning of peace after years of war.  Opposite the rooster is the dove of peace.

The Cock of the Liberation (1944) by Pablo Picasso

Yellow Guitar and Blue Vase (1950) by Fernand Léger

Pale Woman with Red Hair (1911-1912) by Alexei Jawlensky

Not part of the Bradley collection, this is a wonderful painting by Alexei von Jawlensky...

Sleeping Woman (1910) by Alexei von Jawlensky

Along with its fantastic permanent collection, the Milwaukee Art Museum has hosted several major temporary exhibitions in the past: 

Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper: 
Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper presents 125 drawings, watercolors and pastels by some of the greatest artists in the history of Western Art. Active in France during the second half of the nineteenth century and closely associated with avant-garde movements, artists such as Manet, Degas, Renoir, Pissarro, Seurat, Gauguin, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Toulouse-Lautrec created works on paper that may be less well-known than their paintings but which are just as significant. Organized by the Museum in partnership with the Albertina in Vienna, the exhibition demonstrates how these artists chose to emphasize drawing, thereby ceasing to recognize the traditional distinction between drawing and painting.  (Photo and description http://mam.org/exhibitions/allPastFeatures.php)

Jan Lievens: 
Daring and innovative as a painter, draftsman, and print maker, Dutch artist Jan Lievens (1607-1674) created a number of memorable character studies, genre scenes, landscapes, formal portraits, and religious and allegorical images. This exhibition will, for the first time, present an overview of the full range of Lievens’ career, with about 45 of his finest paintings and a select group of his drawings and prints. (Photo and description courtesy http://mam.org/exhibitions/allPastFeatures.php) 

(Really sorry I missed this one!; Lieven's was Rembrandt's contemporary, not his student as it was thought in the past.)

Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape: 
This exhibition will explore the remarkable transformation of Camille Pissarro's landscape paintings over the course of an important decade in his career, from 1864 to 1874. During this time, he moved from being a student of the Barbizon school to becoming one of the leaders of the emerging Impressionist movement. This critical period of his evolution as an artist laid the groundwork for an entire generation of painters, many of whom were influenced by his experimental techniques and vision.  (Photo and description courtesy http://mam.org/exhibitions/allPastFeatures.php) 

(I saw this exhibition.  It was fantastic; even my non-arty sister-in-law liked it.)

Rembrandt and His Time: Masterworks from the Albertina, Vienna: 
This fall, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Wisconsin Energy Foundation present some of the greatest drawings and paintings ever produced by Netherlandish artists in the exhibition Rembrandt and His Time: Masterworks from the Albertina, Vienna. Including 115 drawings and prints from the Albertina and 15 related paintings, the exhibition explores the pivotal and influential role of Rembrandt as a draftsman in mid-seventeenth-century Holland.  (Photo and description courtesy http://mam.org/exhibitions/allPastFeatures.php)

Degas Sculptures: 
Degas Sculptures presents a rare opportunity to view in a single exhibition all 73 bronze sculptures by the great French Impressionist master, Edgar Degas. The exhibition explores one of the most fascinating aspects of the work of this seminal painter and sculptor whose innovative compositions, skillful drawing and perceptive analysis of movement made him one of the late 19th-century masters of modern art. (Photo and description courtesy http://mam.org/exhibitions/allPastFeatures.php)

This summer this exhibition is coming to the museum: 

Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and his Contemporaries
Posters of Paris (June 1, 2012–September 9, 2012) examines the story of the French artistic poster in all its complexity. In addition to the posters themselves, this exhibition features rare preparatory drawings and watercolors, maquettes, and proofs to show how the artist went from idea to final execution. The show will highlight work and artists well known to the public—Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard, Cassandre—as well as artists less familiar, but equally as powerful in their impact on the affiche artistique in fin-de-siècle Paris. (Photo and description courtesy http://mam.org/exhibitions/allPastFeatures.php)

Milwaukee may be famous for its beer, but its art museum matches any other U.S. museum for its collection and exhibitions.

For more information visit the website: http://mam.org 

Milwaukee Art Museum
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Phone: 414.224.3200
Fax: 414.271.7588

Email: mam@mam.org

For directions: click here.
  • Admission fee is $15.00 for adults
  • Admission fee is $12.00 for students, seniors and military.
  • Featured exhibitions are included in admission price.
  • Closed Mondays.
  • Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
  • Open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-5:00
  • Open Thursday until 8:00.
NOTE: All photos of the paintings in this blog post were taken by me on my visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

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