In Arts & Entertainment

Work is moving forward at Milwaukee Art Museum and the War Memorial Center. (Photo: Brady Roberts)

In Arts & Entertainment

A rendering of how the completed project will appear from the northeast.

In Arts & Entertainment

A rendering of one of the enlarged gallery spaces.

Milwaukee Art Museum construction takes steps forward

If you've walked or driven past lately, you've likely seen that work on the Milwaukee Art Museum and War Memorial Center is well underway.

In addition to $10 million in repairs to the museum's 1957 Eero Saarinen (War Memorial Center) building and the 1975 David Kahler-designed addition, a new lakeside entrance is being constructed as part of a more than $25 million project.

(Photo: Brady Roberts)

Recently, the museum announced that it had met 95 percent of its fundraising goal for its Plan for Future campaign, which is raising more than $15 million for its portion of the project. The donations have come from public and private sources.

"We are now in the final stages of fundraising, thanks to the generous support of donors, Members, and visitors," said MAM director Dan Keegan. "We want our visitors, supporters, and neighbors to know that they are integral to the success of the museum. The Milwaukee Art Museum is a community treasure, and the Plan for the Future will reimagine the galleries and the Collection itself, making the museum more accessible for visitors, and creating an entirely new experience for our guests."

You can read more about the plan here.

(Photo: Brady Roberts)

Ground was broken on the project in October and construction work has been moving forward since that time. The Collection Galleries were closed in November and de-installation of the permanent collection began.

In autumn, we caught up with MAM's chief conservator Jim DeYoung to learn about the process of taking down and storing the permanent collections to make way for the work.

Note that the galleries and amenities in "The Calatrava" – among them Cafe Calatrava, the museum shop, the coffee shop – remain open.

The new "Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair" exhibition opens at the museum on Feb. 5.

(Photo: Brady Roberts)

"Most programs, events, tours and activities will continue while the galleries are under construction, including Lakefront Festival of Art, MAM After Dark, yoga, Scholastic Art Awards – Wisconsin, Beauty in Bloom and the Kohl's Art Generation Studio," said MAM director Dan Keegan.

"We have a stellar lineup of exhibitions for the Quadracci Pavilion that our visitors will not want to miss, including 'Inspiring Beauty,' 'Van Gogh to Pollock: Modern Rebels' and 'Larry Sultan: Here and Home'."

This week, we heard a bit more about what's going on right now.

"Concrete has been poured on the sculpture court enclosure and will also start on the south area of Kahler (building) and work north," Milwaukee Art Museum PR manager Kristin Settle told us. "They will also begin demo on the sculpture court window (inside) next week.

"We are still looking to reveal the new galleries in November 2015."

(Photo: Brady Roberts)

The new galleries will be significantly larger, allowing for more of the museum's collection to be visible to the public.

More information is available at


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