In Arts & Entertainment

Murdoch & Co., View West of Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, from Pabst Building, ca. 1925. Gift of Friends of Art M1989.410. Photo by John R. Glembin.

MAM season includes MKE photos, classic French art & "LOVE" unveiling

Milwaukee Art Museum is preparing to announce its upcoming season of exhibitions and there are some pretty great shows on tap, if you ask me.

Most exciting, perhaps, is "Portrait of Milwaukee," which opens Sept. 6 in the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts. Drawing on images from its own collection as well as from local public and private collections, too, the show offers a look (like the one above) into Brew City neighborhoods, architecture, industry and small businesses.

The show – which stays up until March 1, 2020 and promises to be popular – shared the Herzfeld galleries with the work of Milwaukee-born independent filmmaker and artist James Benning and artist Sharon Lockhart.

The film exhibition – which features works by two artists who have said their works have been inspired by the others' – is open Sept. 6-March 1 and again from April 17 until Aug. 2.

Vincent van Gogh, Entrance to the Public Gardens in Arles, 1888. Oil on canvas.
28 1/2 × 35 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1930

As a big fan of post-Impressionism (I know, me and everyone else), I'm excited to see "A Modern Vision: European Masterworks from The Phillips Collection," which hangs from Nov. 15 until March 22.

The selection of 50 works from America's first museum of modern art – the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. – includes iconic works by the likes of Edouard Manet, Gustave Caillebotte, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Pierre Bonnard, Wassily Kandinsky, Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso.

Robert Cottingham, Roxy, 2002. Color lithograph. 46 ◊ 46 in. Courtesy of Landfall Press, Inc.
© Robert Cottingham and Landfall Press, Inc.

In a sign that time is ticking, MAM opens "Landfall Press: Five Decades of Printmaking" in the Bradley Family Gallery on Oct. 4. The show celebrates the 50th anniversary of Chicago's famed Landfall Press, whose archive rests at MAM. I think I still have the catalog at home from the museum's 25th anniversary show.

"The Quilts of Pauline Parker" shares Parker's rarely exhibited colorful quilts and wall hangings, runs from March 20 until July 12.

Documentary-style Magnum Photos lenswoman Susan Meiselas is the focus of "Through a Woman's Lens," which opens April 17, 2020. The show includes unseen images alongside Meiselas' iconic series that turned the lens of human rights and domestic violence.

Lastly, on May 15, MAM opens a major show on loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). "Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890-1980, is the first exhibition that explores the ways in which design in the U.S. and Nordic countries have exchanged ideas.

It includes everything from furniture to textiles, drawings to graphic design, lighting to product design, silver to ceramics to glass. It remains open through Sept. 7, 2020.

Also part of the season is the grand unveiling on Sept. 5 of Robert Indiana's iconic "The American LOVE" sculpture, recently gifted to the museum by an anonymous donor and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. The sculpture had been exhibited on Prospect Avenue last year as part of Sculpture Milwaukee.

The unveiling is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Later that month, on Sept. 20, at MAM After Dark, the museum will fete the birthdays of Indiana and Mark di Suvero, whose sculpture, "The Calling," sits across from MAM. There will be live music, dancing, cocktails, games, cake and more.

Admission is $12 in advance, $14 at the door and free for museum members.


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