Celebrating 125 Years of Art April 6–August 10, 2013 Milwaukee Art Museum
British-born businessman Frederick Layton decided to build an art gallery near Cathedral Square for his adopted city. When the Layton Art Gallery opened in April 1888, it laid the foundation for what would become the Milwaukee Art Museum, an internationally recognized museum with a world-class collection, leading education programs, and history-making exhibitions. In 2013, the Milwaukee Art Museum celebrates its founding and its years of growth and adventure through three anniversary exhibitions and related lectures.
Drawn from institutional archives, the photographs, models, videos, and brochures in this exhibition recall the full range of the Milwaukee Art Museum’s history, from the establishment in 1888 of the Layton Art Gallery and the Milwaukee Art Association to the vibrant international Museum of today. Postcards, posters, and press relate the Museum’s phases of growth and collaboration, deep community engagement, and many world-class acquisitions. See interactive timeline »
Credit: Aerial view of the Milwaukee Art Museum during Lakefront Festival of Arts, before 1965. Milwaukee Art Museum, Institutional Archives.
Mr. Layton’s Gallery
Gallery 10 (Main Level)
This dramatic, floor-to-ceiling installation—often called a salon-style hang—evokes the experience of attending an exhibition at the Layton Art Gallery’s original home near Cathedral Square between 1888 (when the gallery opened) and 1919 (the year that Frederick Layton died). Featured are paintings from philanthropist Frederick Layton’s original gift to Milwaukee: American masterpieces such as the beloved Old Stagecoach by Eastman Johnson and Hark! The Lark! by Winslow Homer, and European treasures, such as Homer and His Guide by William Bouguereau.
Credit: Eastman Johnson (American, 1824–1906), Portrait of Frederick Layton, 1893. Oil on canvas, 78 1/4 x 48 1/4 in. (198.76 x 122.56 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Layton Art Collection, Gift of Marshall and Ilsley Bank L1888.30. Photo credit Dedra Walls.
Decorative Arts Gallery
Organized and sponsored by the Chipstone Foundation
The Layton Art Gallery opened its doors in Milwaukee 125 years ago, on April 5, 1888. This purpose-built gallery—the first in the city’s history—was the gift of British-born businessman, collector, and philanthropist Frederick Layton to his adopted city. This exhibition explores the rich story of how the Layton Collection was founded and how its mission and collections have developed over time. Emphasis is placed on the founding of the Layton Art School by Charlotte Partridge in the interwar period and the acquiring of masterworks of American decorative arts by the board of the Layton Collection in the past thirty years. More »
Credit: Milwaukee Art Museum, Institutional Archives.