Milwaukee Art Museum 2005-06 Exhibition Schedule

Posted on June 2nd, 2005

Milwaukee, WI, June 2, 2005—


Rembrandt and His Time: Masterworks from the Albertina Museum, Vienna
October 8, 2005 – January 8, 2006
Baker/Rowland Exhibition Galleries

This fall, the Milwaukee Art Museum presents 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 112 drawings and prints from the Albertina and a number of related paintings, the exhibition explores the pivotal and influential role of Rembrandt as a draftsman in mid-seventeenth-century Holland. Visitors have the unprecedented opportunity to see 27 of Rembrandt’s drawings and prints-the largest number of Rembrandt works ever lent by the Albertina. The exhibition is organized in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth in 2006; the Milwaukee Art Museum is the only venue.

Rembrandt is universally accepted as one of the greatest artists of all time, and the works on view demonstrate his exceptional facility as a draftsman with different media. The show includes iconic images such as Child in a Small Chair with Nanny , Three Studies of an Elephant , and Young Woman at Her Toilet . Dutch landscape is also represented with such important works as Cottages under a Stormy Sky from the mid-1630s , and View of the Pesthuis from the Ramparts from the late 1640s.

Rembrandt’s Landscape with the Good Samaritan -one of only eight landscapes painted by the artist-has never before traveled to North America. Lent by the Czartoryski Museum in Poland, this painting belongs to the pivotal midpoint of the artist’s career and provides an excellent point of comparison for the landscape drawings. Other paintings include works by Roelant Savery, Philips Koninck and Willem van de Velde the Younger.

Equally significant are a number of early drawings by Roelant Savery, David Vinckboons, Jacques de Gheyn II, Hendrick Avercamp, Jan van Goyen and Esaias van de Velde that provide the earliest examples of an emerging naturalism. There are also works by Rembrandt’s contemporaries, followers and by later artists whose innovative approach to recording the Dutch world takes the work of Rembrandt a step further. These artists include Jan Lievens, Lambert Doomer, Philips Koninck, Nicolaes Maes, Salomon de Bray, Govaert Flinck and Adriaen van Ostade. Marine themes and Italianate landscapes are also explored as a means of fully explaining Rembrandt’s broad influence.

The exhibition is organized for Milwaukee by the Albertina in Vienna and curated by Marian Bisanz-Prakken, curator of Dutch art at the Albertina. The exhibition is coordinated at the Milwaukee Art Museum by Laurie Winters, curator of earlier European art. Sponsored by We Energies and Argosy Foundation.

Elusive Signs: Bruce Nauman Works with Light
January 28 – April 9, 2006
Baker/Rowland Exhibition Galleries

The exhibition focuses on a discreet body of Bruce Nauman’s works that utilize light in the form of neons and fluorescent light room installations. These objects and installations constitute a contiguous body of works that create a visually engaging environment and provoke thought about some of the artist’s principal concerns. Nauman’s art is motivated by ideas, not an attachment to a particular medium. He has worked in a diverse range of media, choosing a particular form that the idea demands. Light offered the artist a medium that has the quality of being both elusive and effervescent while aggressively pervading an environment with its message. Over the first three decades of his career, Nauman created a significant body of works that employ light. The artist explored the medium of light as a means of grappling with such questions as how perception is shaped by light and space and how meaning is conveyed, questions that the artist confronts throughout his artistic production. When Nauman works with light he explores the twists and turns of perception, logic and meaning with an earnest playfulness that characterizes his art.

The exhibition is curated by Joseph D. Ketner II, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s new chief curator. An 80-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Sponsored by Carlene and Andy Ziegler.

Masters of 20th-Century American Comics
April 29 – August 20, 2006
Baker/Rowland Exhibition Galleries

Comic strips and comic books were among the most popular and influential art forms of the 20th century. This exhibition examines 15 key American artists who helped define the form and brought it to the highest level of artistic expression. It features an extensive selection of more than 300 original drawings, progressive proofs, vintage-printed Sunday pages, and comic books by Winsor McCay (“Little Nemo”), Lyonel Feininger, George Herriman (“Krazy Kat”), E.C. Segar, Frank King, Chester Gould (“Dick Tracy”), Milton Caniff, Charles Schulz, Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman (“MAD Magazine”), R. Crumb, Gary Panter, Chris Ware, and Art Spiegelman (“Maus”).

The first part of the exhibition traces the beginnings of American newspaper comic strips, focusing on the great achievements of this art form through the first decades of the 20th century. The second part of the exhibition considers comic books from their early days as a form in which newspaper comics were reprinted, through their Golden Age when comic books were the dominant popular medium for narrative illustration, and finally to the rise of the independent comics movement.

Co-organized by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hammer Museum. The exhibition is organized by independent scholar John Carlin in association with Brian Walker. The exhibition is coordinated at the Milwaukee Art Museum by Margaret Andera, curator.

Biedermeier: The Invention of Simplicity
September 13, 2006 – January 1, 2007
Baker/Rowland Exhibition Galleries

This is the first exhibition on the Biedermeier period in North America and in Europe. The exhibition focuses on the “invention of simplicity” in the Biedermeier period in Central Europe. Biedermeier brings together for the first time 300 outstanding examples of German, Austrian and Eastern European furniture, related decorative arts, works on paper and paintings that document the truly innovative character of the Biedermeier period from 1815 to 1830. Many of these works have startling affinities with designs of today. Among the exhibition highlights are paintings by Caspar David Friedrich, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Georg Friedrich Kersting, and Eduard Gaertner; and numerous outstanding examples of sofas, chairs, secretary desks, porcelain, glass, wallpapers, and textiles. The exhibition provides a survey of the Biedermeier period and examines the works as precursors of modernism and contemporary art.

The term “Biedermeier” is often assumed to be the surname of a cabinetmaker of the period, but is actually an imaginary character – a pseudonym that played on the German adjective “bieder,” meaning plain and unpretentious, and “Meier,” a common German surname. The furniture, decorative arts, ceramics, glass and paintings of the period reflected the taste of the newly emerging bourgeoisie. Emphasizing less extravagant means, a new standard of beauty was created through proportion, simplicity, utility and elegance.

The exhibition is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum in collaboration with the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin and the Albertina in Vienna. It is curated by Laurie Winters, curator of earlier European art at MAM, in collaboration with a team of international scholars. After it’s showing in Milwaukee, the exhibition will travel to the Albertina in Vienna, the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, and the Louvre in Paris.

A 360-page catalogue with approximately 300 full-color images and six essays by leading experts in the field will accompany the exhibition.


John Szarkowski: Photographs
September 29, 2005 – January 1, 2006
Koss Gallery

This first retrospective of photographs by John Szarkowski introduces the art of a famous Wisconsin native. Although best known for his pioneering curatorial vision as the Director of the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Szarkowski was also an accomplished photographer with an impressive record of exhibitions and publications at the time of his appointment to MoMA in 1962. Upon his retirement in 1991, he returned to making pictures, revisiting and extending projects he had begun much earlier. This exhibition considers the full trajectory of Szarkowski’s career as a photographer whose life-long engagement with the American landscape shapes his perspective on man’s place within it. The show’s 70 exquisitely printed black-and-white prints provide a long overdue survey of his entire oeuvre, from early studies of architect Louis Sullivan’s Chicago skyscrapers and visual explorations of the rural Midwest to recent images of upstate New York’s vernacular architecture and Arizona’s desert landscape.

John Szarkowski: Photographs is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is generously supported by Randi and Bob Fisher and Charlotte and David Winton. The Milwaukee Art Museum installation is coordinated by Lisa Hostetler, assistant curator of prints, drawings and photographs, and is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. John and Kathy MacDonough. It is accompanied by a catalogue.

More and Less: Post-Minimal Prints and Drawings
February 9 – May 7, 2006
Koss Gallery

The severe tenets of Minimalism, which stormed the American art scene in the mid-and late 1960s, left artists working in the early 1970s with a challenge. How could art move forward after it had been pared down to the bare essentials of form? For artists like Brice Marden, Pat Steir, Sol LeWitt and Richard Serra, the answer was to reintroduce the gesture, or artist’s hand, to the work, while remaining dedicated to economy of composition. For others, like Bruce Nauman, Barry Le Va, Ed Ruscha, Dennis Oppenheim and Vito Acconci, the answer was to create artwork that solely represented ideas, or had no physical presence at all-that is, to stage action, events or performances. This group of artists has become increasingly important over the decades, as the ideas they instigated in the 1970s continue to influence new generations. Culled primarily from the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Collection, More and Less: Post-Minimal Prints and Drawings traces these trends from their inception to the present.

The exhibition is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and curated by Sarah Kirk, associate curator of prints, drawings and photographs.

Géricault to Cézanne: Nineteenth-Century French Prints
May 25 – September 3, 2006
Koss Gallery

In its path to becoming a modern democratic nation, nineteenth-century France went through numerous political and cultural upheavals. As communication, transportation and technology progressed, artists changed their approach to conform to a rapidly changing national sensibility. Prints were an affordable and sophisticated form of art that was accessible to the growing bourgeois class, and filled its need to feel a part of elite culture. Likewise, artists enjoyed the income and fame that print editions brought them, and nearly all tried their hand in the graphic arts. Drawn primarily from the Collection, Géricault to Cézanne: Nineteenth-Century French Prints surveys this thriving period of art history, beginning with the Romantic work of Géricault and Delacroix, through Barbizon artists such as Corot and Millet, to the pre-modern innovations of Degas and Cézanne.

The exhibition is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and curated by Sarah Kirk, associate curator of prints, drawings and photographs.


Artists Interrogate: Race and Identity
July 7 – October 9, 2005
Cudahy Gallery

The second in a series of exhibitions on social issues, Artists Interrogate: Race and Identity will include more than eighty objects drawn primarily from the permanent collection that explore how race and heritage issues influence politics and individuality in contemporary culture. These works–which span a variety of media from printmaking and photography to video and artist’s books–are drawn primarily from the permanent collection and touch on identity issues for Americans of African, Caucasian, Jewish, Latino, Native and Asian descent. Examples include Glenn Ligon’s untitled series based on Ellison’s seminal novel Invisible Man ; Danny Lyon’s photo essay of the SNCC during the Civil Rights Movement; Tina Barney’s photographs of wealthy Anglo-Americans; Art Spiegelman’s Maus -related work; Luis Jiménez’s interpretation of contemporary Latino life in the United States; Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s examinations of the crossroads between Native and European culture; Roger Shimomura’s explorations of Japanese-American heritage; and Caren Heft’s description of Hmong traditions as practiced in Wisconsin. Offering a wide range of viewpoints, this exhibition will provide a glimpse into the complexity of the American people in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The exhibition is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and curated by Sarah Kirk, associate curator of prints, drawings and photographs . Sponsored by Rockwell Automation.

The American West 1871-74: Photographs from the American Geographical Society Library
October 27, 2005 – January 1, 2006
Cudahy Gallery

In 1871 the U.S. government charged George Wheeler with exploring and documenting the uncharted expanse of American land west of the 100th Meridian. The medium was just over three decades old at the time, but photography’s proven effectiveness as a pictorial medium compelled Wheeler to include a photographer on his expeditions. In 1871, 1873 and 1874 the photographer was Timothy O’Sullivan – one of the medium’s most talented practitioners – and in 1872 William Bell replaced him on the team. Despite the arduous topography and a complicated photographic technique, O’Sullivan and Bell produced some of the most breathtaking and memorable images in American art. Their photographs not only documented territory; they forged our vision of the landscape, its indigenous population, and the mining camps that dotted the western frontier. This exhibition will present approximately 65 albumen prints and stereographs made for the project by O’Sullivan and Bell, along with the maps that resulted from Wheeler’s surveys.

The exhibition is curated by Lisa Hostetler, Milwaukee Art Museum assistant curator of prints, drawings and photographs with materials drawn from the American Geographical Society Library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Luke Swank: Modernist Photographer
March 16 – June 11, 2006
Cudahy Gallery

In the 1930s Luke Swank was one of America’s most talented photographers. His mastery of a broad stylistic range and eclectic choice of subject matter-a steel mill, the circus, Philadelphia streets, and rural Pennsylvania life-reveal an insatiable intellectual curiosity and an incisive photographic eye. Julien Levy, one of the most prominent and influential gallery owners of the time, mounted a solo exhibition of Swank’s work in 1933, and his work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art several times between 1932 and 1941. But despite such influential supporters and the high quality of his work, he and his photographs slipped into obscurity, largely as a result of his premature death in 1944 and the underdeveloped market for photographic art at that time. This exhibition of approximately 100 photographs begins the process of restoring Swank to his proper place within the history of American Modernism.

The exhibition was organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, and curated by professor of journalism and adjunct curator at Michigan State University, Howard Bossen, who also authored the accompanying catalogue. The coordinating curator for the Milwaukee Art Museum is Lisa Hostetler, assistant curator of prints, drawings and photographs.

In Living Color: Photographs by Saul Leiter
Summer 2006
Cudahy Gallery

Like other New York street photographers of the 1940s and 1950s, Saul Leiter was adept at translating the mood and atmosphere of urban life into photographic form. What makes him unusual is his exceptional talent for composing images in color. Grounded in the subtle hues and muted tones of daily life, Leiter’s stunningly lyrical images recall the Abstract Expressionism of Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Richard Pousette-Dart. By presenting familiar urban structures as yawning swaths of color and transforming pedestrian attire into patterned Pointillist compositions, Leiter’s color images stake new aesthetic territory in the reality of the contemporary world. His sustained dedication to color photography in the 1950s and early 1960s occurred at a time when making photographic prints in color was expensive and not very accessible to the average artist. As a result, most of his color work-apart from a small number of prints he made for exhibition-existed only in the form of 35-milimeter slides until about ten years ago. This exhibition will present approximately 60 color images, along with an introductory selection of Leiter’s black-and-white street photographs.

The exhibition is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and curated by Lisa Hostetler, assistant curator of prints, drawings and photographs. A book of Leiter’s color photographs, to be published by Steidl in the fall of 2005, will also be available.


About Face: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the African-American Image
June 30 – November 27, 2005
Decorative Arts Gallery

Toussaint L’Ouverture was a former slave in Haiti who led the first successful slave revolt in the Americas in the 1790s. Since that time he has been a symbol of power and rebellion in the Atlantic world, hated and feared by opponents of racial equality, but also revered by the black community in Haiti and throughout the African Diaspora. Among the many important commemorations of Toussaint is a group of portrait pitchers that are among the most striking of American ceramics. Made about 1840, probably for sale to abolitionists in the Boston area, these pitchers are boldly sculpted representations of an African-American male with a French tri-corner hat (one of Toussaint’s most recognizable attributes). To modern eyes the portrait – with its thick lips, wide, flat nose, a heavy brow and stylized curling hair – is exaggerated in a fashion that suggests racial stereotyping. Yet this representation, which today seems like caricature, may have been meant to lionize Toussaint, emphasizing his dangerous strength at a time when fighting slavery was still a desperate struggle.

The exhibition considers these extraordinary objects from several perspectives, situating them in four contexts that illuminate their meaning: historical representations of Toussaint (including works by the great 20 th century African-American painter Jacob Lawrence); other abolitionist propaganda ceramics; derogatory racial images of the 19 th century; and pots made by African-Americans as a way of shaping their own identities, including face jugs. This range of material – some of it beautiful, some of it disturbing – will demonstrate the continuing resonance of this Haitian leader and American audiences, bridging past and present perceptions.

The exhibition is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and curated by Glenn Adamson, curator of the Chipstone Foundation/MAM adjunct curator and Jon Prown, director of the Chipstone Foundation.

Enter the Dragon: The Beginnings of English Chinoiserie, 1680 – 1710
December 22, 2005 – April 30, 2006
Decorative Arts Gallery

The inception of the widespread taste for chinoiserie in England occurred in the 1680s as artisans of all sorts decorated their wares with fantastic ornament inspired by the art of the Far East. This exhibition, which coincides with the Milwaukee Art Museum’s recent acquisition of an outstanding silver monteith bowl from the period, will explore the explosion in exotic imagery that gripped England between about 1680 and 1710. The show will also briefly address the American reception of the trend a few decades later. Media represented will include engraved silver; enameled imported porcelain and domestic stoneware; “Bleu Persan” and other delftware; embroidered textiles; and “Japanned” furniture. Many objects will be drawn from the collection of the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee and from private collections in the area.

This exhibition is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and is curated by Sarah Fayen, assistant curator at the Chipstone Foundation.

Early American Prints in the Chipstone Collection
May 18 – August 20, 2006
Decorative Arts Gallery


The Scholastic Art Awards – Wisconsin Regional Exhibition
January 28 – February 25, 2006
Pieper Education Gallery and Cudahy Gallery

The Scholastic Art Awards is the most prestigious national competition and exhibition for high school art students. This competition, conducted nationally by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, Inc. recognizes and encourages excellence in the visual arts across the country.

The Wisconsin Regional Exhibition, held at MAM since 1976, features approximately 350 outstanding works from throughout Wisconsin in 17 different media categories, by young people grades 7-12. The works on view are selected from approximately 1,700 entries by 24 jurors (artists and art educators from a wide range of backgrounds), and are juried from the categories of Animation; Ceramics and Glass; Computer Art; Apparel Design; Graphic Design; Installation/Environmental Design; Jewelry; Plans, Models and Illustrations; Product Design; Digital Imagery; Drawing; Mixed Media (Including all Books); Painting; Photography; Printmaking; Sculpture; and Video and Film.

The Silver Key Award denotes statewide recognition; Gold Key Award winning artworks continue on to national competition. Winners are recognized at an Awards Ceremony at the Milwaukee Art Museum in Windhover Hall.

This program is organized and curated by Barbara Brown Lee, chief educator and Helena Ehlke, scholastic coordinator.

# # #