Museum Opens Cissie Peltz Memorial Exhibition

Posted on April 23rd, 2013

Museum opens Cissie Peltz memorial exhibition

Milwaukee, Wis – On April 23, the Milwaukee Art Museum opened an exhibition of works in honor of Cissie Peltz, a longtime Milwaukee gallery owner, art patron, and champion of local artists, who passed away on April 3.

Peltz was a pioneer in many aspects of her life. Born in Chicago, Sophia Jean Peltz was an artist at an early age, crafting cartoons with her unique style and wit. As a cartoonist, she broke into a field dominated by men in the early 1950s under the gender-neutral pen name “Cissie,” and was published in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Milwaukee Journal, and the Saturday Review.

Peltz opened her gallery on Milwaukee’s east side in 1989. She was a fervent supporter of female and minority artists and held an annual “Remarkable Women” show that featured the work of artists Alison Saar, Kiki Smith, Kara Walker, and Wisconsin artists Frances Myers and Della Wells, to name but a few.

“For nearly thirty years, Cissie was heavily involved in the Milwaukee Art Museum support groups Print Forum and Contemporary Art Society,” said Dan Keegan, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum. “Curated with the help of Cissie’s son, David Peltz, and Peltz Gallery assistant Cheryl Olson-Sklar, the works featured in this exhibition celebrate her life as an artist, an avid collector, and a welcoming and unassuming gallery owner who wanted simply to introduce people to art.”

Peltz’s own cartoons are on view, along with works by Warrington Colescott, John Nicholson Colt, and others. A sketchbook will also be included in the exhibition for visitors to share their memories of Peltz through words or drawings. The exhibition will be on view through mid-May.

Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2013, the Milwaukee Art Museum houses a rich collection of over 30,000 works, with strengths in 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary art, American decorative arts, and folk and self-taught art. The Museum campus is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and spans three buildings, including the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion and the Eero Saarinen-designed Milwaukee County War Memorial Center. For more information, please visit www.mam.org.