Layton Art Collection Board expands partnership with Milwaukee Art Museum

Posted on December 22nd, 2014

Layton Art Collection Board expands partnership with Milwaukee Art Museum
Agreement renews decades-old commitment to protecting Layton’s legacy

Milwaukee, Wis. – The Layton Art Collection, Inc., led for many years by Frederick Vogel III, chair of the Layton Works of Art Committee, and now by Eric Vogel, the current Layton board president, has renewed its historic agreement with the Milwaukee Art Museum to preserve and protect the Layton Collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The Collection, which served as the foundation for Milwaukee’s first public art gallery, has been housed at the Museum since 1957.

“The Museum could not be more proud to continue our partnership with the Layton Art Collection Board of Trustees. The legacy of Frederick Layton, through the generosity of his original gift to Milwaukee of the Layton Art Gallery and the ongoing efforts of the Layton Board of Trustees to acquire works of fine and decorative art, will continue to be enhanced, protected and shared through the Museum’s stewardship and presentation of this important Collection,” said Dan Keegan, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum. “It is an honor to continue our long standing partnership with the Layton Art Collection.”

The new agreement is an extension of a 1955 arrangement in which the Layton Art Gallery and the then-Milwaukee Art Institute coordinated a partnership to showcase the Layton Collection inside the soon-to-be-completed Milwaukee County War Memorial Center. Since that time, under the leadership and counsel of the Layton Art Collection Board of Trustees, the Milwaukee Art Museum has housed and been entrusted with Layton’s Collection.

“I want to thank the leadership of the Milwaukee Art Museum for their continued dedication to Frederick Layton’s legacy,” said Eric Vogel, president of the Layton Art Collection, Inc. “We entered into this collaborative agreement as friends and partners for the benefit of the Milwaukee community, and I think the outcome of this agreement will only reinforce our mutual commitment to protecting and presenting Layton’s masterworks for all to enjoy. After 126 years, Frederick Layton’s name and legacy will continue to play an integral role in supporting the visual arts in Milwaukee.

Under the renewed contract, the Layton Art Collection Board of Trustees retains ownership of the works in the Layton Collection, and the Milwaukee Art Museum retains responsibility for stewardship and presentation of the works. Works that are in the Layton Collection will be specially labeled when the Museum reveals its new gallery spaces in 2015, and there will be a dedicated gallery to honor Mr. Layton and the legacy of the original Layton Art Gallery as well.

“Frederick Layton opened Milwaukee’s first-ever public art gallery in 1888, which laid the foundation for the Milwaukee Art Museum. Since his death in 1919, the Layton Board has strengthened and expanded the Layton Collection, which is now a nationally respected collection of early American painting, furniture and decorative arts, as well as important European paintings from the 19th century, and select examples of 20th century American modern art,” said Vogel. “This historic agreement guarantees that the public will continue to experience the full range and diversity of the Layton Art Collection for generations.”

Prominently situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee Art Museum campus welcomes over 400,000 visitors annually. The Museum was founded over 125 years ago and is the largest and most significant art museum in Wisconsin. It houses a rich collection of over 30,000 works, with strengths in 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary art, and American decorative arts. It is the world’s leading repository for work by untrained creators and has one of the largest collections of works by Georgia O’Keeffe. The Museum’s celebrated Santiago Calatrava–designed Quadracci Pavilion, completed in 2001, showcases both Museum-produced and traveling feature exhibitions.

Beginning in fall 2014, the Museum began an ambitious project to renovate its two oldest buildings, the Eero Saarinen–designed War Memorial Center (1957) and the David Kahler–designed addition (1975), which house the Museum’s Collection Galleries. Increased gallery space, including an entire floor dedicated to photography and new media, an improved gallery layout, and a new lakeside entrance are among the improvements planned. The collections will be off view through fall 2015; however, the Museum is open throughout construction, with a vibrant schedule of exciting exhibitions, educational offerings, and special programs in the Quadracci Pavilion. For more information, visit mam.org.