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Milwaukee Art Museum Announces 2019-20 Slate of Exhibitions and Events


Posted on May 31st, 2019

–  Intimate photographs of Milwaukee; masterworks by Van Gogh, Monet and Degas; and objects spanning nearly 100 years of Scandinavian design influence in the U.S. highlight a year of exhibitions and programming at the Museum. –

Milwaukee, Wis. – May 30, 2019 – The Milwaukee Art Museum will explore the significance and vision behind art collections, as well as the various influences that shape how and what artists create during the institution’s 2019-20 series of exhibitions.

Opening Sept. 6, 2019, in the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts, Portrait of Milwaukee reveals a deep connection between the city of Milwaukee and its residents through photography. Presenting selections from the Museum’s Collection, as well as from local public and private collections, the exhibition shows a city of neighborhoods, small businesses, industry and architecture, bustling with people who call Milwaukee home. Portrait of Milwaukee will be on view through March 1, 2020.

The work of James Benning and Sharon Lockhart will also be on view in the Herzfeld Center Sept. 6-March 1, 2020, and again April 17-Aug. 2, 2020. This durational exhibition puts in conversation the work of Milwaukee-born independent filmmaker and artist Benning and contemporary artist Lockhart who have often cited each other’s influence in the making of their own films.

Beginning Oct. 4, the Museum will present Landfall Press: Five Decades of Printmaking in the Bradley Family Gallery. On view until Feb. 9, 2020, the exhibition honors the fiftieth anniversary of the renowned printing and publishing workshop Landfall Press, founded in Chicago by publisher and master printer Jack Lemon. The Milwaukee Art Museum, as home to the Landfall Press archive, is the perfect place to celebrate and explore this experimental and collaborative wellspring for hundreds of influential artists.

A selection of the most iconic paintings from The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art, will be on view in A Modern Vision: European Masterworks from The Phillips Collection. From Nov. 15, 2019, to March 22, 2020, the exhibition will feature 50 masterworks by towering figures of European modernism, including Edouard Manet, Gustave Caillebotte, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Pierre Bonnard, Wassily Kandinsky, Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso.

The Quilts of Pauline Parker will present a selection of colorful quilts and wall hangings by artist Pauline Parker, whose narrative works are based on stories from history, the Bible, or current events, often focusing on women. On view March 20-July 12, 2020, these rarely-exhibited works can be appreciated both for their mastery of traditional sewing and quilting techniques and for the way Parker transformed scraps of fabric into compelling works of personal, cultural and political expression.

An exhibition featuring pictures by one of the most important American documentary-style photographers of our time, Susan Meiselas, opens April 17, 2020. A member of Magnum Photos since 1976, Meiselas seeks to bear witness to stories that raise provocative questions about the ethics of seeing. The exhibition presents never-before-shown photographs alongside iconic series, on subjects from human rights and conflict to domestic violence that reflect her ongoing commitment to working and sharing the stories of women. Meiselas is the recipient of the 2019 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize.

Opening May 15, 2020, the major international exhibition Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890-1980, is the first to present the extensive design exchanges between the United States and the Nordic countries, bringing the details of a little-known chapter in American culture and history to light. It explores the impact of Scandinavian design on American material culture and, conversely, the influence of American design in Scandinavia. Co-organized with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the exhibition explores a broad range of objects, including furniture, textiles, drawings, graphic design, lighting, silver, ceramics, glass and an automobile, will be on view through Sept. 7, 2020.

Sept. 5, the Museum will celebrate Robert Indiana’s The American LOVE (1966–99) sculpture, recently acquired for the Collection, thanks to the support of an anonymous donor and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

The iconic sculpture, painted red, white, and blue, was previously on display during Sculpture Milwaukee 2018, and will be installed in its new home, outdoors on the Museum’s East End. The community is invited to attend the unveiling of the sculpture at 7:30 p.m.

MAM After Dark, Milwaukee’s artiest party, continues on one Friday evening almost every month for live music, dancing, drinks and art.

On Sept. 20, visitors can party in celebration of Robert Indiana’s and Mark di Suvero’s September birthdays with classic games and cake. Admission is $12 in advance, $14 at the door and free for Museum Members.

Additional themes for MAM After Dark ahead:

Oct. 18: Mystery

Scavenger hunts and discoveries around every corner

$12 in advance, $14 at the door and free for Museum Members


Nov. 15: Friendsgiving
Celebrating good friends and Native American Heritage Month

$12 in advance, $14 at the door and free for Museum Members.

Jan. 31: Miami Nights

Salsa dancing with a Miami and Havana flair

$15 in advance, $19 at the door and free for Museum Members.

Feb. 28: Masquerade

A European-style mardi gras carnival

$15 in advance, $19 at the door and free for Museum Members

March 27: Pajama Party

An un-slumber PJ party

$15 in advance, $19 at the door and free for Museum Members

April 24: Spring Fling

Mint juleps, flowers and fancy hats

$15 in advance, $19 at the door and free for Museum Members

May 29: Members’ Choice

Museum Members pick the theme

$15 in advance, $19 at the door and free for Museum Members

June 19: Lakefront Festival of Art After Dark

The outdoor art fair stays up late

Included in Friday festival admission

Aug. 28: Scandinavian Fest

Kicking off a three-day festival of Nordic culture at the Museum, inspired by Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890-1980

$15 in advance, $19 at the door and free for Museum Members


Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays continues with hands-on art activities, performances, family tours and visiting artists.

Themes include:

Oct. 13: Dia de Los Muertos

Dec. 8: Artful Holiday
Inspired by Landfall Press: Five Decades of Printmaking

March 8: Make It Modern

Inspired by A Modern Vision: European Masterworks from The Phillips Collection

May 3: Needle & Thread

Inspired by The Quilts of Pauline Parker

Aug. 30: Discovering Scandinavia
Wrapping up a three-day celebration of Nordic culture at the Museum

Inspired by Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890-1980

Attendance is included with Museum admission, and free for kids 12 and under, thanks to Kohl’s Cares.

At Teen Night, the evening event created by teens for teens, the Museum will feature teen-led tours through the galleries and exhibitions, hands-on art making and live performances Dec. 5 and May 7, welcoming teens from all over the area. Admission is free, thanks to Meijer as part of Meijer Free First Thursdays.

At Play Date with Art, on the second Friday of each month, the Museum’s youngest visitors can drop in with family members to create art to take home and sing along during Singing Time at 10:30 and 11:15 a.m. Activities are designed for children ages 0-5 along with their caregivers.

During Art in Bloom, visitors will be able to see floral interpretations of works from the Museum’s Collection. April 30-May 3, 2020, more than 30 art-inspired floral installations will be on display throughout Museum’s galleries, and special events include family activities, informational presentations and friendly floral competitions.

Lakefront Festival of Art, hosted by the Museum’s Friends of Art, will return June 19-21, 2020.

Exhibitions throughout 2019 are made possible by the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Visionaries including Debbie and Mark Attanasio, Donna and Donald Baumgartner, John and Murph Burke, Sheldon and Marianne Lubar, Joel and Caran Quadracci, Sue and Bud Selig and Jeff Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation.