From the Collection: “Orpheus” and Its Mysterious Origins
Through January 28, 2024, Milwaukee Art Museum visitors have the opportunity to explore an exquisite collection of artworks on view in Art, Life, Legacy: Northern European Paintings in the Collection of Isabel and Alfred Bader. The 75 paintings presented in the exhibition were assembled while the Baders, longtime Museum patrons and supporters, were living in Milwaukee. They not only gave artworks to the Museum—many of which are on view in the collection galleries—but were formative in the development of the European art program at the Museum.
One such artwork is the painting Orpheus by Adriaen van Nieulandt the Younger, on view in gallery S106. The painting shows a popular mythological scene, and closer inspection of the work reveals the artwork’s interesting origins.
Granida and Daifilo: Celebrating Dutch Theater in the Collection of Alfred Bader
Opening September 29 at the Milwaukee Art Museum is Art, Life, Legacy: Northern European Paintings in the Collection of Isabel and Alfred Bader. The 75 paintings presented in the exhibition were assembled while the Baders, longtime Museum patrons and supporters, were living in Milwaukee. They not only gave artworks to the Museum—many of which are on view in the collection galleries—but were formative in the development of the European art program at the Museum.
In anticipation of the exhibition, today we’ll look at two paintings with the same subject that passed through Alfred Bader’s hands: one is on view in the Museum’s collection galleries and the other is in the exhibition.
For more than two years, the conservation team at the Milwaukee Art Museum has been collaborating with other experts to conserve Robert Gober’s Untitled installation so it can return to the galleries and again immerse viewers in an animated, watery scene, as the artist originally intended. When visitors peer inside the suitcase, they often think the watery tableau is created by a screen. The truth is much more exciting! What you see is a sculpted pool filled with gently lapping water, silicone seaweed, and wax limbs. But this installation, like all artwork, is not inert. Gober made the work in 1997, and over the course of 26 years, mechanical elements became worn and algae grew.
In the Driver’s Seat: Steering a Volvo into the Museum
Spoiler alert: Visitors who come to the Museum for the exhibition Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980 will find a Volvo in the galleries. Dedicated to the extensive cultural exchange between Scandinavia and the U.S. in the 20th century, the exhibition presents the Volvo and its innovative seatbelts as examples of design for social change.
Travel to the studio of Tom Jones, and watch as he creates Bella Falcon, a monumental beaded photograph. The artwork received its debut in the exhibition Native America: In Translation at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The work is the latest addition to Strong Unrelenting Spirits, his portrait series of present-day Ho-Chunk people.
Learn how different objects and materials can change colors and sounds! Look closely at how Christopher Wool used stencils in his Untitled painting in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection. Then use tape resist to make your own colorful paintings. Hear local chamber ensemble Microcosm perform a song where objects block sounds like our tape blocks colors.