The Brooks Stevens Archives is one of several special Museum Collection archives and was acquired from the Stevens family in 1997. As one of the country’s first industrial designers, Stevens—acutely aware of his own place in history—began visually documenting the activities of his design firm in 1935. The archive is composed of nearly 20,000 visual materials spanning Stevens’ entire career.
The collections of the George Mann Niedecken Archives consist primarily of the design drawings for interior furnishings, including furniture, rugs, window treatments, lighting, and murals, executed by George Mann Niedecken. The collections contain office records, documents, furniture catalogs, and ephemera of the Niedecken-Walbridge Company, as well as vintage photographs of Niedecken-designed interiors. The collection also includes drawings and paintings of various subjects completed by Niedecken while he was an art student and throughout his life.
The Landfall Press Archive, acquired by the Milwaukee Art Museum in 1992, includes etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts by artists of national and international renown. The collection consists of more than six hundred prints, as well as supplementary materials. Among the nearly five thousand pieces in the archive are more than 600 editioned prints as well as supplementary materials, including; proofs, plates, negatives, and color separations.
The Anthony Petullo Collection of Self-Taught and Outsider Art is one of the premier collections of its kind in the country. Comprised of nearly five hundred pieces, two-thirds of which are European, the collection consists of works ranging from the early twentieth-century to the present, and includes many of the most renowned American artists in the field such as Bill Traylor, Henry Darger, and Minnie Evans. In 2010, Petullo gave the bulk of his collection to the Milwaukee Art Museum, comprising more than 300 drawings, paintings and sculptures. Along with artwork, Petullo donated his personal papers for this manuscript collection.
The records of the Anthony Petullo Manuscript Collection include correspondence, photographs of the artists and Mr. Petullo, his personal research, artwork, articles, general ephemera, etc., relating largely to his collecting activities.