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Anthony Petullo Collection History


Graphic: Fliegen-Wald from by Adolf Wölfli

Adolf Wölfli (Swiss, 1864–1930) Fliegen-Wald, ca. 1921 Pencil and colored pencil on paper
19 3/4 × 26 1/4 in. (50.17 × 66.68 cm)
Gift of Anthony Petullo M2012.272 Photo credit: Larry Sanders

The Anthony Petullo Collection greatly enhances the Milwaukee Art Museum’s holdings of self-taught material. Petullo, a retired Milwaukee businessman, built his collection over a span of three decades, acquiring works by the most important European and American artists in the genre. The Petullo Collection’s strength is in European self-taught art and represents the most extensive grouping of this work in any American museum or private collection. Petullo’s intention from the outset was to build a personal collection that would complement the Museum’s holdings, and his gift now firmly establishes the Milwaukee Art Museum as a leading American institution for self-taught material.