Museum Director Marcelle Giving a Press Preview

Milwaukee Art Museum Welcomes Summer with New Exhibitions, Lakeside Fun, and Reopened Spaces

Posted on May 25th, 2021

Visitors can explore more art in reopened galleries and enjoy the Museum’s green spaces overlooking Lake Michigan. –

Milwaukee, Wis. – May 25, 2021 – The Milwaukee Art Museum is helping usher in summer with a variety of offerings for visitors, including new exhibitions, opportunities to come together on the Museum’s green spaces overlooking Lake Michigan, and newly reopened spaces to explore.

Opening June 11, Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820–1920 is the first major exhibition to focus on the extensive impact of Spanish art and culture on American painters in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is also the first exhibition to open in the Museum’s Baker/Rowland Galleries since closures due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Co-organized with the Chrysler Museum of Art, the exhibition highlights prominent American artists such as Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri and John Singer Sargent, who traveled to Spain for training and to study the old masters at the Prado Museum in Madrid. 

Through October 3, more than 100 paintings, photographs and prints will be presented chronologically and organized to emphasize migration, tourism and travel in nineteenth-century Spain. Additional themes include the romance and the reality of old Spain; Spanish architecture, gardens and landscapes; Spain’s Nasrid and Islamic history; and the collecting and display of Spanish art in the United States.

In conjunction with the opening of Americans in Spain, the Museum Store will reopen for in-person shopping in a new location inside Windhover Hall, across from the Baker/Rowland Galleries. The East End will also resume its food and beverage service, with a limited menu, and will again be open as an entrance, with admission access to the Museum. Relocated from Windhover Hall, the well-known Chihuly glass sculpture, Isola di San Giacomo in Palude Chandelier II (2000), will have a new prominent home in the East End, where it can be seen and enjoyed from the east lawn and Oak Leaf Trail.

On Thursday, June 17, the Museum will debut Lakeside at MAM on the east lawn. Throughout the summer, during Museum hours, the public is invited to relax, enjoy snacks and refreshments and experience a variety of programming opportunities together. Families will be able to take part in art-making activities outdoors with the Kohl’s Art Studio. Outdoor seating for take-away orders from the East End will be available on the lawn or the Museum’s patio area. Supporting Sponsor of Lakeside at MAM is BMO Harris Bank.

The launch of Lakeside at MAM coincides with open hours at the Museum expanding from Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., to include Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Museum will be a participant in Sculpture Milwaukee 2021’s exhibition, beginning in June. The sculpture Monumental Holistic III (1979) by Betty Gold will be permanently installed on the Museum’s campus, just south of the main entrance to the Quadracci Pavilion. The conservation and reinstallation of this work, which has been off view for more than twenty years, were made possible by the Milwaukee Art Museum Garden Club in honor of its 100th anniversary.

“It feels wonderful to announce this range of new experiences for the summer,” said Robert Stein, Deputy Director and Chief Experience Officer. “The anticipation of welcoming more people back to the Museum as the weather warms is palpable. The addition of major exhibitions, expanded hours and more opportunities to be together again is something we’ve all been waiting for. Lakeside at MAM is an especially exciting new way for the public to connect with the Museum while enjoying safe time together outside.”

As the response to the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, the Museum will continue to balance welcoming more visitors with supporting a safe environment for staff and everyone in the community. Inside the Museum, face coverings will be required for staff and visitors and the one-way path through the galleries will be removed. In the East End, masks may be removed while guests eat and drink. Outdoors, visitors will be asked to follow social distancing protocols, and Museum staff will be masked.

Virtual programming will continue over the summer. Through Sunday, June 6, families are invited to go online for Kohl’s Family Sundays at Home: Sculpture. Beginning at 10 a.m., participants can visit mam.org/family-sundays to learn how to create animal-themed clay vessels, build mixed-media sculptures, and make a “glass” sculpture with plastic containers through how-to videos led by the Museum’s team of educators. Museum staff will also take viewers on a family-friendly tour of outdoor sculptures in the Museum’s collection, including The American LOVE and The Calling.

At Story Time in the Galleries: At Home on June 5, July 3 and August 7 at 10:30 a.m., a Museum educator will read a story, show a work from the collection, and lead an activity.

The popular annual event Lakefront Festival of Art will be a virtual celebration again this year, with highlights shared digitally on the Museum’s website beginning June 18.

In mid-July, the Museum plans to reopen the Mezzanine and Level 2 galleries to visitors, along with three new exhibitions.

The Milwaukee Art Museum extends its sincere thanks to the 2021 Visionaries: Donna and Donald Baumgartner, Murph Burke, and Joel and Caran Quadracci. The Visionaries support the Museum through annual sponsorship of three critical pillars within the Strategic Direction: Art Relevant to the Community, Robust Community Programming and Expansive Hospitality.

Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820–1920 is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. The Henry Luce Foundation is the National Presenting Sponsor of Americans in Spain, which also is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Supporting Sponsors are the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s American Arts Society, and Tourist Office of Spain in Chicago; Contributing Sponsors are Christie’s and The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Ticket reservations to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum can be made at mam.org/visit.

Fri–Sun, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thu, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., beginning June 17

General Admission Pricing
$19 Adults
$17 Students (w/ID), Seniors (65+), Military
Free for Kids 12 & under every day thanks to Kohl’s
Free to Members
Free to Wisconsin K–12 teachers with valid school ID or pay stub

About the Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum welcomes people from throughout the community and the world to find themselves and lose themselves in art, creativity and culture. At any one time, visitors can experience over 2,500 works on view within the Museum’s collection galleries and three ever-changing exhibition spaces; participate in engaging programming; and explore the one-of-a-kind spaces across the 24-acre lakefront campus. The iconic architecture brings together structures designed by Eero Saarinen, David Kahler and Santiago Calatrava. Famous for its moving Burke Brise Soleil, the Museum serves as a symbol for Milwaukee pride and connects the shores of Lake Michigan to the city’s bustling downtown.