Checking out the not-so-modest Milwaukee Art Museum

banner milwaukee

I don’t often write about plain old non-quirky art museums in U.S. cities, because they’re kind of a dime a dozen. But the Milwaukee Art Museum is a bit different, as you can tell simply from looking at the shape of the building.

milwaukee art museum

The wing-like pavilion was added in 2001, and that has really increased the cool factor. Looking at the museum from a side angle creates another interesting view.

art museum exterior

I could make an entire post just from shots of the building from the outside and from the inside, where the view gets even cooler.

art museum interior

Folks in Milwaukee are rightfully proud of this museum, but it gets kind of ridiculous because they have an entire exhibit dedicated to the construction of the museum itself, with lots of miniature models of the structure. It’s a little silly. Humility, people!

art museum models

As for the art, there’s lots of good stuff on display. Any post I write about art has to include Andy Warhol. They have one of Warhol’s Brillo boxes here. (To see the rest, visit the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.)

warhol brillo

A naked torso looks out on those arriving to the main wing.

torso corridor

More nudity. Hide your kids, hide your wife!

nude sculpture

The piece on the left is just a black square. If my notes are correct, it’s “Abstract Painting” by Ad Reinhardt. It’s one of those pieces you sometimes see at museums that makes you say, Wait a minute… I could have made that!

abstract paintings

I like the modern art because it’s so strange.

modern art

Some of the art overlooks the lake.

art lake

Whether it’s a sports hall of fame or ancient art sculptures, I’m a fan of busts.

art sculpture

Milwaukee Art Museum specifics

The facility is currently open Tuesday through Sunday from 10-5, with extended hours on Thursdays. Base price for adults is $15. Parking is available in a garage beneath the facility.

Among the collections are a room full of pre-1900 decorative arts, including a lot of furniture; an impressive selection of photography; American folk art; Renaissance and Baroque pieces; and prints and drawings dating back at least 500 years. Nearly 20,000 works are housed in the place.

The museum gets bonus points because photography is allowed in almost every room, aside from a few exhibits. I would highly recommend a visit.

large painting

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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Chicago-based journalist and blogger who seeks out quirky sights and awesome destinations throughout North America and beyond.

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