Normally, the temporary exhibition space houses in the Calatrava Wing of the Milwaukee Art Museum showcases artworks from well beyond Milwaukee’s borders. We’ve seen furniture from early 19th century Vienna, films from 1930s Germany and Impressionist paintings from mid to late 19th century France. But since March, the space has been home to a cornucopia of art that usually lives elsewhere in town.
Milwaukee Collects is a collaboration between several Milwaukee Art Museum curators and nearly fifty local collectors. The result in an exhibit that includes both a range of media and centuries.
Tanya Paul, the Isabelle and Alfred Bader curator of European Art, says logistics were a big part of the process. "We set up a 'war room' basically, and we spread everything out on the table and said 'ok, these are the things we're really interested in'... it was a fun process of homing in on what pieces were really amazing."
Sande Robinson worked with curator of Contemporary Art Margaret Andera, and loaned a print by American artist Tyanna Buie. Buie used to teach at MIAD.
Eckhart Grohmann worked with Paul and loaned the exhibit a 19th century oil painting by German artist Ludwig Knaus.
Both Grohmann and Robinson would do it again. "I love collecting art and I love sharing it," says Robinson. "Yes, why not share it with the public?" adds Grohmann.
And if the collecting bug bites you once you see this exhibit, curator Margaret Andera has this advice: "The art of becoming a really good collector is to look, and then to look some more, and then, after you're done looking, keep looking."
Milwaukee Collects is on view through May 21st.