Yesterday, I finally got to see the Milwaukee Art Museum's expansion & remodel which opened to the public on November 24. This expansion has added a lot of space as well as an entrance on the east side of the museum, which can be seen from Lake Michigan:
Work was started on the expansion earlier this year, and then the rest of the museum was closed for a couple of months to connect the old with the new and put back all of the art, most in new and unique ways, into new and existing galleries.
To promote the re-opening, the museum placed crates at locations all over Milwaukee county. The "uncrated" art included many pieces that visitors haven't seen in years as well as new acquisitions.
There was even one in front of my favorite restaurant in Wauwatosa:
The museum dates back to 1888, when local businessman Frederick Layton opened his own gallery. The museum itself was designed by Eero Saarinen and built in the 1950's. The Layton exhibit at the museum re-creates how his collection looked in the original gallery.
My favorite part of the museum has always been its contemporary art section which included sculptures:
Pop art, including a few of Andy Warhol's:
And mid-century furniture and accessories:
I love seeing some of my old favorite pieces of art, including their wonderful gallery of folk art, Haitian art (which I don't think is common in a lot of other art museums), impressionist paintings and historical furniture and pottery. One new permanent collection I'm excited about features a history of photography, which features a lot of the greats like Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Diane Arbus and Walker Evans.
In addition to the new galleries and exhibits, there is a new "wine bar" where you can rest and refresh yourself with small plate items, and three interactive art spaces where children and families can create art of their own, sponsored by Kohl's.
The Milwaukee Art Museum has always been known as a must-visit spot in the Midwest. I think with this new expansion, it may soon be known as one of the premiere art museums in the country. On a side note, I read online this week that Milwaukee may crack Hotwire.com's list of the Top 50 cities to visit in the U.S. due to increased tourism. It's about time!