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Photo Essay: Private treasures of Milwaukee collectors

The exhibition Milwaukee Collects a celebration of how art connects people with each other and the community, is on display at the Milwaukee Art Museum until May 21.

With works from almost 50 collections, including more than 100 objects, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Milwaukee Collects exhibition offers the public a rare glimpse into some of the city’s most interesting private art collections.

“The works of art at the Museum are a direct expression of our city’s culture, reflecting the interests of the people who reside here,” said Marcelle Polednik, Ph.D. “Milwaukee’s collectors have very carefully considered and built their collections based on their personal interests and unique artistic eye.”

Artists represented in Milwaukee Collects include Jules Chéret, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, John Sloan, Thomas Sully, Edward Weston. Since the institution’s inception nearly 130 years ago, the Museum’s Collection has been thoughtfully shaped by the symbiotic relationship between local private collectors and the Museum.

These images offer a look into the living rooms, and even attics, of Milwaukee neighbors who have a passion for collecting art that spans centuries, media forms, and artistic styles.

The exhibition How Posters Work features more than 80 rarely seen posters from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s permanent collection. Alongside loans from the Merrill C. Berman collection, the exhibition demonstrates ways some of the world’s most creative designers have employed and pushed the boundaries of two-dimensional design, harnessed the mechanics and psychology of perception, and mastered the art of storytelling to produce powerful forms of visual communication.

© Photo

Lee Matz

About The Author

Lee Matz

Former Creative Director and Photojournalist for the Milwaukee Business Journal, Lee brings his years of international experience as a foreign correspondent in Asia and Europe, with a background in publishing, advertising, and design, to the Milwaukee Independent. His list of awards include three consecutive top honors from the Milwaukee Press Club. Lee proudly uses MCTS as his exclusive mode of transportation, other than walking, for all the news stories he reports about in Milwaukee.


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