Friday, December 21, 2007

On the first day...

...of my visit to Wisconsin, we went to the Milwaukee Art museum, which is architecturally spectacular. Well, at least the new section is, with its "sailboat" sunscreen panels; the museum looks like it's going to sail off into Lake Michigan. You walk into a huge atrium with sky-high windows (currently framing a large Christmas tree) and a crazy, colorful, twenty-foot Chihuly sculpture.

The collection itself is small but very nice, with the highlights being several Georgia O'Keefes, lots of Flemish/German painting, a fair amount of medieval articles, and one sarcophagus. I appreciated their attempt to arrange things in the new section chronologically, which is a great teaching tool. In the older section, it's more by exhibit; there was another, more normal-sized Chihuly in the glass section and a wonderful collection of Arctic photographs/art, including a beautiful and informative composite drawing/satellite photo of caribou migration. Also some really interesting modern art.

Not to be sordid, but the gift shop was also unbelievably beautifully designed. The Met could take a lesson from them. The basement restaurant also lovely, with huge windows on the lake (which radiated cold, of course, but were well worth it). All in all, a well-crafted smaller museum, and definitely worth the visit if you're ever in Milwaukee.

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