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"Make Milwaukee": The Milwaukee Art Museum | Favorites of the Permanent Collection


Talking art with Brigid Globensky, Director of Education at MAM


Listen: Growing up in Milwaukee, I was lucky enough to attend Milwaukee Public Schools, where I was treated with so many field trips to the Milwaukee Art Museum, the halls of the museum felt like home. Our class would file in, break into small groups, and a docent would lead us around the galleries, giving us a guided and expert tour of the collection. To this very day, when I look at nearly any painting in the old wing, an imagine of folded legs and wide eyes sparks up in my memory.

Seeing as we're in the middle of a campaign celebrating art in Milwaukee, I thought to myself, "Let's see if the docents still have that art-loving magic." So, on a regular Thursday afternoon, I dropped into the Milwaukee Art Museum and asked a handful of MAMers to show me their mettle. And they did -- listen to the results below.


Chalk Board? Painting? Art? All? (Cy Twombly's "Untitled")

 -Brigid Globensky, Director of Education at the Milwaukee Art Museum, was kind enough to wrangle the docents for me and facilitate the tour. And at the very end, I convinced her to take a turn as docent. She brought me to Cy Twobly's "Untitled" (see above):

You know, I bet every member of the Milwaukee Museum staff (especially the security guards who spend so much time in the galleries) has a favorite painting. Someday, I have to get back there and mine those minds.

Joe! (And you can see a bit of the Vlamick over my shoulder.)

 -Our first docent! Joe Miller introduces us to the painting of a wild beast (well, actually, a fauve). Listen as Joe paints his picture of Maurice Vlaminck's "The Wheat Field:"

I wish you could have been standing next to me while Joe Miller spoke -- you can certaily hear the excitement in his voice, but you could also see it in his body language.


Jonas lays it down for me.


 -In this piece, Jonas Karvelis talks about a new favorite of his -- Jim Nutt's "Excuse Me (A Touch Surprised)." His interest in this painting may have developed recently, but you can hear his passion as he speaks: I would love Jonas to take me around the entire museum someday. In fact, if you can ever arrange it, I heard he gives a phenomenal tour of the Haitian Collection (more on that soon!).


Jim Nutt's "Excuse Me (A Touch Surprised)


 -For our last piece, Diane Richards introduces us to Marc Chagall's "The Horseman." I can almost hear the first time I listened to a docent speak about this piece as a child: Unfortunately, Diane did not want to be photographed, but "The Horseman" is one of the most vibrant and bustling paintings in the whole collection. Definitely worth a few contemplative minutes.

Whether they're old friends or new acquaintances, the halls of the Milwaukee Art Museum are packed with artworks worth loving -- especially the wonderful artworks so wonderfully discussed above. Now, go find them yourself! No special occasion required -- get down to MAM and take your time. (By the way, there are more docents to come! Listen for them in the coming weeks!)

P r o duced By: Adam Carr

Music: Dreamy and whimsical music from Detektivbyrån's Wermland.