Milwaukee Art Museum
Behold a moving masterpiece on Lake Michigan
Experiencing the works of art at the Milwaukee Art Museum begins long before you walk through the doors. As you approach via a pedestrian bridge, you see the 90-foot-high glass-walled reception hall, capped by a stunning white cone composed of 72 steel fins that unfurl into wings stretching more than 200 feet from tip to tip. Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee, the enormous moving sculpture looks like a gull taking flight.
Renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava designed the museum’s Quadracci Pavilion and its unique roof. Unveiled in 2001, the project complements existing museum buildings designed by noted architects Eero Saarinen (1957) and David Kahler (1975). The Quadracci is the first building in the United States designed by Calatrava, whose CV includes the Olympic stadium in Athens and the new transportation hub at New York’s World Trade Center.
The buzz over the addition has brought renewed attention to the museum and its diverse collections, which include everything from a 16th-century Brussels tapestry to modern and contemporary art by Warhol, Miró, Kandinsky, Picasso and others. Among its most notable permanent collections are one of the world’s premier collections of 20th-century Haitian art and 22 works by Wisconsin native Georgia O’Keeffe, in the largest dedicated O’Keeffe gallery outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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