From its roots in Milwaukee’s first art gallery in 1888, the Milwaukee Art Museum has grown today to be an icon for Milwaukee and an international tourist destination. The 341,000-square-foot Museum includes the War Memorial Center (1957) designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the Kahler Building (1975) by David Kahler, and the Quadracci Pavilion (2001) created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Central to the Museum’s mission is its role as a premier educational resource, with educational programs that are among the largest in the nation, involving classes, tours, and a full calendar of events for all ages.
Four floors of over forty galleries of art are rotated regularly with works from antiquity to the present in the Museum’s far-reaching Collection. Included in the Collection are 15th– to 20th–century European and 17th– to 20th–century American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, decorative arts, photographs, and folk and self-taught art. Among the best in the nation are the Museum’s holding of American decorative arts, German Expressionism, folk and Haitian art, European and American self-taught art and American art after 1960. The Museum also holds one of the largest collections of works by Wisconsin native Georgia O’Keeffe.