Saturday, November 15, 2008

From Chagall to O'Keefe in one day

GG and I decided to take a field trip today to Milwaukee. We had been there one other time with my mom when she came to visit. We have been talking about trying to get back up there and go to the zoo or the art museum or a Brewers game (OK so maybe I want to go to a Brewers game and GG doesn't but same idea). So anyway, we decided earlier on this week that we were going to go up to Milwaukee and see the Milwaukee Art Museum and then today we decided to add the Milwaukee Public Market to our itinerary. Again, we had been to the Public market before with my mom, but we really liked it so we wanted to go back. We walked around and picked up some small items like tortilla chips and cheese curds, but the highlight of the day was the fried oysters we got from the fish market. They were really good, obviously fresh and hot. We were near a large family who had all kinds of food like calamari, raw oysters and finally mussels. The mussels smelled so amazing, we decided we had to get some of our own to make at home, so we picked up a 2 pound bag and they were nice enough to give us some ice to keep them on and now we have mussels to make this week. We also watched a boy who was about 4 or 5 who was inhaling the calamari and raw oysters, which caused GG and I to comment how our own children will be similar, they will be exposed to so many different types of food and rarely chicken nuggets and hamburgers that they will either gain a taste for it or starve.

Then it was time to go to the art museum. The Milwaukee Art Museum is simply awesome. The architecture is really interesting and modern. There is a long hallway from the ticket desk and entrance way to the museum into the the first floor exhibit halls which is all windows and looks out onto Lake Michigan. Although it was a really drab overcast day, it was still really amazing to look out onto the lake and watch the waves and some really crazy idiot try to go out on a sailboat. The museum itself is two main floors with a mezzanine in between and a smaller exhibit floor in the basement, so there is a total of four floors, but the mezzanine and the basement floor have only a few exhibits on each. We did skip large parts of the museum with the exhibits of the Renaissance and Romance period paintings, I get creeped out by the large emotionless paintings of royalty and the obnoxious religious paintings that seem to dominate these time periods in art. But there were a lot of other artists and art to see. I was incredibly happy to see that the museum had several Georgia O'Keefe paintings and they had their own little exhibit area. I also was able to see a Marc Chagall painting which was very cool for me. I had wanted to see artwork by both of these artists for a long time and this was a great opportunity to see both at one time. The museum also had art by Kandinsky, Picasso, Jasper Johns among many others. The Milwaukee Art Museum was impressive to me in its shear volume of art and different exhibits. Milwaukee does not spring to mind when thinking of art museums like Boston, New York, and Washington, DC, at least not to me and yet this is a great art museum. The special exhibition was called Act/React and was all art in which the museum goers participated in the art. It was a lot of lasers and lights that shifted as you walked around it or on it. Although, this was interesting, both GG and I agreed that it became a bit repetitive and boring, but there was one point in which a little girl was running around on one of the pieces and so it was mildly entertaining watching her react to the arts reaction to her movement. The only piece that was truly interesting was an old wooden table that as you touched it, voices spoke from speakers on the wall. There were sensors that triggered phrases to be spoken by both male and female voices. This was a very odd sensation as when you are interacting with the piece all you are getting sensorially is touching a table and then there are voices and of course more than one person is touching the table at a time, possibly and so there are more than one voices speaking at a time. It is a cacophony of noise and sound, mildly disorienting and definitely like there are voices in your head, but I thought really cool as well. I swore some of the dialogue was from movies I had seen as the voices were mildly familiar and the lines sounded like something I had heard in a movie, but I am not sure. Overall, this is a really good art museum and ranks up there for art museums that I have seen.


Anonymous said...

For all the years I spent in the midwest, I never made it to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

It sounds like you had a great time.

P.S. Never let a babysitter take your future children for fast food. Their palates will never be the same....

Andrew said...
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