The Milwaukee Art Museum
announced Thursday that it has received a $4.4 million gift from Bader Philanthropies, Inc.
and has established the Isabel and Alfred Bader European Art Program Endowment Fund.
Honoring the late Drs. Isabel and Alfred Bader, the endowment fund provides permanent support for the museum’s Isabel and Alfred Bader Curator of European Art. Additionally, the gift supports the exhibition Art, Life, Legacy: Northern European Paintings in the Collection of Isabel and Alfred Bader, opening in September, which features more than 75 Dutch and Flemish masterpieces, including works by Rembrandt van Rijn and Jan Lievens, that the Baders assembled in Milwaukee.
The Isabel and Alfred Bader European Art Program Endowment Fund underwrites the position held by Tanya Paul, an expert in 17th-century Dutch art who has held the role of Isabel and Alfred Bader Curator of European Art since 2013 when it was first established.
“For decades, Isabel and Alfred Bader’s shared vision and dedication elevated the Milwaukee Art Museum’s European art program to national renown. Bader Philanthropies’ generous gift enables us to maintain this collection, continue scholarly research, and ensure access for everyone, continuing our work in the spirit that the Baders would have wanted,” said Marcelle Polednik, the Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
“I have been honored to serve as the museum’s inaugural Isabel and Alfred Bader Curator of European Art for the past decade. I’m grateful for the opportunity to carry on Isabel and Alfred’s legacy and passion for connoisseurship, research, and education thanks to their incredible generosity. I’m particularly looking forward to organizing programming and exhibitions that uphold the rigorous scholarship of the European art program,” said Paul.
This fall, the Milwaukee Art Museum is organizing the exhibition Art, Life, Legacy: Northern European Paintings in the Collection of Isabel and Alfred Bader, the only U.S. presentation of more than 75 artworks from the Baders’ collection of Dutch and Flemish masterpieces of the Baroque period. Bader Philanthropies is the presenting sponsor of the exhibition in Milwaukee. Subsequently, the collection will return to its permanent home at Canada’s Queen’s University Agnes Etherington Art Centre.
“Bader Philanthropies is proud to create this Endowment Fund so that Milwaukee residents and visitors can continue to experience and learn from the European art collection that Isabel and Alfred helped build,” stated Daniel J. Bader, president/CEO of Bader Philanthropies. “My family derived great satisfaction from supporting and working alongside the staff of the Milwaukee Art Museum. We look forward to inviting the public to share Isabel and Alfred’s love for art through the Museum’s forthcoming exhibition of many treasured works from their collection, as well as through the ongoing educational outreach and exciting art-historical discoveries that the Endowment Fund supports.”