Milwaukee Art Museum announces ‘Plan for the Future’

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:59 am

After two years of negotiations and planning, the Milwaukee Art Museum has announced its Plan for the Future, a comprehensive public campaign to restore the War Memorial and Kahler buildings and reinstall the Museum’s galleries.

The Plan for the Future is part of the Museum’s $15 million commitment to the $25 million project in partnership with Milwaukee County.

View a photo gallery of renderings of the addition here.

“In spring of 2013, Milwaukee County made a generous $10 million contribution toward repairing the Saarinen and Kahler buildings, which house the Museum’s Collection galleries. Thanks to this support, the damage that has accumulated over the years will be fixed,” said Daniel Keegan, Museum director. “In partnership with the county, and in recognition of our role in the community, the Museum pledged to raise an additional $15 million to make repairs, renovations associated with the restoration of the buildings and the reinstallation of the collections. We are pleased to have already received significant support toward our goal, and are now in the final stages of fundraising.”

The Museum will ask for public donations as part of its campaign.

“Public support of our initiative to restore the state’s most significant war memorial, as well as protect its most important art collection, is key,” said Keegan. “We want our visitors, supporters, and neighbors to know that they are integral to the success of the Museum. The Milwaukee Art Museum is a community treasure, and the Plan for the Future will reinvigorate the galleries and the Collection itself, making the Museum more accessible for tourists and visitors.”

The Plan for the Future will:

* Improve the environment for visitors and provide a safe home for more than 30,000 works of art in the Museum’s collection by repairing the Saarinen building and Kahler addition, after decades of deferred maintenance.

* Make it possible for more art to be on view to the public by significantly increasing gallery space.

* With the addition of a new lakeside entrance, establish easier public access to the Museum, the collection, and a critical exhibition gallery — thereby providing a better visitor experience.

* Re-imagine how visitors approach the collection and experience the art, through significant changes to the presentation of the art and a more intuitive layout.

* Conserve energy and improve the lighting of the art, with the installation of new LED bulbs throughout the Museum’s galleries.

* Add bathrooms on every level.

“As we begin this restoration process, I want to stress that the Museum remains open throughout the year. Most programs, events, tours, and activities, including Lakefront Festival of Art, MAM After Dark, Yoga, and Art in Bloom, will continue while the galleries are under repair,” said Keegan. “We have a stellar lineup of exhibitions for the Quadracci Pavilion that our visitors will not want to miss.”

Repairs and restorations to the Milwaukee County War Memorial and the Milwaukee Art Museum are set to begin in the fall. A leaky roof, mold infiltration, a failed HVAC system, broken concrete, leaking windows and foundation seepage are among the problems that need to be fixed.

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