Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:32 am
The Milwaukee Art Museum reopened on Tuesday reopened its collection galleries to the public, culminating a $34 million improvement project that added 25,000 square feet of exhibition space.
“The Milwaukee Art Museum is poised to set the standard for a 21st century museum at the heart of a great city,” said museum director Daniel Keegan. “What began as a desire to preserve grew into a significant expansion that sets the future course for the entire institution.”
The project is part of a public-private partnership with Milwaukee County, which owns the buildings and provided $10 million, with the remaining $24 million raised by the museum. It’s the first major reimagining of the collection galleries, including the 1957 Eero Saarinen-designed War Memorial Center and 1975 David Kahler-designed addition.
In addition to the expansion, the $34 million improvement project, designed by HGA Architects, included critical upgrades to building infrastructure. Brookfield-based Hunzinger Construction Company led the construction project. The project also added a new lakeside entrance to the museum and a lakeside coffee and wine bar that is open to the public.
The museum’s collection galleries now span 150,000 square feet. The museum is installing 2,500 works – almost 1,000 more than have been on view previously – from its collection of 30,000.
“Pieces that haven’t been on view for decades are back alongside new acquisitions and old favorites,” said Keegan. “The expansion allows for more comprehensive displays from our Collection as well as more experimental and rotating spaces.”