New art gallery opens in Menomonee Valley design district

Owners display extensive private art collection to the public for the first time

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:10 pm

John Shannon

Local art collectors John Shannon and Jan Serr over the years have curated a private collection of more than 3,600 contemporary artworks. Most of the works have never been publicly displayed, but that will now change as the husband and wife duo open a new art museum and gallery in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley.

The gallery, known as The Warehouse, occupies a 4,000-square-foot space in the historic former Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Co. building, located at 1635 W. Saint Paul Ave.

In 2014, Shannon purchased and renovated the five-story building to later launch his art storage and preservation business, Guardian Fine Art Services, which occupies the majority of the building.

Admission to The Warehouse is free. It will display works by local artists along with art from Shannon and Serr’s private collection, which includes Andy Warhol, Georges Braque, Milton Avery and Pablo Picasso. The gallery will also host arts-related events. 

“Concentration” is the first show at The Warehouse

“We see The Warehouse as a new arts hub for Milwaukee and Wisconsin,” Shannon said. “We look forward to hosting shows from our collection and of works of significant artists, as well as holding events that will benefit the arts community and arts lovers.”

The Warehouse recently named Laura Sims Peck as curator. She had previously served as curator and manager of The Union Art Gallery at UW-Milwaukee.

Peck’s first project was the museum’s inaugural exhibit, called “Concentrations,” which runs through Feb. 8. The show includes 70 artworks, representing 53 artists, from Serr and Shannon’s collection. 

Gathered over decades, this collection is personal,” Peck said. “The works have been regularly displayed in the home of the collectors, and lived with daily. They range from contemporary craft and monotypes, to self-portraits and figurative works, and all set the tone of the collection as a whole. Many have never been exhibited publicly.”

Information about upcoming events is available on the gallery’s website.

The Warehouse sits amidst the new West St. Paul St. Paul Avenue Design District, which also includes Bachman Furniture, BBC Lighting, Brass Light Gallery, Guardian Fine Art Services, House of Stone, ProStar Surfaces and Riverview Antique Market.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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