Museum of Wisconsin Art - West Bend

 share this article
 follow



Wisconsin is a proud state. It's a large state; with a long history. A state that is home to a huge variety of people.

Most people from outside Wisconsin and the Midwest think only about cheese, beer, Packers, and deer hunting when they think Wisconsin. While Wisconsinites are unarguably devoted to these cherished pillars of our culture, we know that Wisconsin is also home to dozens of Nobel prize laureates, writers, poets, musicians and artists.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend has devoted its entire floor plan to the display of art made by Wisconsinites. And, the floor plan isn't small. The MoWA began in 1961 as a small community gallery, but has recently opened a sprawling modern museum capable of housing enormous paintings and sculptures.





Tom Uttech - Minwabadam - 1998 - Museum of Wisconsin Art
Tom Uttech - Minwabadam - 1998 - Museum of Wisconsin Art
Wisconsin winters are hard. Even spring and fall can be hard. Being a Wisconsinite requires resourcefullness. You've got to get yourself out of the house in spite of what the seasons may throw at you. So, we are always in search of a wide open indoor space to walk around and stretch our legs. The Museum of Wisconsin Art is one such place. You can escape the doldrums of winter, walk around through bright and airy galleries, and all while in the midst of truly magnificent artworks.

From handicrafts to impressionist masters, the MoWA owns and displays artworks from across the spectrum of the arts and art history. One of my favorite Wisconsin artists is Saukville native Tom Uttech. And, it's not just that he's a neighbor and a member of the community where I grew up; his artwork resonates with me. I mean that it resonates in a deep vibration and harmonizes with my soul.

I shouldn't be surprised that I am drawn to artists from my hometown, we are naturally inspired by similar visions. The impossibility of a landscape so profusely populated with wildlife seems hardly impossible to me ... it just seems natural. Uttech looks at the great northwoods with the same eyes as me - eyes that see the fantastic majesty of every texture. His works are not unlike patchwork quilts - dense layers of textures. There is a fabric-like softness to his paintings.

One of the central galleries is almost entirely devoted to the classical master - Carl von Marr (1858-1936). As a teenager Marr studied the craft of painting under a Wisconsin grandmaster, Henry Vianden. His enormous life size painting - The Flagellants puts the viewer in the midst of a religious procession. It is as if the procession is marching straight into the gallery. Such historical paintings tell a vivid story. I noticed that in the foreground, surrounded by priests and nobles, a sick boy is being carried. Surely this boy is a key figure in this narrative.

Sculpture at the Museum of Wisconsin Art
Sculpture at the Museum of Wisconsin Art
In addition to the magnificent paintings that dress the gallery walls, MoWA features items that more easily recognized as Wisconsin in origin. Maybe they serve as reminders of place - in case you had forgotten that you were in humble Wisconsin - home of beer bottle caps, fishing lures, and antlered bucks.


Directions and Map



View Larger Map

Address for your GPS: 205 Veterans Ave, West Bend, WI
43.424543, -88.181392

From Milwaukee40 Minutes
From Madison1.5 Hours
From Green Bay1.5 Hours
From Wausau2.5 Hours
From Minneapolis5 Hours
From Chicago2 Hours


Photos


Tom Uttech - Dream Net - 1987 - MoWA
Tom Uttech - Dream Net - 1987 - MoWA


Carl von Marr, Lovers (The Awakening of Spring) - 1884 - Museum of Wisconsin Art - West Bend
Carl von Marr, Lovers (The Awakening of Spring) - 1884 - Museum of Wisconsin Art - West Bend
Glass sculpture - Museum of Wisconsin Art - West Bend
Glass sculpture - Museum of Wisconsin Art - West Bend


Video








No comments:

Post a Comment