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Travels U.S.A.

Inside and Out the Milwaukee Art Museum

July 7, 2015

The fog was just rolling in on my last day in Milwaukee, when I arrived at the Milwaukee Art Museum (“MAM”). From outside the architecture looks like a bird or a ship. Once inside, I felt like I was on set of a futuristic movie. All the smooth curves and inset lighting give this place a relaxing, modern feel.

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I’m not much of a black and white photographer, but the rolling fog and the beautiful lines in the MAM really made me want to focus on shape.

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The museum was under renovation when I visited, but they did have a feature exhibit on called Modern Rebels, featuring Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock. I had a great cookie at the main floor café that was designed to look like a Jackson Pollock painting.

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Entry into the museum itself is free, and you only have to pay if you want to check out the special exhibits, which will cost you $14 per for an adult.

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The portion of the museum which has all the impressive architecture is known as the Quadracci Pavilion, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

The ‘wings’ of the building are known as the Burke Brise Soleil, and then open and close in accordance with the museum’s hours.

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The main hall is called Windhover Hall, and the vaulted glass ceilings are 90 feet high.

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There is also the Reiman Bridge, a suspension bridge that connects the museum to Juneau Park.

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The surrounding green space outside in both Veteran’s Park which runs along the seawall, or Juneau Park which overlooks the museum means invites family and community gatherings, and was full of people in the midst of leisure activities when I visited on Sunday afternoon.

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The museum is well-known in Milwaukee, and you shouldn’t have any problem asking a local or  an Uber for directions. You’ll see its shape being used on all sorts of promotional material for the city. If you want to see my suggestions for how to spend a day here, check out You Don’t Know What You’re Missing in Milwaukee.

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p.s. In the Café Calatrava downstairs you will find one of THE BEST lobster rolls. And I’m from Halifax, so I’m not easily impressed by lobster rolls. This one was worth a visit.

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