Museum of Wisconsin Art

West Bend, WI




About the Museum of Wisconsin Art

Since 1991, the museum has become widely known throughout the country as the home of the most comprehensive collection of Early Wisconsin Art and the Wisconsin Art Archive -- the primary source for information on early Wisconsin art. The goal is to become one of many regional art museums in the country with a collection chronologically representative of all Wisconsin's visual art media.

The Museum's vision follows an historic pattern of focusing on Wisconsin art that has been in place since it was founded in 1961 with a core collection of paintings by Carl von Marr, one of Wisconsin's most noted late 19th century artists. (Marr was related to the museum's founding Melitta S. Pick family). In 1988 the museum's collection management policy was established, resulting in the assembly of a significant vintage collection of regional art from Wisconsin's golden age of cultural development. That collection was first unveiled a decade later as part of the state's sesquicentennial program in 1998. Since then the reputation of the museum's collections and archives has gained such momentum that today it is the leading source of art and information on this topic.

As of 2007 the museum's collection is relatively small, but tightly focused, with just under 2,000 works of art, representing nearly 300 Wisconsin artists from the timeframe of Euro-American settlement in Wisconsin to around 1950; the archives represent nearly 6,000 artists during the same timeframe. However, art was created in Wisconsin hundreds of years before white settlement and to not acknowledge that or any of the art that was created in contemporary times creates a limited and narrow understanding of Wisconsin art.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art is located at 300 South 6th Avenue, West Bend, WI 53095. The Museum was formerly named the West Bend Art Museum. Please see the Museum's website for hours and admission fees.

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