Milwaukee Art Museum
Press Release

Milwaukee Art Museum announces new museum library at historic Judge Jason Downer mansion

The three-story Judge Jason Downer mansion was designed by architect Edward Townsend Mix and built in 1874.

By - Aug 2nd, 2016 09:22 am
Judge Jason Downer mansion. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Judge Jason Downer mansion. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Milwaukee, Wis. Aug. 2, 2016 – The Milwaukee Art Museum today announced plans to move its art library, archives and related programs to the historic Judge Jason Downer mansion on Prospect Avenue in close proximity to the Museum. The library’s extensive holdings include nearly 27,000 volumes; 60,000 art catalogues, journals and magazines; and the Brooks Stevens and other institutional archives dating back to 1888.

“This is a wonderful addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum and the community. The new location will allow for greater library and archive access, as well as potential partnerships with area schools, colleges and professional organizations,” said Don Layden, president of the Milwaukee Art Museum’s board of trustees. “We couldn’t have found a better match, pairing this notable historic building with the Museum’s extraordinary historic archives.”

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the three-story Judge Jason Downer mansion was designed by architect Edward Townsend Mix and built in 1874.

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Milwaukee Art Museum library’s founding. The archives are entirely one-of-a-kind in the region and contain information on the Museum’s 130-year history dating back to the Layton Art Gallery and regional patron collecting which extends beyond Milwaukee, throughout the Midwest, to the East Coast, Europe and beyond.

“The quality of holdings in our library archives has been a best kept secret,” said Museum librarian/archivist Heather Winter. “Collecting and collector history is at the forefront of museum research and publishing and has become one of the most popular subjects for lectures and symposia around the world.”

“The move to the Downer mansion brings the Milwaukee Art Museum in step with the activities of art research libraries like the Frick and the Guggenheim,” said Layden.

The Downer mansion will more than double the Museum’s library space and will include reading rooms, study spaces and a lecture space. In preparation for this transition, the Museum library and archives closed in July and will reopen as the newly named Milwaukee Art Museum Research Center in Spring 2017.

About the Milwaukee Art Museum

Home to a rich collection of over 30,000 works of art, the Milwaukee Art Museum is located on the shores of Lake Michigan. Its campus includes the Santiago Calatrava–designed Quadracci Pavilion, annually showcasing three feature exhibitions, and the Eero Saarinen–designed Milwaukee County War Memorial Center and David Kahler‒designed addition. The Museum recently reopened its Collection Galleries, debuting nearly 2,500 world-class works of art within dramatically transformed galleries and a new lakefront addition.

Judge Jason Downer House

Press Releases by Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum celebrates the season with exciting events and extended hours in December

Family-friendly activities, dining, shopping make Museum ideal spot for holiday fun

Milwaukee Art Museum

Holiday gifts at the Milwaukee Art Museum to suit every taste

Museum Store offers one-of-a-kind gifts and brand new Museum gift card in-store and online

Milwaukee Art Museum

Nature and Opulence: The Art of Martin Johnson Heade offers Milwaukee Art Museum visitors calm in the holiday storm

Masterpieces by one of the most important American artists of the 19th century convey warmth and sheer beauty

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum chief curator to take director position at Florida museum

Brady Roberts’ last day at the Museum is October 21.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum offers unique ways to celebrate the harvest season

October also brings the opening of a new exhibition.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Dijkstra’s recent video installations to debut at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Over the past 30 years, Dijkstra has produced a sensitive and eloquent body of photographic and video work.

See More Releases

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *