Milwaukee Art Museum
Press Release

Old Masters from Private Collections opens at Milwaukee Art Museum July 29

Exhibition affords a rare look at art from local collections

By - Jun 29th, 2016 02:13 pm

The age-old tradition of art collecting is highlighted in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition From Rembrandt to Parmigianino: Old Masters from Private Collections. Opening July 29, this exhibition will give the public a rare chance to see treasured artworks from the private collections of regional residents, including several works from Wisconsin homes.

The history of collecting old master paintings and drawings stretches back to the early modern period (1400-1800) in which the artworks were created. Monarchs and noblemen alike sought out the latest creations, and formed enviable collections that were known across Europe. Collectors were often driven by the pleasure they derived from studying the skill of an artist and the status owning these works imparted. Many of these same motivations continue to drive today’s collectors.

During this exclusive presentation, Museum visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy more than 50 paintings and drawings by European Renaissance and Baroque masters, selected from the rich collections that reside within the community. These works have been rarely–if ever–seen by the public before.

“These objects form private museums in the homes of individuals who are so fortunate to own them, and the Museum is grateful that the collectors are willing to lend them for this public exhibition. Together this body of work provides a rare opportunity to understand why people have collected old masters throughout history, and why they continue to do so today,” says Tanya Paul, the Isabel and Alfred Bader curator of European Art.

From Rembrandt to Parmigianino: Old Masters from Private Collections also marks the occasion of two recent gifts to the Museum from the great Milwaukee connoisseur and collector of old master paintings, Alfred Bader and his wife Isabel. Not only has Dr. Bader been a longtime supporter of the Museum, but over his lifetime he has assembled one of the great collections of Dutch and Flemish paintings—a generous number of which will be on view in the exhibition. These two recent gifts are by Jacopo Vignali (Italian, 1592–1664) and Onofrio Gabrielli (Italian, 1616–1706) and will soon be on view in the permanent Collection Galleries.

The exhibition runs through October 23 and is sponsored by the Stephen Kohl Charitable Trust.

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