Kat Murrell
TCD Art Date

Now for actual dates

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, Kat Murrell recommends a free day at the Milwaukee Art Museum and other romantic adventures.

By - Feb 13th, 2013 08:14 am


Got some designs on romance this weekend, or just looking to peruse visual delights? There are plenty of options for the amorous, the aesthetes, and everyone else.


Target Free First Second Thursday

This day of free admission was postponed due to the Museum’s closing during last week’s winter storm – lucky for you and your Valentine!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, it is worth taking a look at perhaps one of the most sensual pieces in the Museum’s collection, Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss.

The Gates of Hell and an eternal kiss

Auguste Rodin, “The Kiss (Paolo and Francesca),” 1886. Photo credit Larry Sanders.

Auguste Rodin won a commission in 1880 to design massive doors for a museum of decorative arts in Paris. Alas, the museum never reached fruition, but the project provided fertile ground for Rodin’s imagination.

Taking a cue from the Italian poet Dante Alighieri and his epic Divine Comedy, Rodin conceived of a thematic program related to the nine circles of hell. The doors became known as The Gates of Hell, a play on the extraordinary bronze doors crafted in the Renaissance by Lorenzo Ghiberti, which were so beautiful they were dubbed by Michelangelo as “the Gates of Paradise.”

Rodin’s embraced couple were originally formed as part of the sculptural decoration of the doors. They may seem to be innocent lovers, but they were created to symbolize the impassioned 13th century Italians Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini. He was her husband’s brother, yet both were helplessly drawn to each other. Their fate was sealed by the murderous reaction of Francesca’s husband. He killed them both, and the adulterous pair were immortalized by Dante as doomed to the second circle of hell. At least, that is how it worked out in the poem. Rodin’s vision gave form to the amorous couple in many sizes and materials, ultimately under a more benign title, simply The Kiss.


In a Lonely Place: a lecture by artist Gregory Crewdson will be held on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Haggerty Museum of Art.

In a Lonely Place: Lecture by artist Gregory Crewdson

The photography of Gregory Crewdson is included in Dark Blue: The Water as Protagonist, one of the Haggerty’s new exhibits. Crewdson is an internationally renowned artist and an associate professor of photographer at Yale.


MAM After Dark: Carnival

  • Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Drive
  • 5 p.m. – 12 midnight

Laissez les bon temps continuer! The Mardi Gras party rolls on in Windover Hall with DJ Marcus Doucette of 88Nine, Dead Man’s Carnival and their modern-day vaudeville acts, plus caricatures, food, drinks, and more.


Portrait Gallery Exhibition of Artists’ Books

  • Carroll University, Main Hall Gallery, 120 N. East Avenue, Waukesha
  • February 16 – March 21

This exhibition of more than a dozen works from the exhibition, “BS @ PS: A Photography Book Project” enjoys an additional run at Carroll University.

Isaac Julien, Cast No Shadow (Western Union: Small Boats Series No. 1), 2007. Courtesy of Isaac Julien, Metro Pictures, New York and Victoria Miro Gallery, London.


Milwaukee Art Museum exhibitions closing:

It’s been a busy weekend at the Milwaukee Art Museum so far, and in case you’ve missed these exhibitions, this is the last day of their run.

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