Catherine Jozwik
Art Scene

5 Museums for the Winter Break

Let art be your respite from holiday stress at five great museums.

By - Dec 23rd, 2019 02:39 pm
The Pabst Mansion. Photo courtesy of The Pabst Mansion.

The Pabst Mansion. Photo courtesy of The Pabst Mansion.

Visiting a local museum or gallery provides a welcome respite from the stressors of the holidays, and several Milwaukee museums are housed in buildings with rich and colorful histories. Here are five local museums with stunning artwork and architecture to visit over your winter break:

1. The Charles Allis Art Museum, 1630 E. Royall Pl.,

Completed in 1911 and built by renowned local architect Alexander Eschweiler, this English Tudor-style mansion, once home of prominent industrialist Charles Allis and his family, features stunning architecture and an art collection that includes 19th-century naturalist paintings, a Persian ceramic bowl dating back to the 6th century BC, antique Asian art, and a 17th century bronze sculpture. Visitors can view the museum’s current exhibit, Delight, Inspire, Educate: The Allis Collection as Catalyst, through April 12. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors 65 and over with ID, $7 for students and active military, and free for children 12 and under. Admission is free on the first Wednesday of the month, and always free for members. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., October through April.

2. Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W. Brown Deer Rd.,

Formerly the estate of industrialist and inventor Harry Lynde Bradley and his wife, Margaret (Peg) Bradley, Lynden Sculpture Garden features numerous outdoor sculptures from Peg’s collection in a lush garden setting, an 1860s farmhouse, exhibitions in the indoor gallery, and many events and workshops throughout the year. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors 62 and up, students with ID, and children ages 6 through 17. Docent-led tours are available Sundays at 2:30 for a nominal cost.

3. The Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Drive.,

With a sleek, modern design (including the Burke Brise Soleil moveable wind-shaped sunscreen that opens and closes daily), an impressive collection which includes more than 31,000 works of art, two cafes and a coffee shop, and a gift shop, the Milwaukee Art Museum is the perfect destination to escape the stress of the holiday season. Be sure to visit the MAM’s current exhibits, Portrait of Milwaukee, which features work from Milwaukee-based photographers, and A Modern Vision: European Works from the Phillips Collection, showcasing works by influential 19th and 20th-century European modern artists.

4. The Pabst Mansion, 2000 W. Wisconsin Ave.,

Although the Pabst Mansion, former residence of beer baron Frederick Pabst, is not an art museum, the stately terra cotta mansion, built in 1892 and designed by George Bowman Ferry and Alfred C. Clas, is a must-visit for anyone interested in architecture and Milwaukee history in general. The mansion’s three floors provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of upper-class Milwaukeeans during the Gilded Age. Pick up a trinket from the Pabst gift shop, or attend a lecture at the mansion. Visit for upcoming events. Admission prices are $14.50 for adults, $12.50 for seniors 62 and over, $12.50 for college  students and military, and free for children 15 and under.

5. Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, 2220 N. Terrace Ave.,

An elegant, Mediterranean-style country house, the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, built in 1923, was the home of Lloyd Smith, whose family owned the A.O. Smith Corporation, and his wife, Agnes. Each of the home’s six rooms is used for art exhibits. The Villa’s current exhibits, Jeffrey Clancy: Measured Misalignments and Ariana Huggett: House Tableau will be on display through January 26. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors 65 and up with ID and active military, free for children 12 and under and for members. Admission is free the first Wednesday of each month.

Art Events and Exhibit Openings

*Note—many local museums and galleries have limited hours or are closed over the Christmas/New Year’s holidays.

Thursday, 2 to 2:45 p.m. and Friday 4 to 4:45 p.m.:

Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel will host a docent-led art tour Thursday and a Champagne and Art Tour Friday. Those who participate in Thursday’s tour will receive a $5 off coupon good for any Saint Kate food and beverage location. A glass of champagne will be available for the first 15 guests on Friday’s tour.

Friday, 2 to 4 p.m.:

Vibez Creative Arts Space, located in the Phoenix Market, 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave. #201, will host a Winter Kids Day Paint Party, presented by LeTasha Smith of @Fiesty_Impressions. An adult must accompany each painter under 10. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.

Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m.:

The Farmhouse Paint Bar & Banquet Hall, 4511 S. 6th St., will hold a mosaic class. Admission starts at $35 and includes materials. Visit for more details.

Last Chance: Exhibits Closing

Draw Upon With Dara Larson closes Saturday at Scout Gallery, 1104 W. Historic Mitchell St.

Wilde 100 closes at the Tory Folliard Gallery, 233 N. Milwaukee St., Saturday.

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