Rarely seen old masters from private collections at the Milwaukee Art Museum

The centuries-old tradition of art collecting is evidenced in the current Milwaukee Art Museum exhibitFrom Rembrandt to Parmigianino: old masters from private collections. On display today, this exhibit offers the public a rare chance to view valuable works of art from the private collections of area residents, including several from homes in Wisconsin.

The history of the collection of paintings and drawings by old masters dates back to the beginning of the modern period (1400-1800) in which works of art were created. Monarchs and nobles sought out the latest designs and formed enviable collections known throughout Europe. Collectors were often motivated by the pleasure they derived from studying an artist’s craftsmanship and ownership of such works. Many of these same motivations continue to drive collectors today.

During this exclusive presentation, visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to appreciate 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 rarely, if ever, been seen by the public before.

“These objects form private museums in the homes of individuals who are lucky enough to own them, and the Museum is grateful to collectors for wanting to lend them for this public exhibition. Together, this collection of works 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, Curator Isabel and Alfred Bader of the European art.

From Rembrandt to Parmigianino: old masters from private collections also marks the occasion of two recent donations to the museum of the great connoisseur and collector of old Milwaukee paintings, Alfred Bader and his wife Isabel. Not only is Dr Bader a long-time supporter of the Museum, but during his life he assembled one of the great collections of Dutch and Flemish paintings, many of which will be featured in the exhibition. These two recent gifts are from Jacopo Vignali (Italian, 1592-1664) and Onofrio Gabrielli (Italian, 1616-1706) and will soon be exhibited in the galleries of the permanent collection.

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


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