The Milwaukee Art Museum is located at 700 N. Art Museum Drive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53201. It has its origin in two institutions, which are the Layton Art Gallery established in 1888 and the Milwaukee Art Institute established in the early 1900s. In 1957, these two institutions joined to form the private nonprofit Milwaukee Art Center, now known as the Milwaukee Art Museum, and also moved to its current lakefront location.

In the 1880s period, the city of Milwaukee was a thriving port city of mostly German-speaking people. The industrial base included wheat traders, meat packers, tanneries, shipyards, brick yards and breweries. People from northern European countries of Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia, Poland, and Italy arrived daily bringing with them culture, language, traditions and craftsmanship all their own.

Among these craftsmen there was a large group of talented German artists who specialized in panorama painting, which provided a popular type of entertainment at the time. The entertainment served as a precursor to going to the movies in Milwaukee. They were typically Biblical and historical scenes with narrations and music. Civil War battles were especially popular.

Today, the Milwaukee Art Museum collects and preserves art to present to the community as a vital source of inspiration and education.

The Milwaukee Art Museum collections include:

• Ancient Art
• Early European Art
• 19th Century Art
• American Art to 1900
• Modern Art
• Contemporary Art
• Prints and Drawings
• Photography
• Asian Art
• Haitian Collection
• African Art
• Folk Self-Taught Outside Art
• Brooks Stevens Archive
• Rogovin Collection

Museum Hours

The Milwaukee Art Museum is open 7 days a week, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except Thursday, open until 8:00 p.m.

Holiday Hours

The Museum is closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Thanksgiving weekend, November 14 to 26, normal hours of operation 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Christmas Eve, Sunday December 24th, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, normal hours of operation 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admission Cost

Non-member adults is $8, seniors is $6, students is $4, children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. Residents of Milwaukee County receive free General Admission to Museum all day, every Wednesday. Each individual is required to have a valid ID demonstrating residency. Collection audio guides are available for $4.


The Museum’s underground parking garage is accessible from Michigan Street or Lincoln Memorial Drive. Parking is also available West of Museum at O’Donnel Park, North of Museum in War Memorial parking lot.


The Milwaukee Art Museum has a dynamic team of event service staff, security personnel and set-up staff to help provide the perfect setting for any function such as meetings, lectures, receptions, reunions, fund-raisers or planning the perfect wedding. The museum features:

• Breath-taking views
• Grand halls and auditorium space
• Lavish boardroom suite and more

To schedule an event of under 100 people, call 414-224-3279, for all events with 100 people or more (excluding weddings and social events), call 414-224-3847, or visit them online for more information.


The Café Calatrava has a namesake of the world-renowned architect of the Quadracci Pavilion. The café chefs and staff are inspired by Calatrava’s creativity and design. The menu is kept fresh and updated. Fall menu has a Mexican flare as tribute to the heritage of Martin Ramirez, the featured artist in their current exhibition. Menu items include Black Bean Cake, Chicken Tortilla soup, Buffallo Flank Steak, Steak Burrito and Tres Leches Cake.

Café Hours

Open every day 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Museum Store

Shopping at the Milwaukee Art Museum is a must for any visitor. No admission ticket is required to shop in the Museum Store.

Store Design

There are three custom-designed display cases built of pear wood in Switzerland. Sleek white palette of the Quadracci Pavilion extends to the store walls; bleached maple floors and cabinetry provide the backdrop for product display. Glass shelves and supports line the perimeter walls with window lights reflecting the gallerias and a skylight in the vaulted ceiling rising more than 20 feet high.

Store Hours

Monday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Thurs – 8 p.m.) at the Downtown location in the MAM Quadracci Pavilion.

Source: The Milwaukee Art Museum Online

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© 2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved

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