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Monday, Jan. 31, 2011

Frank Lloyd Wright Retrospective at the MAM

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Sundry legends and tales surround the eccentric yet acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Many in Milwaukee may be familiar with his forward-looking architecture, but parts of his personality and some of his other remarkable talents likely aren’t as well known.

The Milwaukee ArtMuseum’s (MAM) retrospective “Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century,” opening Feb. 12, seeks to reflect on the quality and quantity of Wright’s designs along with the idiosyncrasies that underlie his genius.The exhibition presents more than 150 objects detailing Wright’s prodigious influence in his field, including drawings documenting his architectural projects. Wright designed about 1,000 buildings in his career, with slightly more than 500 moving on to completion. Approximately 400 of his structures still stand.

“Wright’s designs for suburban communities integrated nature, affordable homes, enlightened workspaces, parking and other aspects of daily living, all in a repeatable model,” says Brady Roberts, MAM’s chief curator. “We see his profound contribution as a visionary for architectural practice in the 21st century.”

T\\he exhibition includes designs for Fallingwater, Taliesin and Oak Park’s Unity Temple as well as the Seth Peterson Cottage, a small retreat envisioned for the Wisconsin Dells. Thirty-three of the examples have never before been shown in a museum.

The exhibit demonstrates that Wright’s ideas were firmly conceived in his mind before he started to put lines on paper. The MAM’s expansive portrait of Wright also shows his innate ability to connect man to his natural environment. As Brady points out, “Milwaukee is the starting point for Wright enthusiasts to experience his organic vision.”

Art Happenings

“The Charles Allis: 100 Years”

Charles Allis Art Museum

1801 N. Prospect Ave.

To celebrate the building’s centennial, the Charles Allis Art Museum features six Wisconsin artists whose works reflect contemporary interpretations that respect the past while honoring the future. Join the festivities at an opening reception on Friday, Feb. 4, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

“SNAP Panel Discussion”

Haggerty Museum of Art

530 N. 13th St.

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m., four Milwaukee artists from the SNAP online collective discuss cultural identity to complement the current exhibition “The Truth Is Not in the Mirror: Photography and a Constructed Identity.” The exhibition features numerous national artists and continues through May 22.

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