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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bringing a vision to MAM's American Collections

Three months ago, the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) welcomed William Rudolph as its curator of American Art and Decorative Arts. Rudolph's appointment acknowledges the museum's growing importance as a center for these arts. A recent interview provided him the opportunity to explore various aspects of his interest in coming to the MAM and his vision for the museum's American Collections. First: What is considered American art? In the past, some historians have held that American art should be limited to art of the United States and the visual art of the late 18th and 19th centuries. Many curators of American art today, Rudolph explains, take a broader view. They embrace, for example, works going back to the Colonial period as well as 19th-century German-American paintings, Chinese export porcelains...