New Museum of Wisconsin Art Installation

by Gary John Gresl

While the MWA continues in its fund raising efforts for the forthcoming new building, it continues to offer impressive exhibits in its historic building on 6th St. in West Bend.
The most recent is an installation of examples from the permanent collection. All the lower level galleries have a new look, with rediscovered Wisconsin art objects both old and recent. There are wonderful historic paintings, prints and drawings as well as ceramics, glass and sculpture. Tom Lidtke, Director of the MWA, must be credited with the selections and plan for arrangement. Tom’s experience and skills as a sculptor are almost palpable as one walks thru and around the brand new layout.
To complement this fresh installation there are three other intriguing and quality exhibits. These include numerous paintings by the well known and respected Ruth Grotenrath, including gouaches, watercolors and oils revealing the free and animated techniques for which she is appreciated. The Miller Museum of Sturgeon Bay has lent some of its collection to a nice survey of its holdings, which include works by well known Door County artists the likes of Gerhardt Miller...founder of that fine local institution. If you do not get to Sturgeon Bay to see the Miller, here is a chance to get a good taste of its holdings. And then, in the current “One From Wisconsin” gallery, there are the bright, fun and playful fooling sculptures by Mindy Sue Meyers from Appleton. Her work blurs the distinction of craft, sculpture, and may spring from the motivations seen in Pop Art examples. It’s fun and should bring a smile to everyone.
While the new installation of the permanent collection will remain for many months, the Grotenrath, Meyers and Miller collection shows are temporary. Please view the website for the MWA at
The Museum of Wisconsin Art is located in West Bend, at 300 South 6th Ave, with the open hours being Wed. - Sun., 10 – 4:30 Wed. thru Sat. and 1 to 4:30 on Sunday. Call 262-334-9638.