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Milwaukee Collects shows art from Milwaukeeans' private collections. Take a peek at what your neighbors collect, now through March 21.

From prehistoric paintings dating back centuries to contemporary photographs that speak to the activism of more recent years, the new Milwaukee Collects exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum takes viewers on a trip through decades of art and design.

The exhibit, which runs from March 10 to May 21, 2017, includes 190 pieces from 46 different local collectors. “People are excited to see the things that people live with,” says design curator, Monica Obniski. One of the goals of the exhibition is to inspire more Milwaukeeans to collect art themselves.

One of the most significant works in the exhibition is “Come Out,” by Glenn Ligon, an internationally known conceptual artist whose work was the subject of a 2011 mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  Stretching across an entire wall in the Words as Image gallery, the three-paneled silkscreen canvas samples the 1966 spoken-word work Come Out by Minimalist composer Steve Reich, which in turn samples from Daniel Hamm’s post-Harlem riot testimony as one of the “Harlem six.”

Milwaukee Collects exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Photo by Somer Servais

Other galleries include European paintings, sculptures, decorative objects and art deco furniture, including “Gear Table,” originally created for the A. O. Smith Research and Engineering Building.

To promote public interest and participation, the museum is hosting multiple events in the upcoming months. Such events include Slow Art Saturdays, one-hour explorations of single works of art, and several gallery talks and panel discussions as part of the “Collecting Series” in conjunction with the exhibit.

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