PAST EXHIBITIONSAll In: Shorewood Girls Cross Country

Photographs by Lois Bielefeld

all in text

July 20th, 2017 - October 22nd, 2017

Though Bielefeld is known for her portraiture, this new series takes that interest a step further. Here, she documents her daughter’s high school cross country team over a full season of workouts, races, team-building activities, and camping trips. The series reveals a roller coaster of emotions and physical ordeals that tells a captivating story of growth and accomplishment, while also helping us revisit our past lives as teenagers navigating the landscape of friendship, group dynamics, and team sports.

The team’s coach and mentor, Sarah Kopplin, has contributed her writings and thoughts surrounding a philosophical approach to coaching and team sports that puts individual goals and development above winning. She’s also nurtured a culture of inclusivity and encouragement that reveals a progressive attitude sometimes elusive in the sports world. Bielefeld captures all this in her series, nimbly walking a line between art and sports photography.

Lois Bielefeld's work appears courtesy of Portrait Society Gallery.

Please visit the Exhibition Catalogues page to purchase the All In catalogue.


Carlos Heromsilla Álvarez & Colin Matthes:
Echoing Concerns

March 16 - June 25, 2017

Carlos Hermosilla Álvarez and Colin Matthes: Echoing Concerns features the work of two artists working in distant eras, but toward similar goals of drawing attention to societal injustices they witness every day.

Hermosilla was an active artist and humanitarian who overcame enormous personal and physical obstacles to become known as “the father of Chilean realist printmaking.” He established the Printing and Drawing Department at the School of Fine Arts in Vina del Mar, Chile, where he was a Professor of Art for approximately 35 years until his resignation following the military coup in 1973. Together with his wife Marina Pinto, herself a sculptor and printmaker,Hermosilla continued to work as an artist and a writer, often writing poetry to accompany his drawings, woodcuts, etchings, and paintings.

Carlos Hermosilla Álvarez was an effective agent of change in the Chilean art community where he sought to shift the focus of Chilean art from subjects that appealed to elite tastes to a concern for working class people and populations considered to be “outsiders.” His subjects include fishermen, construction workers, mothers, miners, and also the Mapuche Indians, a population of native Chilean people who managed to elude the Spanish conquistadors in the 1500’s. The Mapuche remain distanced from Chilean society, and their culture and ancestral lands are still in peril in the twenty-first century.

Like Hermosilla, Colin Matthes, a Milwaukee-based artist, makes interdisciplinary work that addresses economic and environmental crisis. He uses bold drawn, painted, and printed imagery that mirrors his environment while also inciting awareness of current socio-political causes. Though his content is often serious, Matthes considers himself an “engineer of the absurd” who investigates today’s issues from a humorous, critical, and perversely industrious point of view.

About his upbringing, Colin Matthes says:

“I grew up in an old farmhouse a mile away from a village with three bars, a post office, and the world’s greatest junk parade. Installing temporary electrical wiring at small town county fairs and trailer parks, punk and zines formed the way I make things and view the world. Lately I’ve been bringing my infant daughter too close to bears, making graphics for activist campaigns, working a slew of jobs, and visualizing my own versions of ‘essential knowledge’.”

Matthes examines printmaking as a democratized art form that was once preferred as a means of easily and economically duplicating and disseminating images to the public. Though his work references these goals of traditional printmaking, he deftly combines media to address a contemporary tendency toward pastiche and bricolage; a layering of imagery that is a realistic representation of the ways we digest content today.

Together, Matthes and Hermosilla open a fresh dialogue with traditional printmaking as a longstanding method of distributing ideas historically rooted in political movements. Though the two are distanced by nearly sixty years, the similarities in their depictions of humanity and the ways we live, suffer, and achieve give us pause to wonder if we’ve come as far as we would like to think.

We thank Milwaukeean Liliana Hermosilla Rosenthal and her family for loaning her uncle Carlos’ work to this exhibition.


Forward 2016
October 27 - February 19, 2017

Welcome to Forward 2016: A Survey of Wisconsin Art, the Charles Allis Art Museum’s biennial exhibition featuring the work of Wisconsin artists. Forward is our largest exhibition at the Charles Allis, as we open our doors and gallery spaces to artists from all over Wisconsin. Our jurors always have the difficult task of selecting from hundreds of works of art, and this year was no exception: jurors Brent Budsberg and Susan Barnett reviewed 350 submissions before choosing the 60 that make up the exhibition. We are grateful for their insight and dedication, and for making Forward 2016 a success.

What makes Forward a beloved tradition at the Charles Allis is the variety of artistic mediums, techniques, and cultures that intersect in a single exhibition. Realistic or abstract, political or personal, these works become a combined narrative of the Wisconsin art scene. Forward highlights this narrative and lets the art speak for itself.

It is especially appropriate that an exhibition like this be housed at the Charles Allis. Charles and Sarah Allis dedicated their lives to the art world, and have the art collection to prove it. When they bequeathed their home to Milwaukee County, they wanted to give back to the community that had made their lives so much richer; they wanted their home to continue being enriched by art, especially from Wisconsin. ____________________________________________________________

Grand Prize: James Pederson, The Miracle in Mike's Apartment

Award of Excellence: Lois Bielefeld, Mary and Jillian - Riverwest. 2015

Award of Excellence: Kevin Giese, Murmur

Margaret Rahill Memorial Award: Rafael Salas, Two Cats (World Without End #2)

Honorable Mention: Maureen Fritchen, What Came My Way - January 2016

Director's Choice: Michael Ware, E.B.D.B.B.N.B.

Viewer's Choice: Matthew Warren Lee, The Tempest

Selected Artists:
Timothy Abler, Lois Bielefeld, Larry Booth, Cynthia Brinich-Langlois, Jim Brozek, Valerie Christell, CathyJean CLark, Martha Coaty, Brandi Collins, Stephanie Copoulos-Selle, Eddee Daniel, Maureen Fritchen, Kevin Giese, Patricia Hidson, Andrea Hudson, Kitty Kingston, Eric Koester, Philip Krejcarek, Susan Estelle Kwas, Karla Lauden, Guntis Lauzums, Matthew Lee, J. Myszka Lewis, Valerie Mangion, Lindsay Marx, Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri, Josie Osborne, James Pederson, Nirmal Raja, Vicki Reed, Sara Risley, Janet Roberts. Kerri Root, Katie Ryan, Rafael Salas, Lawrence Sanders, Eric Schoen, Marc Tasman, Jason Van Roo, Arthur Vannoy, Michael Ware, Kiefer Waterman, Rochelle Weiner, Charles Wickler, Sara Willadsen, Ryan Woolgar


About the Jurors:

SUSAN BARNETT's titles include art center director, business owner, gallerist, photographer, and curator. She earned a BA in fine art-printmaking from Montana State University and received her MA in art history from UW-Milwaukee in 2011. Since moving to Milwaukee in 2003, she directed the Cedarburg Cultural Center, coordinated the John Michael Kohler Arts Center's Arts/Industry 40-year exhibition and publication, and served on the board of CoPA Milwaukee. Recent projects include co-curating and writing for the Portrait Society Gallery's 2015 Wis.Con.Sin exhibition and writing Roy Staab: Suspended in Time in conjunction with his 2016 exhibition at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. She currently works as an independent curator and writer and manages a significant private collection.

BRENT BUDSBERG is a visual artist, designer and woodworker living in Milwaukee, WI. Since 2013 he has worked as an exhibition designer in collaboration with the Chipstone Foundation, the Haggerty Museum, the Museum of Wisconsin Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Lynden Sculpture Garden. He has also taught sculpture, woodworking and travel study courses at The Milwuakee Institiute of Art and Design. Together with his wife and collaborator, Shana McCaw, he won the Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists in the established category in 2008 and also in 2014. Recent exhibitions include Living Rooms at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, The Museum of Rooms at the Chipstone Foundation, and The Vanishing Point at Portrait Society Gallery.

The Art of Collecting

The Art of Collecting
June 16 - September 18, 2016

The Art of Collecting will highlight the history behind selected objects from the Charles Allis Art Collection, some of which you may recognize, some you may not, as the Allis Collection is larger than the house designed to display it. The exhibition will feature paintings, works on paper and sculpture, as well as documentary materials relevant to each work's provenance - written correspondence, contracts, etc. Many works of art from the collection have interesting back-stories and through this exhibition we share them with you. Charles and Sarah Allis spent a good part of their lives collecting art from around the world. The museum is a testament to their love of all things beautiful and wordly, but rarely do we get a chance to show the process behind such an exquisite art collection.

Coninciding with the exhibition is the completion of a re-glazing project made possible by the support of the Mae E. Demmer Charitable Trust. All of the collection's two-dimensional works currently on display in the mansion along with many in storage are getting new museum glass. The new glass will protect the artwork from ultraviolet light coming through the manion's windows. Advances in glazing technology have also produced a superior non-glare glass that enchances the viewing experience. When attending The Art of Collecting, you may think we removed the glass from the collection because it has become almost imperceptable. Bressler Eitel has been a gracious supporter of the project. They performed all of the re-glazing on site at the Allis mansion.



November 5 - February 28, 2016

This winter, the Charles Allis Art Museum transforms to host Threshold, an exhibition that explores psychological interiority through the integration of contemporary art with the sumptuous spaces in the museum. Every room in the Allis mansion will become a conduit for experiencing fear, fragility, wonder and desire. Facilitated through a variety of media technologies, Threshold draws upon the affective qualities of glass, porcelain, light, soil, fur, and sound to explore corporeal and emotional relationships. Organized by artist and guest curator Niki Johnson, Threshold features twenty-five nationally and internationally recognized artists, craftsmen and musicians.

Exhibiting Artists
Colin Britton, Simon Bukhave, Holly Cole, Michelle Erickson, David R. Harper, Anne Harris, Jeremy Hatch, Kim Hindman, Jed Jackson, Niki Johnson, Kayle Karbowski, Toby Kaufmann-Buhler, William Kentridge, Beth Lipman, Chole Mackinnon, Linda Marcus, Greely Myatt, Heidi Parkes, Catherine B. Peña, Brian Ritchie, Paul Sacaridiz, Kyle Seis, Julie VonDerVellen, Christina A. West, Glenn Williams

Contributing Wisconsin Institutions
Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts, Marcus Corporation, Chipstone Foundation, Brenner Brewing Company

Written Contributions
Brandi Rogers & Nathaniel Stern


Friday, January 22 | 1:00 – 8:00 p.m.| Gallery Night
Complimentary wine and beer tastings 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.!

Friday, January 29, 8:30 – 10:00 am | Creative Mornings
Theme: Language
Niki Johnson |

Saturday, January 30, 11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Yoga, Discussion, Workshop

11:30 am – 12:45 p.m.
Yoga for Within: a yoga practice to balance the emotions with Heidi Parkes |
Centered around the ideas of interiority, students will look inwards during the poses. We will practice a series of vinyasas, and will also include breath work and mudras. The instructor, Heidi Parkes, is an artist in Threshold and a 500-hour certified yoga therapist. Suggested donation of $8.00

1:15 – 2:00 p.m.
Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts (WMQFA), Charles Allis and Threshold |
Learn more about the WMQFA and the Charles Allis Art Museum and how the exhibition uses the objects and space provided by each institution, exploring the use of materials with a focus on fiber arts.

2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Fiber Art Collage with Heidi Parkes and Julie VanDerVellen
Quilter Heidi Parkes and paper artist Julie VonDervellen will lead a workshop exploring their approach to making art with found materials: Cups, coffee filters, string, etc. Both will be discussing the points of transition between the utilitarian purpose of the materials and the visual/physical/conceptual possibilities they have when altered. Heidi will focus on collage techniques while Julie will demonstrate plating with paper. $20

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Wine and Show-and-tell
Enjoy a glass of wine while workshop participants show off their creations. Open to the general public.


Michael Bettine

Saturday, February 13
Soundscape Tours with Michael Bettine
1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 p.m.
On Saturday, February 13th, the Charles Allis Art Museum has the pleasure of hosting Soundscape, an afternoon of guided sound tours with local musician and percussionist Michael Bettine. At the beginning of every hour tours will begin, lasting 40 minutes each. Each tour will stop at sound stations located throughout the first floor of the Allis mansion, where visitors will experience the unique vibrational qualities created by the architecture of each space. Learn more about Michael Bettine here.

$10 / $5 Members | Purchase tickets online here, or at the door while supplies last. | Each tour limited to 12 particiapants. |

Friday, February 26, 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Workshop with Jeremy Hatch
Workshop Fees Apply | More Info Here

Saturday, February 27, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Closing Artist Talks and Panel Discussion | More Info Here


Jeremy Hatch

Niki Johnson

Kaufman Buhler

The Burren

Recent Works By
Terrence Coffman 

July 31 - October 11

Opening Reception 
Friday, July 31, 2015
6:00-8:00 PM |  5:30-6:00 PM Members Preview 

July 31 – October 11, 2015

Following a tradition of exhibiting among the best in Wisconsin art, the Charles Allis Art Museum presents an exhibition of recent works by Terrence James Coffman, whose submission Angel 1 was awarded grand prize at the museum’s 2014 Forward: A Survey of Wisconsin Art Now.  That painting returns to the Allis, alongside two additional canvases that complete an artist’s “triptych”.

Coffman’s Angels and Landscapes series, so-called because of the figure-like formations that emerged, unplanned, out of his material- and process-driven approach, and other large-scale paintings will be on view in the Great Hall, with a selection of other recent works on display in the second-floor galleries.  Coffman’s memory and experiences of places and landscapes inspire and inform his paintings of them.  His experience of the Burren of Ireland, where Coffman was in residency at its College of Art in 2011, has proved a fount of inspiration for his work.  The colors, textures and brushstrokes of these paintings evoke, but also invent, nostalgia and memory of the Burren, Galway Bay and the small fishing village of Ballyvaughan.

Image Credit: Terrence Coffman, The Burren #17, 2013, Oil on canvas, 44 x 44 inches, Courtesy of Tory Folliard Gallery

Painting workshop with Terrence Coffman

Date: Saturday, September 5 / 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.This one-day workshop at the Charles Allis Art Museum focuses on clearing the mind to tap into the unconscious creative flow. Coupled with experimentation and learning to trust the process creates a conduit for creativity. Students explore textural manipulations using traditional and unconventional painting tools. The methodology and techniques employed by major American abstractionists will serve as inspiration. Critique sessions provide students with feedback and increased opportunities to develop exciting works of art.

Van Gogh Live

Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 7 – 9 pm
Terrence Coffman brings his play, Van Gogh Live to the Charles Allis Art Museum. This one-night performance, based on Coffman’s fictional book of missing Van Gogh journals, is a riveting and emotional glimpse into the torment and ecstasy of Vincent’s life. The audience experiences the complicated life of this lonely man as Coffman examines his obsessions, madness, and love of art and humanity. Questions for the artist will follow the performance.

More on Less: The Art of Burlesque

More on Less: The History of Burlesque in America From Lydia Thompson to Amber Ray
April 10 - July 5, 2015

Opening Reception
Friday, April 10, 2015
6:00-8:00 PM |  5:30-6:00 PM Members Preview
Featuring a brief special performance by burlesque star Amber Ray

More on Less: The History of Burlesque From Lydia Thompson to Amber Ray presents the history of burlesque in America—surveying its cultural influence and artistic development from the milestone performances that popularized its early stars, to the legislative and political backlash that undermined them, and ultimately, to the advent of Neo-Burlesque and the rise of a new set of burlesque icons.

Stars like Gypsy Rose Lee, Sally Rand, Lili St. Cyr, Rose La Rose, Tempest Storm, Jennie Lee, Dixie Evans, Ann Corio, and contemporary performers Dita von Teese and Amber Ray are all on display, represented in photographs, costumes, advertisements, playbills, posters, vintage footage, sheet music, art, and autobiographies.  Authentic costumes, both historic and contemporary, are major highlights of the exhibition. Ann Corio’s 1970s jade chiffon gown, worn in HBO’s 1988This Was Burlesque, pairs with more recent designs by international performer Amber Ray. Costumes and other materials will also represent the history of men in burlesque, covering the trope of the straight man to the “top banana” comics like Bert Lahr.

Works by major artists are also included, demonstrating the appeal of burlesque, its dancers, and its audiences as subjects for modern painters and photographers. Reginald Marsh, Garry Winogrand and Ed Paschke are included, along with rarely-seen work by Milwaukee artist Charles Thwaites.

This exhibition draws on national and Wisconsin collections to tell an American story with a local focus.  Lenders to the exhibition include the Burlesque Hall of Fame; Burlyqnell – the Janelle Smith Collection; Steven Daiter Gallery, Chicago; Kiechel Fine Art, Omaha, Nebraska; Alan Koppel Gallery, Chicago; Milwaukee County Historical Society; Milwaukee Public Library, Museum of Wisconsin Art, and the Theatre Historical Society of America, among many others.

About Amber Ray
Milwaukee born and bred, Amber Ray is a modern burlesque performer based in New York City who performs the world over. A “professional sensationalist”, she is inspired by classic burlesque, freak chic, theater, high fashion, old Hollywood, and the feminine mystique, which is visible in every era. She sees performing as an avenue for female strength and power, as well as a way to foster human connections. She is highly involved in all aspects of the performing world with a special emphasis on modern burlesque, cabaret, and stage productions, high-fashion photography, singing, and she has been featured in a number of TV productions. She also works as an artist and costume designer selling custom-made burlesque headdresses and garments. Amber Ray’s many talents and vivacious personality make her the face of burlesque today.

This exhibition is organized by guest curators Annemarie Sawkins, PhD, and Martha Chaiklin, PhD.


World War I Posters

Art For The Cause: French Posters from the First World War
March 27 - July 12
Margaret Fish Rahill Great Hall

As in the United States, France solicited the support of its citizenry, both moral and financial, through large-format posters displayed in the windows of publicly- and privately-owned venues. Countries on both sides of the Atlantic commissioned leading artists and illustrators to provide the poster designs and drawings. Despite their common intentions, the French posters took on a more tragic character than their American counterparts, reflecting the devastation of the landscape and on the lives of soldiers and their families. The exhibition is an opportunity for CAVT Museums, until recently a body under the War Memorial Corporation umbrella, to reflect on the turbulence of warfare and its portrayal in original works by the likes of Francisque Poulbot and Steinlen.

Gathered by Harriet Earling Fitch during the war years and after, the collection is a physical embodiment of an American philanthropist’s longstanding relationship with a foreign country. Long before the entrance of the United States into the conflict, Harriet Fitch (later Thwaits Dake) organized and directed the Milwaukee chapter of the Fatherless Children of France and was instrumental in the founding of the Foster Mothers of America. Both organizations and Harriet Earling Fitch’s philanthropic work focused on the care and support of the millions of children left fatherless by one of the deadliest conflicts in world history. For her efforts, she was awarded the Legion of Honor from the French government; her medal will be on display in the exhibition, along with archival news clippings that outline her achievements in her charitable and philanthropic work.

About 15 posters, generously lent by the family of Thomas Van Alyea Jr., will go on display in the museum’s great hall in this small exhibition held 100 years following World War I.


American Beauty

February 13 - March 15
Curated by Kate Gelshenen Rafferty

American artist Thomas Cole's (1801-1848) 1835 Essay on American Scenery championed the American landscape, and its distinctive natural beauty as hallmarks of national identity. American Beauty explores Cole's influence on a number of 19th century American paninters working in diverse landscape aesthetics. The exhibition includes work by William Merritt Chase, Ralph Albert Blakelock, and George Inness.


Seeing the Light

Wisconsin Plein Air Painting

Exteneded Through January 25, 2015

Seeing the Light explores Plein Air painting through the works of eight prominent Wisconsin artists. Each artist demonstrates their ability to play with light in their own unique way while painting outdoors. Focusing on architecture, street scenes or landscapes, these nine artists celebrate the beauty found in Wisconsin. Join us for a contemporary look at Wisconsin Plein Air painting, by our very own. Seeing the Light features the work of Lori Beringer, Matthew Holt, Shelby Keefe, Tom Kubala, Darron Lillian, Mary Ulm Mayhew, Tim Nachreiner, and Bonnie Paruch.


Unis: Origin of the Unicorn

Unis: The Origin of the Unicorn
Presented by Timothy Westbrook Studio
August 1 - September 28, 2014

Closing Reception
Sunday, September 28, 2014
6:30 to 10:00 p.m. / Cash Bar
$10 / $5 Museum Members

Timothy Westbrook will speak about the production and imagination behind the origin of this exhibit followed by Q&A. Remarks will begin at 7:30 p.m. and also feature members of the exhibition team, that are central to the fictional narrative of the exhibition. Learn more about their research into the origins of the Unicorn throughout the night as you mingle with them and artists featured in “ARK”, the contemporary art show inspired by the Unicorn. This is the final day of the exhibition, your last chance to experience Timothy Westbrook’s imaginative and personal journey as told through his multimedia experience throughout the Charles Allis Mansion.

About the Exhibition
Timothy Westbrook Studio creates a fictional narrative of an expedition funded by Charles Allis to discover the origin of the unicorn. Using natural history, costume, sculpture, personal ephemera and an expedition team, Westbrook along with nationally recognized artists create original work that takes us on a mythical journey throughout the Charles Allis Art Museum, with treasures around every corner. Join us on this expedition and discover the origins of one of the most beloved mythical creatures.




Forward 2014: A Survey of Wisconsin Art Now
March 7 - June 29, 2014

Opening Reception with Awards Ceremony
Friday, March 7, 2014
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
5:30 - 6:00 p.m. - Members Only Preview

Every two years, the Charles Allis Art Museum hosts Forward: A Survey of Wisconsin Art Now, a juried exhibition showcasing the work of Wisconsin artists. Laurie Winters, Executive Director | CEO of the Museum of Wisconsin Art is this year's juror. Three thousand dollars in awards, sponsored by the Friends of Charles Allis, will be given during the opening reception on Friday March 7, 2014. Those in attendance will also select the recipient of the $100 Viewers’ Choice Award. Wisconsin Artists interested in entering works can do so online from January 2, 2014 through January 28.

Forward 2014: A Survey of Wisconsin Art Now

Grand Prize - Terrence Coffman - Angel 1

Award of Excellence - Joseph Mougel - Blanc_029

Award of Excellence - Colette Odya Smith - Slipstream

Margaret Rahill Memorial Award - Stephanie Trenchard - 9 Soviet Artists

Honorable Mention - Michael Imes - Rain Gatherer

Director's Choice - Stephen Wysocki - Summer Shadow

Viewer's Choice Award - Daniel Stauff - The Elba and the Conrad-Starke c. 1910s




Karl Priebe
Carmie A. Thompson for Madison Capitol Times

Wisconsin Masters: Karl Priebe
November 1 - January 19, 2014

Opening Reception Friday, November 1
6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Members Only Preview 5:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Our Wisconsin Masters Series continues this year with an exhibition highlighting the life and work of Milwaukee-native, Karl Priebe (1914-1976). Priebe, a notable Wisconsin artist who has made significant contributions to the artistic heritage of Wisconsin, was born in 1914 here in Milwaukee. He graduated from the Layton School of Art and later studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 1938. Priebe ventured back to Milwaukee and worked in the anthropology department at the Milwaukee Public Museum from 1938-1942 and was the director of the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts in Michigan from 1943-1944. He returned to the Layton School of Art as an instructor in 1947.

Priebe was a leading member in the fantasy school of painting (also known as Surrealism) and is well known for his captivating and individualistic paintings of both African Americans and birds. Not only was he an avid birdwatcher, he was very involved in the African American culture, specifically the jazz scene, and established friendships with many influential jazz artists, such as, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey and Dizzy Gillespie.

Priebe’s talent for portraying his subjects with such gaiety and dream-like charm is beyond artists of his time. His work is frequently described as a welcomed departure from the silo-cow-farmer school too often identified with Midwestern painting. With light whimsical fantasy, Priebe portrays whatever stimulates and appeals to his imagination.

The exhibition will feature paintings from the Museum of Wisconsin Art as well as private collectors.



The Threat
Michael Kutzer: Etchings and Woodcuts

March 20 - May 12, 2013

Opening Reception Friday, March 22
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Members Only Preview 5:30 to 6:30

The Charles Allis Art Museum will host the exhibition Michael Kutzer: Etchings and Woodcuts in cojunction with the SGC International 2013 Print MKE printmaking conference, which will be held in Milwaukee March 20 - 23, 2013. This solo exhibition featuring prints by the German born artist Michael Kutzer will showcase his talent and ability to create prints that are visually captivating. Consisting of prints from his series: Views of the Lakeshore, The Invisible Animals of Seminary Woods, Anholt Landscapes and Punch Theater, this retrospective exhibition will display many fascinating and thought-provoking landscapes, creatures and characters.

Michael Kutzer In Step




Aaron Boyd

Wisconsin's Own: Aaron Boyd
December 14 - January 27, 2013

Opening Reception Friday, December 14
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Aaron Boyd is a local artist and children’s illustrator whose vividly colored works are enjoyed by those both young and old. Boyd has illustrated over 15 children’s books, many featuring curious animals and multicultural themes. This child-friendly exhibition includes a unique pop-up book recently inducted into the Smithsonian Rare Books Collection and illustrations that are sure to evoke a sense of adventure and ignite your imagination.



Lenny Nagler
Wisconsin's Own: Lenny Nagler
October 26 - December 2, 2012

Opening Reception Friday, October 26
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Wisconsin’s Own is a new exhibition series that compliments our Wisconsin Masters series. Unlike the Wisconsin Masters series, Wisconsin’s Own will feature contemporary Wisconsin artists, our first being Lenny Nagler. Nagler, a self-taught artist residing in Appleton, paints landscapes and portraits, both real and imagined, in a style reminiscent of Post-Impressionist painters, using his own individual flair and distinctive elegance.


Our Gardens Inside and Out

Our Gardens Inside & Out
June 29 - October 7, 2012

Opening Reception Friday, June 29
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

A fresh perspective on gardens to intrigue us whether we view them through the eye of an artist, a pane of glass, or surrender ourselves to romantic trysts in their moonlight shadows. Our Gardens Inside & Out is a group show by artists who interpret flowers and gardens from different perspectives using varied art forms including paintings, prints and sculpture.

Spring ephemeral blooms invite us to enjoy and celebrate the Renaissance Garden of the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum and the English Garden of the Charles Allis Art Museum. Choose your path through Our Gardens Inside and Out to see the melding of creations by the hand of Man and the hand of Nature.

Guest Curator Jane Brite was founding Director of Walker’s Point Center for the Arts and recent recipient of the Wisconsin Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Science & Letters.

The exhibition features over 100 works by the following 73 artists.

Chris Andrews, Dave Achenbrener, Jill Bedford, Lisa Bigalke, Julia VanRoo Bresnahan, Paul Brnak, Anthony Busalacchi, Sandra Byers, Tom Clark, Warrington Colescott, Jean Crane, Joy Czemicki, Eddee Daniel, Vrigi Driscoll, Sally Duback, Laura Easey-Jones, Tom Eddington, Joyce Eesley, Lois Ehlert, Lisa Englander, Susan Falkman, Patrick Farrell, Lisa A. Frank, Ruth Grotenrath, Karen Gunderman, Susan Hale, Pat Hidson, Annette Hirsh, Bruce Hustad, Julie Jilek, Helen Klebesadel, Alice Steuck Konkel, K. Tinsley, Bernard G. Lardi, Schomer Lichtner, Truman Lowe, George McCormick, Michael Meilahn, Marie Mellott, Linda Merkel, Lon Michels, Ann Miotke, Jane Moore, Dennis Nechvatal, William Nichols, Mike Nolte, JoAnna Poehlmann, Mary Pratt, Lynne Railsback, Tom Rauschke, Bill Reid, Bernard Roberts, Rudy Rotter, Carol Rowan, Beth Sahagian-Allsopp, Cindy Rust Saiia, John A. Sayers, Jill Sebastian & Jake Fuller, David Shafer, Jean D. Sobon, Mark Stall, Jean Stamsta, Kitty Sturrock, Anthony Suminski, Constance Taagen, Tom Uebelherr, Linda Wervey Vitamvas, Lee Weiss, Della Wells, Mike Ringo White, Jeremy Wolf, Peffy Zalucha, Joan Zingale





March 2 – June 3, 2012

Opening Reception with Awards Ceremony
Friday, March 2, 2012
5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Gallery Night Reception (Free Admission)
Friday, April 20, 2012
5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Forward 2012: A Survey of Wisconsin Art Now, is our biennial, juried exhibition of Wisconsin artists held at the Charles Allis Art Museum. Lena Vigna, Curator of Exhibitions at the Racine Art Museum, was the juror for the more than 250 entries and the final selections represent a range of current artistic production from around the state. Awards will be given during the opening reception on March 2, and those in attendance will select the recipient of the $100 Viewers’ Choice Award.



Elk Bronze

Michelangelo of the Menagerie: Barye Bronzes from the Charles Allis Art Collection
September 28 – January 16th

Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875) was a French sculptor made famous by his bronzes of animals. He was called The Michelangelo of the Menagerie by the influential art critic Théophile Gautier. The Allis has a large collection of Barye bronzes that have received little recognition and the exhibition is an opportunity to view the Allis collection in a new context.



The Charles Allis: 100 Years
February 4 - November 13, 2011

Baylor Fromula

Baylor, Forumla

The Charles Allis:  100 Years features dynamic, multi-sensory installations that invite the viewer to experience the Charles Allis Mansion as never before.  Created by six Wisconsin artists, the exhibition is part celebration of the Mansion’s Centennial and part re-interpretation of the collection, the history of the building, and the space within.

Carol Emmons layers historic imagery with contemporary objects, blurring the concepts of value and “taste” in the Marble Hall.  Gary Gresl juxtaposes rough hewn beams and farm equipment against the refined surrounding of the Library while Ashley Morgan’s treatment of the dining room portrays a space devoid of function, haunted by former events.  Reggie Baylor examines Milwaukee’s industrial and social history, transforming the sitting room with visual symbols taken from the language of statistics.  Martha Glowacki and Alexander Boyes’ collaboration interprets Charles Allis’ bedroom as a place where the dream to collect and possess objects intermingles with the hum of manufacturing. 



Reginald Baylor

Carol Emmons

Gary Gresl

Martha Glowacki

Alexander Boyes

Ashley Morgan

Gallery Guide Click Here

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Review by Graeme Ried Click Here

Emmons,  Alembic

Emmons, Alembic



Wisconsin Masters: Bruno Ertz
October 13, 2010 - January 9, 2011

Born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in 1873 Bruno Ertz was celebrated as a self-taught artistic prodigy. Early on he focused on delicate, hyper-realistic images of insects and birds, drawing on the great American tradition of naturalist painters. Ertz was part of the flourishing artistic community that developed in Milwaukee in the last two decades of the 19th century. Through his friendship with Frank H. Bresler, of the Bresler Gallery, his work became part of the major art collections in the city of Milwaukee.


The exhibition is part of the annual Wisconsin Masters series which focuses on the work of a Wisconsin artist who made a significant contribution to the artistic heritage of the state.


Sponsored by: West Bend Mutual Insurance

Bruno Ertz   Bruno Ertz




New Media at the Charles Allis
June 2 - September 15, 2010

What is new about new media? Artists James Barany, Jill Casid, Sabine Gruffat, Stephen Hilyard and Chele Isaac approach this question by exploring the interplay between “new” and “old” media forms, adapting established and emerging technologies for artistic inspiration against the historic backdrop of the Charles Allis Art Museum.

James Barany provides a stereoscope for viewing his video projections – the nineteenth century viewing device completes the doubled digital image in the viewer’s mind. Jill Casid uses an iPhone application titled “Shake It” to display polaroid photographs on iPod Touch. Her images from Parisian street scenes are richly reflective and refer to photography’s earlier histories, including photographs of Paris by Eugene Atget. Stephen Hilyard creates beautiful high-definition animation that takes the viewer inside the painted landscape of a decorative serving plate. Sabine Gruffat’s videos combine archival footage with the artist’s own investigations of industrial and natural landscapes to ask about the role that media plays in our access to history and memory. Chele Isaac returns to the final decades of the twentieth-century to follow a late Victorian figure, dressed in neoprene, through a series of settings that now include Mr. Allis’ bedroom. 

New Media at the Charles Allis is co-curated by Martha Monroe, Curator at the Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums, and Amy Powell, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Art History at UW-Madison and 2010-2011 Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow at the National Museum of African Art.



February 24th - May 19th, 2010

Gallery Night Reception (Free Admission)
Friday, April 16, 2010
5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Gallery Talk:  6:00 p.m.
Linda Wervey-Vitamvas, Forward exhibition Grand Prize Winner
Wisconsin ceramicist, Linda Wervey-Vitamvas whose work deals with the sometimes uncomfortable relationship between the body and medical instrumentation, physical invasion and scientific ideology, will discuss her works “Sexual Politics” and “Troutula of Salerno" at 6:00 p.m. on Gallery Night.

The Charles Allis Art Museum is a vibrant urban center that still houses the original Allis collection and works to strengthen and support the Milwaukee community by elevating the visibility and prestige of Wisconsin's art and artists.   This juried exhibition features the work of Wisconsin artists created within the last two years.