Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum for free

The weather in Milwaukee stays cold at least six months in a year. Hence, I have to find things to do indoors. I found the Museums and public market are the great options to spend a day. I had already shared my experience of “Milwaukee Public Market” which is open year around. Hence, now it’s time to jump over the museums. I know you might already have heard about the Milwaukee Art Museum because it’s one of the biggest Art Museum in the United States.  I have driven by the museum many times but haven’t been there. Hence, now this is the time I have decided to step in and check out the collection. I know all museums have entry fees and you don’t want to blow your budget right? Let’s find out how to explore the Milwaukee Art Museum for free?

Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum for free

Since I am staying in Milwaukee, I look for deals and free entrees to visit these local attractions. Let me tell you the secret if you don’t know Every 1st Thursday of the month you get free entry to the Milwaukee Art Museum. You don’t need to carry any coupon or anything because it’s sponsored by Meijer. Just go to the ticket counter and ask them for a ticket they will give you for free. Although it’s a free entry you need to grab a ticket which helps them for counting the visitors.

Milwaukee Art Museum Building

Before I start peeking on the Art collection I noticed the structure of a building. I was totally amazed by the art of the building itself. I really like to say thank you to the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava for such a unique and eye-catching exterior. It’s like flying Jet with two wings. Those wings get open and close as well. From inside of the building you can get an amazing view of Lake Michigan. Even the inside of the building has amazing architecture and you see the touch of art in every corner.

Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum for free

Milwaukee Art Museum collection

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Collection includes more than 2o,000 works from antiquity to the present. The collection includes painting, drawing, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, video art and installations, and textiles. I have listed out the collections below:-

  • The Mrs. Harry L. Bradley Collection
  • American Decorative Arts and Chipstone Foundation
  • Marcia and Granvil Specks Collection
  • The Flagg Collection of Decorative Arts and Sculpture
  • The Floyd and Josephine Segel Collection of Photography
  • The Layton Art Collection
  • The Maurice and Esther Leah Ritz Collection
  • The Michael and Julie Hall Collection of American Folk Art
  • The René von Schleinitz Collection
  • The Richard and Erna Flagg Collection of Haitian Art
  • The Anthony Petullo Collection

If you are art lover then I can definitely tell that one day is not enough to explore this museum because it has so much more to offer.

When I entered to the main floor of the museum the “Quadracci Pavilion” catch my eyesight and before I grab the tickets I went to the pavilion and saw the beautiful view of Lake Michigan. You will see many people roaming in “Windhover Hall” because you will some unique touches in the architecture of the building. After all my friends arrived we grab the tickets. Don’t forget to ask for visitor’s guide, which helps you to explore the museum and you will not miss any corner of it.

Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum for free


We started our visit from “Baker/Rowland Galleries”. This particular area is special Exhibition Gallery. They don’t allow photography in this gallery. I love the collection it includes abstract artwork and painting as well. I am not a pro with abstracts but I was good enough to explain the story behind painting to my friends.

After exploring the special Exhibition we head to the collection entrance. While you walk to the collection entrance you will see the artwork in the “Baumgartner Galleria”. The “Baumgartner Galleria” didn’t have any painting but it presents unique art pieces, which you will not able to see anywhere else.

Now we head to see the actual collection of the museum. There is two collection entrance left and right. The Left entrance will lead to European Art and right entrance will lead to the Contemporary Art. Both the art gallery are connected internally. We started with the contemporary art collection. The very first art I fall in love with was “Crying girl” by Roy Lichtenstein. I also like the standing man and stone wall as well. It was very nice and creative.


Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum for free


We spend only half an hour for Contemporary art because I was so excited to see European art. European art is one of my favorite. Obviously, there are painting who explains the different scenarios of European life. Besides paintings, They also have Crockery collection which was used in ancient time. I also like the collection of metal art which describes the war and also an armor of the warrior. ” Transience: Beth Lipman’s Laid Table” is my favorite art piece in European collection.

Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum for free

Second Level of the building

The second level of the museum consists of the continuation of European art, Godfrey American art, Bradley’s modern art collection, folk & self-taught art and a portion of Kohl’s art Generation lab. In American art, you will see the old style American decorative pieces and house furniture as well. Those ancient styles of couches, chairs, chest drawers etc. will definitely remind you the old traditions and styles. It was fun to see such a collection which takes back to the old time.

The Bradley collection of the modern art has a great collection of sculpture and other artwork.  Don’t forget to check out the corner with a glass window at the End of the collection. You will get a great view of Lake Michigan and Outer view of Museum building. I will suggest you should visit these spot during the evening because the reflection of the water and sun rays enhance the view.

Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum for free


The Lowermost level has the collection of Photography & media art, which is known as “Herzfeld center for photography & media arts”. This Gallery is more like sculptures of art and imagination. Although I was running out of time, I tried to capture few attractive pieces in my camera. There is a cafeteria on this level to quench your hunger and also a gift store inside the museum from where you can buy artistic souvenirs and gifts.

Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum for free

I still feel that I need one more visit to the museum and I am planning to go there soon. Hope you can also get a chance to explore this museum.

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