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It's rare for museums to have cozy dining rooms, but the Charles Allis Art Museum wasn't always a museum. Earlier in the 20th century, it was businessman and arts patron Charles Allis's Tudor-style mansion. Allis bequeathed it to the public along with his massive art collection, though, and nowadays, visitors can stop by to see pieces that span 2,000 years. Some highlights? Works by Winslow Homer, Classic antiquities, a large collection of Asian ceramics, plus rotating exhibits by local Wisconsin artists.

The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum nestles in a historic mansion, too, albeit a different one. This one was built in the likeness of an Italian Renaissance villa in 1923, by architect David Adler. Its art spans a smaller period, from the 15th century through to the 18th. Visitors can browse wrought-iron work by Cyril Colnik, and explore a formal, outdoor Renaissance garden.

1801 N Prospect Ave
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Art Bar, called a "Painter's Paradise" by Urban Milwaukee magazine, isn't your typical watering hole. In its enchanting interior, hundreds of soda bottle caps create an argyle pattern on pillars, wine corks stud an oval-shaped bar, and paint-by-number pieces—depicting everything from horses to the Virgin Mary—plaster a wall.

The kitschy aesthetic offers a glimpse into the creative mind of owner Don Krause. Krause left his former career as an interior designer for Ethan Allen to brave the trials of opening a bar in Riverwest. And he did it his way: His joint pours more than 40 microbrews by night and Alterra coffee by day in a space adorned with the rotating creations of local artists. The beer lineup includes seasonal brews from Bell’s, Founders, Lakefront, and New Glarus, as well as “mystery beers” served for three bucks cloaked in a crumpled brown bag—the way Wisconsin dignitaries drink. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel describes the venue as “a feast for all senses” and “one of the hottest spots in Riverwest,” thanks in part to its comedy, musical, or artistic events.

722 E Burleigh St
Milwaukee,
WI
US

We are a small boutique art and gift shop located in the Shorewood neighborhood of Milwaukee. We currently have the work of 25 local Wisconsin artists. We have a wide variety of unique and handmade gift items for under $20. Our pricing allows most people to be able to afford a unique and original piece of art!

4415 N Oakland Ave
Shorewood,
WI
US

Reservations/Appointments: Not offered

Established: 2008

Staff Size: 2?10 people

Parking: Parking lot

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Recommended Age Group: All Ages

Pro Tip: If you call in advance, we can get a docent for your tour.

Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Exhibits on Golda Meir and Jews Who Rock

Q&A with Ellie Gettinger, Education Director

What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?

Jewish Museum Milwaukee has beautiful engaging displays, including the only Marc Chagall tapestry in Milwaukee. This is an epic piece?it's 14'x19') and provides perspective on Jewish history. In addition, our changing exhibits enliven the understanding of the Jewish experience. Every three months, JMM has a totally new display to explore.

Have you ever been a patron of your own business? If so, what was the most enjoyable part?

I love touring the Museum. There are so many interesting and unique stories that show the development of the city of Milwaukee. There is a lot of information, but the museum's size makes it easy to get through in an hour or two.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?

Right now our changing exhibit is Stitching History from the Holocaust (through February 28)? the museum's largest exhibit to date. The exhibit details the experience of Paul and Hedy Strnad, a woman who sent eight designs to Milwaukee in the hopes of immigrating.

1360 N Prospect Ave.
Milwaukee,
WI
US

German expressionism. American decorative arts. Among the nation's best American art post 1960. The Milwaukee Art Museum is a leading American institution for the work of self-taught artists and holds one of the largest collections of works by Georgia O’Keeffe and other artistic luminaries in four floors of the 341,000-square-foot museum. Encompassing more than 25,000 pieces, the museum's collection ranges from 90 works of Haitian art and 450-plus German expressionist prints to an expansive contemporary art selection that includes pieces by Andy Warhol. Among the more singular holdings in the more than 40 galleries are the earliest surviving American-made chair.

Temporary and traveling exhibitions pass through each year, spotlighting everything from Rembrandt to color photography. Upcoming highlights include tattoo art, nineteenth-century portraiture, and, in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the abstract paintings of Wassily Kandinsky. Delve deeper into works on display during lectures and talks, part of a packed events calendar that includes concerts and film screenings. Visitors can also flex their own artistic muscles during programs such as kids' and adult art classes.

700 N Art Museum Dr
Milwaukee,
WI
US

The 14,500-year-old Hebior mammoth stands sentinel at the entrance to the Milwaukee Public Museum, serving as a massive reminder to all who pass that they are traveling back in time. Originally founded in 1882, the museum has spent more than a century collecting artifacts and fossils from around the world to portray the vast reaches of natural and human history throughout 150,000 square feet of exhibit space spread over three and a half floors.

Representing the recent past, The Streets of Old Milwaukee's turn-of-the-century gas-lit lanes and the European Village place visitors up close to replicas of more than 58 structures, including an old-fashioned barbershop and a fully furnished Scottish dwelling. Traveling further back to the Cretaceous period in the Third Planet exhibit, a life-size replica of a tyrannosaurus greets visitors with its tiny arms and impeccable manners. Visitors can also explore treasures from Africa, Asia, and the Arctic, or stroll through the butterfly wing to witness free-flying exotic and native species.

Adjacent to the museum, the Daniel M. Soref National Geographic Dome Theater and Planetarium theater display astronomical wonders with a Digistar 3 computer-projection system. The Skies Over Milwaukee show lights up the ceiling with the current night sky for a tour of the planets and constellations. In the same theater, giant screen films transport audience members to the top of Everest or to the bottom of the ocean with a six-story screen, wraparound digital sound, and the distilled imaginations of 5-year-olds.

800 W Wells St
Milwaukee,
WI
US