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.
In 1977, a group of Milwaukee’s sailors responded to its city’s lack of a public sailing institution by banding together with county officials to create a not-for-profit organization accessible to everyone. The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center has continued to uphold this original vision of granting everyone—regardless of age, physical ability, or financial means—a chance to develop sailing skills while exploring Lake Michigan’s aqueous expanses. Since its founding, it has imparted its knowledge upon upwards of 100,000 student via hands-on classes and private lessons.
Throughout the summer’s balmy months, Milwaukee Community Sailing Center’s experienced and certified staff can be found reviewing boat safety with students during on-shore lessons or calling out instructions to their trainees from within a sailboat cruising around the lake. As winter’s frigid winds rage across the city, a host of off-season winter sessions enables skippers to keep their sea legs toned until spring returns. Bobbing cheerfully in the onsite marina, the center’s seaworthy fleet is comprised of more than 80 meticulously maintained vessels, including sturdy dinghies, cruisers, and saddled-up krakens. The center’s dedication to bringing the community together on the water is further evidenced in its outreach programs, including one designed to help Milwaukee’s at-risk youth turn a new leaf by helping them uncover hidden talents, develop leadership skills, and conquer their fears.
Reservations/Appointments: Not offered
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
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 Jews Who Rock (through August 10). This display includes fabulous performance photographs, loads of trivia, and great connections to many artists and their work. In September, we are opening our largest exhibit to date, Stitching History from the Holocaust, which will detail the experience of Hedy Strnad, a woman who sent eight designs to Milwaukee in the hopes of immigrating.
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.
Making new friends doesn't have to involve going to the bar or lurking in the grocery store produce section. It could mean joining Milwaukee Social Club, a local organization that schedules sports leagues and special events. Players have their choice of sports to play year round, from Touch Football in the Fall to Softball, Volleyball, and Kickball in the summer. A second season of new leagues has been added for participants. They can also enjoy events such as Packer Viewing parties and the exclusive "MSC Day-Off".
Discovery World’s 120,000 square feet of exhibits celebrate exploration—both of technology and aquatic life. Guests can gaze at a 75,000-gallon freshwater tank filled with species found in the Great Lakes, stroll down a glass-enclosed tunnel beneath the 65,000-gallon saltwater tank containing colorful Caribbean fish, and admire jellyfish showing off their limber break-dance skills before getting their hands wet in touch tanks with sturgeon, stingrays, and more. The museum further satisfies thirst for watery knowledge with to-scale replicas of the Great Lakes and the Challenge, a 19th-century schooner.
Discovery World houses plenty of exhibits dedicated to innovative technology, including Les Paul’s House of Sound, which features guitars from Les Paul’s own personal collection. Visitors can also practice flying a plane and skywriting marriage proposals in the airplane simulator, or peer inside a nuclear reactor as it generates energy.