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Milwaukee Art Museum

Peruse a vast collection of classic European and American art in this gallery that is housed in a striking modern building.

Milwaukee Museum of Art can trace its roots all the way back to 1888 as the city’s first art gallery, yet its striking modern façade is one of the museum’s most compelling exhibits. The 2001 Quadracci Pavilion extension is a dramatic addition to Milwaukee’s skyline and a winner of numerous design awards. The hand-built concrete structure looks like a cross between a gothic cathedral and a ship, with arches, “wings”, and soaring glass windows.

The museum’s permanent collection contains almost 25,000 works of art from a broad range of styles and mediums dating from the 15th century to the present day. In addition to four floors and nearly 350,000 square feet (32,500 square meters) of gallery space, there are frequent high-profile temporary exhibitions and events, an auditorium, a study center, a library and a war memorial center. Dedicate at least three hours to really explore the building and its variety of exhibits.

The museum is acclaimed nationally for its collections of American decorative arts, German impressionism, video art and Haitian artwork. The big European names on show include Degas, Rodin, Picasso, Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec. Modern highlights include some of Andy Warhol’s finest works, and pieces by Mark Rothko and Frank Lloyd Wright.

The museum’s frequent temporary exhibitions are designed to capture the imagination of art lovers with shows from all over the world. Past events have featured vibrant animation art, abstract photography, optical art and interior design.

Budding young artists can attend a series of summer camps and drop-in art classes featuring hands-on activities, music-making and movie screenings.

Milwaukee Museum of Art is located on the shores of Lake Michigan just off Lincoln Memorial Drive, and is open every day except Mondays. Avoid paying for on-site parking by taking the bus or Amtrak, which stops about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the museum.


Guide to Exploring around Milwaukee Art Museum


Best Lodging Options Near Milwaukee Art Museum

See all 434 properties near Milwaukee Art Museum
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee CA $112
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

333 W Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee, WI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Westown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Milwaukee Public Museum and Fiserv Forum. Milwaukee Public Market and Milwaukee Art Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Milwaukee Intermodal Station is 12 minutes by foot.

    The Pfister Hotel CA $185
    The Pfister Hotel

    The Pfister Hotel

    424 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in East Town, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and Riverside Theater. Pabst Theater and Milwaukee Public Market are also within 10 minutes. Milwaukee Intermodal Station is 16 minutes by foot.

      Hyatt Place Milwaukee/Downtown CA $135
      Hyatt Place Milwaukee/Downtown

      Hyatt Place Milwaukee/Downtown

      800 W Juneau Ave, Milwaukee, WI
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Westown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Fiserv Forum and Milwaukee Public Museum. Milwaukee Public Market and Milwaukee Art Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km). Milwaukee Intermodal Station is 19 minutes by foot.

        Hampton Inn & Suites Milwaukee Downtown CA $95
        Hampton Inn & Suites Milwaukee Downtown

        Hampton Inn & Suites Milwaukee Downtown

        176 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Westown, this hotel is steps away from Warner Grand Theater and Riverside Theater. Wisconsin Center and Pabst Theater are also within 10 minutes. Milwaukee Intermodal Station is 11 minutes by foot.

          Drury Plaza Hotel Milwaukee Downtown CA $132
          Drury Plaza Hotel Milwaukee Downtown

          Drury Plaza Hotel Milwaukee Downtown

          700 N. Water Street, Milwaukee, WI
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in East Town, this hotel is steps away from Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and Riverside Theater. Wisconsin Center and Pabst Theater are also within 10 minutes. Milwaukee Intermodal Station is 14 minutes by foot.

            Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown CA $123
            Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown

            Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown

            611 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in East Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Riverside Theater and Milwaukee Public Market. Wisconsin Center and Pabst Theater are also within 15 minutes. Milwaukee Intermodal Station is 14 minutes by foot.

              Aloft Milwaukee Downtown CA $130
              Aloft Milwaukee Downtown

              Aloft Milwaukee Downtown

              1230 N Old World Third St, Milwaukee, WI
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Westown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Martin Luther King Drive, Fiserv Forum and Pabst Theater. Wisconsin Center and Riverside Theater are also within 15 minutes. Milwaukee Intermodal Station is 18 minutes by foot.

                Cambria Hotel Milwaukee Downtown CA $123
                Cambria Hotel Milwaukee Downtown

                Cambria Hotel Milwaukee Downtown

                503 N Plankinton Ave, Milwaukee, WI
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Westown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Riverside Theater and Wisconsin Center. Discovery World and Harley-Davidson Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Milwaukee Intermodal Station is 9 minutes by foot.