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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


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Lodging Near Milwaukee Art Museum

See all 117 Hotels near Milwaukee Art Museum
$106
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

333 W Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee
4.0
of 5, from 673 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This downtown Milwaukee hotel is located in the city’s bustling center, close to the Milwaukee River, one block from Bradly Center and Milwaukee Theatre, and linked via skywalk to shops on Grand Avenue and various restaurants.

$145
The Pfister Hotel

The Pfister Hotel

424 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee
4.6
of 5, from 762 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Opened in 1893, this grand dame of Milwaukee is set in the financial district, 3 blocks from the Lake Michigan waterfront, and within 8 blocks of cultural, entertainment, and convention venues.

$79
Astor Hotel

Astor Hotel

924 E Juneau Ave, Milwaukee
3.2
of 5, from 209 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in East Town, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cathedral Square and Milwaukee Art Museum. Discovery World and BMO Harris Bradley Center are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$109
The Plaza Hotel

The Plaza Hotel

1007 N Cass Street, Milwaukee
3.8
of 5, from 122 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in East Town, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cathedral Square, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Discovery World. BMO Harris Bradley Center and Charles Allis Art Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$164
Hotel Metro

Hotel Metro

411 E Mason St, Milwaukee
4.2
of 5, from 180 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Hotel Metro is a 5-minute walk from the Milwaukee River and Cathedral Square. Guests can walk 10 minutes to the Marcus Center For The Performing Arts and Milwaukee Public Market, and just a little farther to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Bradford Beach is a 10-minute drive.

$161
The Westin Milwaukee

The Westin Milwaukee

550 N Van Buren St, Milwaukee
4.2
of 5, from 12 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in East Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of US Bank Center, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Discovery World. BMO Harris Bradley Center and Charles Allis Art Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$99
InterContinental Milwaukee

InterContinental Milwaukee

139 E Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee
4.1
of 5, from 417 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in East Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Pabst Theater and BMO Harris Bradley Center. Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$120
The Knickerbocker on the Lake

The Knickerbocker on the Lake

1028 East Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee
3.8
of 5, from 109 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in East Town, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Jewish Museum Milwaukee, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Charles Allis Art Museum. BMO Harris Bradley Center and Discovery World are also within 1 mi (2 km).