Milwaukee Art Museum Architecture

War Memorial

Architecture

The Milwaukee Art Museum is an architectural landmark, comprised of three buildings designed by three legendary architects: Eero Saarinen, David Kahler, and Santiago Calatrava.

The War Memorial Center, completed in 1957, was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen to create a new home for two previously separate art collections and a veterans’ memorial. The modernist building is shaped like a floating cross, with wings cantilevered from a central base. Saarinen’s innovative design won praise for its dramatic use of space; Time magazine called it “one of the country’s finest examples of modern architecture put to work for civic purposes.”

Quadracci PavilionThe graceful Quadracci Pavilion is a sculptural, postmodern addition designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Highlights of the building are the magnificent cathedral-like space of Windhover Hall, with a vaulted a 90-foot-high glass ceiling; the Burke Brise Soleil, a moveable sunscreen with a 217-foot wingspan that unfolds and folds twice daily; and the Reiman Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge that connects the Museum to the city.

The Museum grounds were redesigned in conjunction with the Quadracci Pavilion, with a network of gardens, plazas, and fountains created by landscape architect Dan Kiley to parallel the addition. Kiley was known for his formal geometric approach to landscape design. His understated Cudahy Gardens use a grid of lawns divided by hedgerows and linear fountains to create a forecourt for the Museum. Kiley’s plan for the entrance plaza was inspired by the clean lines of Calatrava’s work, intended to synthesize the dynamics of the city, the building, and the natural environment.

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Popular Q&A

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What are the opening hours for Milwaukee Art Museum.

The Milwaukee Art Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5pm. On Thursday it is open until 8pm. The Milwaukee Art Museum is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving and the 25th of December.

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