My oh my, it has been a while, hasn’t it?  Golly, where has the time gone?  Beyond my usual excuses of laziness and being a non-motivated non-starter, I have nothing else to say other than the YouTube channels I subscribe to have items that just need to be seen. Let me ask you, if I don’t watch them, who will?  Makes you think, doesn’t it? You now have a better understanding of my circumstances.

Sometime during an ever-increasing internet outage that I suffered through, I realized that I had never relayed another incredible event from a lovely location that was previously mentioned in my humble blog cabin.  It is a center of artistry and wonder!  A sheer dazzlement of the senses!  But soft, and then hard, and then soft again, let me leave you dangling in a loogie of suspense no longer!  Let me start talking about my revisitation to the one, the only, the one and only: the Milwaukee Art Museum!

Once again, my wife and I had managed to abandon the children with their grandmother and we dashed off into the unknown, giddy with anticipation with wherever we might end up.  Our plans were made on the fly and seeing as how I like going places where material like this writes itself, we decided to go back to this museum.  Of course, I have written about this lovely establishment before, but this time a new exhibit was present, and it promised to be better than the usual fare.

This presentation contained various sketches and rough preliminary work by some of the most famous names in art.  For instance, there were pieces from Cézanne, Picasso, Monet, Renoir, Gaugin, Degas, Van Gogh, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Manet.  (That’s right, even with my limited education at a not-that-great Lutheran college, I could fake my way through any art conversation with any of those names that I listed above before subtly changing gears to talk about the artwork from the Usual Gang of Idiots at Mad magazine instead.  “Ah yes, Renoir.  Yes, yes…  But have you ever seen this example of an early Al Jaffee Fold-In?“) 

There was even a piece of art from Victor Hugo, which I rather liked.  Hugo is known predominantly for penning such masterworks as The Hunchback of Notre-DameLes Misérables, and of course, lest I forget, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.  Hugo is ultimately responsible for indirectly creating an entire culture of snooty theater folks who cannot be bothered with pronouncing the entirety of Les Misérables for it is far too difficult for them.  Instead, they bastardize it by saying “LAY MIZ” like the toffee-nosed schmucks that they are.  Pray for these buffoons.  (I guess we should be thankful that their abbreviation saved us from hearing their presumably awful pseudo-French accents failing to pronounce the entire title correctly.)

I regret to inform you that this is not the Milwaukee branch of Starfleet Headquarters.

I suppose you’re wondering why I’m not showing any of the pieces of the exhibition’s artwork on this fabulous blog.  This is a fair question, even if you didn’t ask it in the first place.  Photography was prohibited for the exhibit.  I suppose they didn’t want it getting out that Picasso drawing a horse on a napkin doesn’t look much different than if you or I drew a horse on a napkin.  Come to think of it, our horsey drawings might be better than whatever the hell Picasso was trying to do.  (Fine, I don’t know much about art, but I do know that cubism does nothing for me.  In fact, the only being interested in cubism is Q*Bert, but I digress.)

That being more than said, my wife and I decided to attempt to enjoy the rest of the museum.  Well, after we went to the delightful bistro contained within the museum first, that is.  I devoured a wondrous gourmet burger, a charming bowl of soup, and of course, the dessert of the gods: the frabjous crème brûlée.  (By the way, I went to the trouble of finding those accent marks, please be sure to read the word correctly!) My only complaint was that the portion should have been a smidge larger than half a pudding cup, but that is splitting hairs on what turned out to be a wonderful, wallet-emptying meal.

After a gratuitous amount of time where I brushed the crumbs from my shirt, I sallied forthrightly with my bride into the museum.  We were excited that we would have a chance to use our ever-rolling eyeballs to dismiss the incredible treasures that were soundly rejected by other art museums.  As always, the Milwaukee Art Museum did not disappoint!  Well, not too much in any case.

We had barely entered this repository of also-ran artwork when a security guard approached us.  I assumed that he was going to chastise us for our overloud snickering.  As he got closer, I valiantly stood my ground by remaining a safe distance behind my wife, ready to deny her faster than Peter denied knowing the Christ.  Of the two of us, she is the more responsible one and ultimately her talking would buy me time if a swift escape was needed.  Instead, the guard came up to us to mock the painting we were looking at!  We all had a good laugh together and just when we thought it was the oddest experience of our lives, he came back a few paintings later to make fun of a second painting!

I want to take this moment in this separate paragraph to say, bless you, random security guy.  The sense that you displayed in knowing that you could choose us to get away with mocking the very artwork you were hired to monitor was certainly justified.  You showed that you had a better eye than most of the displayed artists in the museum.

Without further ado, because any more ado would be quite inappropriate indeed, let me share with you some pictures that I could take because even the Milwaukee Art Museum could care less about whatever you’re doing with their regularly displayed artwork.  Let us never forget when this same establishment hosted a Martini Fest that ended up being the definition of the word debacle.  No, you are quite welcome!  Now let’s go arting!

Wilhelm LaFourtier’s 1704 masterpiece: 
Monsieur, Please Turn Your Head and Cough
This piece was called Jude Law: Armless Elizabethan Courtier
Some examples from the Inconvenient Time-Out Chairs of the Victorian Age display
Triangle & Rectangle in Love
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ergonomics? Kiss my A**!
Medieval Selfie
Screwdriver, Anyone? (I’m Abstract, You See!)
Rainbow Green Sparkle’s Yeah, Take a Good Look at Where all the Grant Money Went!

Well, now I’ve even offended myself with that last caption!  I am going to write a very harsh letter to me right now.  Once I gather my thoughts together, I can address myself with all the passion I can muster towards myself and me. I can’t wait to read what I’m going to tell myself! 

Remember, art is everywhere if you go looking for it. It is truly a mighty river that one can follow for an entire life.  I’d just not put my canoe down in Milwaukee if I were just starting out.

Published by benjaminawink

Being at best a lackadaisical procrastinator, this is purely an exercise in maintaining a writing habit for yours truly. This will obviously lead to the lucrative and inevitable book/movie/infomercial deal. I promise to never engage in hyperbole about my blog, which will be the greatest blog mankind has ever known since blogs started back in 1543. I won't promise anything other than a few laughs, a few tears, and maybe, just maybe, a few lessons about how to make smokehouse barbecue in your backyard.

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