Sunday, May 12, 2013


The Museum of Wisconsin Art, in West Bend, recently reopened in a new, architecturally interesting building, and I decided to pay it a visit on Saturday, May 11.  MOWA has adopted an unusual admission policy:  Admission is free but is only available to museum members.  Membership for a year is very inexpensive.  In practice, one acquires a one-year membership and then can attend as often as one wants.

I spent quite a bit of time early in my visit trying to capture the building's architecture.  The building is faced with white and near-white panels.  And the windows are broken up with horizontal dividers.  Here is a shot of the building's main entrance.

The most distinctive architectural element of the building is the end opposite the main entrance which is wedge-shaped, coming to a very sharp point, as shown in the following shot.

Although this was shot at a wide focal length of 30mm, the result is not that much of an exaggeration; this is essentially how it looks.

Here is a shot of this same corner taken from inside.

Not as interesting.  Might have been interesting had the sky been a clear blue.

The building's interior features a long corridor along the west side on both the first and second floors, with galleries and other spaces extending off the corridor to the east.  Here are a couple of shots of the first floor corridor . . .

and one of the second.

The effect is of a very open space, particularly on the second floor.

And now for some of the featured art.  Although the museum is modest in size, it features a number of interesting pieces, including the following.

(Is she playing with a yo-yo?)

Great realism.

And anti-realism.

As usual, I found myself shooting what I thought were the more interesting aspects of some of the works, rather than the full work.

Here is a full shot of a very large (at least 15 feet across) painting.

A little creepy, really, as a few of the figures had a zombie-like demeanor.  

As in the past, I find myself enjoying photographing sculpture because the three-dimensionality adds a depth-of-field component.  The following was technically three-dimensional--a small cabinet painted in flamboyant stripes--but the shot I took was of its two-dimensional front surface (except for the round knobs).

The most interesting gallery consisted of a special exhibit of contemporary glass art.  Here is a general view at that gallery.

And here are some of the individual pieces.

These are glass ears of corn.

Here is a close-up of a vase.  

Admittedly, the observer cannot discern what this is, but I liked the abstract pattern.

A collection of plates hung on the wall formed another interesting abstract.

I'm not sure what the following piece was intended to represent, but I liked its whimsical design.

Here is a close-up showing a bit more detail.

Following are shots of pieces that were positioned on the wall.

The secret here is that I turned these shots upside down because I liked the play of the shadows.

And finally here is a shot of a life-sized gorilla that looked like it was made of ceramic or plaster that had been studded with thousands of small glass beads and then further adorned with larger crystal balls.

I liked the simplicity of this shot of a complex piece of art.

Meanwhile, I thought I would include a couple of shots outside of MOWA.  This first speaks for itself.

And I found these characters outside of the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust facility located adjacent to MOWA.

I think I've seen these guys--or their cousins--before.


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