UWM Art Collection Now Online

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Art Collection, comprised of approximately 4,500 works, is now available online in a searchable database.

The collection, with works by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Georgia O’Keeffe, William Hogarth, Alexander Calder and many others, includes prints, drawings, paintings, sculptures and decorative art objects.

“Like many universities, we have an eclectic collection of art,” says Linda Brazeau, curator of the collection. It represents numerous gifts donors have made to the university over the years.

The works are used for teaching and research. Graduate students in the Department of Art History’s Museum Studies Program are encouraged to draw on the items in the collection for master’s thesis exhibitions in the Art History Gallery.(View some of the images in the slideshow below.)

The online database provides information about the UWM Art Collection to the UWM community and, significantly, to a broader statewide, national and international community of scholars, researchers and institutions, according to Brazeau.

Christa Story, curatorial associate, worked with Brazeau for more than a year to research items in the collection for the database. It was painstaking and tedious work, often requiring additional research and cross-checking.

The database provides the artist’s name and nationality, object type, title, medium and other details. Story has photographed and added digital images to accompany approximately 10 percent of the artworks in the database so far. Like the database itself, the digital images are a work in progress, which will be continually updated as more research is conducted and artwork is added to the collection, according to Brazeau.

The collection includes Western and non-Western art, and spans a wide range of styles and time periods. “We have a really strong collection of British satirical drawings and engravings,” says Story.

By putting the collection online, according to Brazeau, more people will be aware of the works. “Not many people on or off campus know that we have such a sizeable and wonderful collection of art.”