400 W. Canal St.
setting and design of the Harley-Davidson Museum perfectly captures the
independent spirit and creative design that made the Harley-Davidson
Motor Co. a dominating American icon and Milwaukee’s most revered
native original. The exhibition traces the company’s history through a
chronological and thematic narrative that draws from Harley-Davidson’s
extensive archive of historical documentation, as well as a collection
of motorcycles that begins with Harley’s first, the Serial Number One
built in 1903. The three-building campus—a stunning architectural study
of galvanized steel, glass-enclosed bridges and a massive four-sided
tower that bears the motor company’s famous Bar & Shield
logo—includes space for permanent and temporary exhibitions, the
company’s archives, a restaurant and café, a retail shop and plenty of
outdoor space for rallies. (Sarah Biondich)
Milwaukee Art Museum
700 N. Art Museum Drive
a breathtaking collection of visual art, from antiquity to the modern
era, housed within an equally stunning work of architecture, the
Milwaukee Art Museum may just be the city’s star attraction. Comprised
of three buildings—designed by three legendary architects: Eero
Saarinen, David Kahler and, most recently, Santiago Calatrava—the
museum contains some 20,000 pieces, including the work of luminaries
such as Monet, Picasso, Miró and Warhol. With more than 40 galleries to
peruse, and with works regularly rotated in and out of exhibition,
visitors can come back time and again and always find something new and
striking. (Thomas Michalski)
Milwaukee Public Museum
800 W. Wells St.
150,000 square feet of exhibition space spread across three floors, the
Milwaukee Public Museum offers patrons the opportunity to immerse
themselves in eons of natural and cultural history. The expansive,
meticulously recreated dioramas of people, animals and, of course,
dinosaurs in their natural environments create a unique and at times
startlingly real experience of stepping into worlds lost to the past.
It’s easy to see why many exhibits have earned renown across the world.
Not content to coast on the success of classic exhibits such as the
vast “Streets of Old Milwaukee,” the museum also features the Humphrey
IMAX Dome Theater and a live butterfly habitat. (T.M.)
The Pabst Mansion
2000 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Frederick Pabst, founder of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, was quite ahead of
his time, and the Pabst Mansion is proof. The museum is evidence of
elegant and modern 19th-century design, and stands as one of the few
remaining Wisconsin Avenue mansions. The current exhibit, titled
“Demolition Means Progress?: Milwaukee’s Lost Architecture,” continues
through June 6. Tours run daily and cost $9 for adults, $8 for
seniors/students, and $5 for children 6-17. (Emilee Weier)
Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
2220 N. Terrace Ave.
is a testament to its style and design that Villa Terrace stands out
among the historic, lakefront mansions that surround it. The
Renaissance-style villa possesses an impressive collection of European
and American artworks and features exhibitions by contemporary artists.
The Renaissance Garden is Villa Terrace’s most stunning feature,
particularly during the summer. The view from Lincoln Memorial Drive
may be good, but the beautiful gardens and serene water stairway
deserve a visit. (Emily Patti)
Photo: Harley-Davidson Museum | by Kevin Gardner