A Place For A Muse: The Paine Art Center, Oshkosh WI.

The Paine Mansion: copy of postcard purchased at Paine Art Center

The Paine Art Center And Gardens has been a museum that my wife and I have talked about visiting on any number of occasions. But it never quite fit our schedule. So recently as we headed for an opening of a membership show of the Wisconsin Pastel Artists at the Richeson School of Art and Gallery in Kimberly WI, we put a stop in Oshkosh on our itinerary.

The art center is housed in the beautiful English Tudor mansion shown in the photo that opens this post. Originally planned as an estate by Nathan Paine (Paine Lumber Company) and his wife, Jessie Kimberly Paine (Kimberly-Clarke Paper), construction was started in 1927 and the exterior was completed in 1930. But due to the depression, construction was halted for a time and by the post-WWII era, the Paines decided the mansion would house an art center/museum…the lovely space that we enjoy today.

exterior of the Paine Mansion © 2022 by Ed Heinzelman

The interior of the mansion consists of a number of grand staged rooms filled with period furnishings…much of it of French influence. And a great number of late 19th Century paintings by French and American artists and a solid representation of the Barbizon school. Behind the mansion is a group of formal, informal, and event gardens heavily influenced by English gardens. I took the following photos during our visit to the Paine…and my skills here…don’t do justice to the amazing art center.

And here we have the entry hall. As you will see, wood has a prominent place in design, construction, and decoration throughout the building.

© 2022 by Ed Heinzelman

Now here we have the Great Hall or ‘living room’. The influence here is Tudor and Elizabethan and the wood accents and carvings were completed by Paine Lumber Company artisans. Now, visitors aren’t allowed to enter the central areas of these rooms and are limited to small roped off areas just inside the doorways or the doorways themselves. This is fine for studying the rooms and furnishings but does limit one’s appreciation of some of the carving and the paintings displayed around each room.

© 2022 by Ed Heinzelman
© 2022 by Ed Heinzelman

And you also need a place to dine and eat breakfast…so these open and naturally lit spaces are just absolutely inviting!

© 2022 by Ed Heinzelman
© 2022 by Ed Heinzelman

Now I mentioned paintings. Every room has a selection of delightful paintings as do any number of hallways, passageways, and meeting areas. Prominent artists in the permanent collection at the Paine include George Innis, Jean-Francois Millet, Charles Francois Daubigny, Thomas Moran, Wilson Henry Irvine, Leroy Ireland, J Francis Murphy (a new name for me and an exciting painter), Theodore Rosseau, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, John Edward Costigan, Lillian M. Genth, and others. One highly recognizable painting is a portrait of George Washington attributed to Gilbert Stuart.

And one more photo of some worked wood in a banister and landing:

© 2022 by Ed Heinzelman

And a few photos of the gardens (the tulips were in full bloom) and the rear of the mansion from the gardens!

© 2022 by Ed Heinzelman
© 2022 by Ed Heinzelman
© 2022 by Ed Heinzelman

There is a nominal entry fee at the Paine Art Center and Gardens, currently $9.00 per adult and grants admission to both the mansion and gardens. And besides the permanent collection, there is an exhibition space on the first floor that features seasonal or traveling shows. On our visit it was an incredible show of contemporary bead work by South African women artists based on traditional beading. Here is a photo of part of the central piece.

© 2022 by Ed Heinzelman

The Paine also features The Studio on the lower level where a variety of art activities and classes take place…so it is actively and directly involved with the community.

Thinking of a visit? You won’t be disappointed…here is the link to their website with all of the information needed to plan a visit!

And just a few random shots of the paintings in the collection:

Thomas Moran © 2022 by Ed Heinzelman
John Edward Costigan © 2022 by Ed Heinzelman
Charles Francois Daubigny © 2022 by Ed Heinzelman

PSA:The Secret’s Out: Introducing the Milwaukee Rep’s Scrooge for Their 2022 Presentation of a Christmas Carol!




May 23, 2022 (Milwaukee, WI) Milwaukee Rep is pleased to announce beloved Milwaukeean Matt Daniels will perform the role of Scrooge in the 2022 production of A Christmas Carol in the historic Pabst Theater November 29 – Decemebr 24, 2022. Trained at Juilliard, Mr. Daniels previously appeared in Titanic The Musical, Junk, Guys and Dolls and Man of La Mancha at Milwaukee Rep. He has extensive acting and directing credits across Wisconsin and Milwaukee Rep is thrilled he is taking on such an iconic role in Milwaukee’s favorite holiday tradition.


Adapted by Artistic Director Mark Clements, A Christmas Carol is one of the best-known and loved stories in the English language. During the course of one memorable Christmas Eve the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future help Scrooge discover it is never too late to change his miserly ways. Enchanting music, dance, costumes, scenery and special effects will once again fill the theater to tell this timeless tale of love, hope and redemption

The best seats at the best prices for A Christmas Carol are available with a Subscription to Milwaukee Rep. Purchase a Subscription at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, by calling the Ticket Office at 414-224-9490 or in-person at 108 E Wells Street in downtown Milwaukee. Group tickets are available for parties 10+ by calling 414-290-5340. Single Tickets go on sale in July 2022.