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

A Place For A Muse: A New Series Coming To AIP!

My wife is a working artist and educator. I have dabbled in art most of my life. So vacations nearly everywhere we go includes visits to museums or other cultural sites. So this idea has been wandering around in the back of my brain for a month or two now. But it is finally starting to come into focus.

But basically the idea is to write about actual museums. When critics visit museums it is generally to review a particular seasonal or traveling show. All well and good and quite exciting to read. But unless a museum is opening or re-opening after a remix/remodel, nothing is written about the actual museum.

So my plan is to change that. As we travel and visit museums I certainly may continue to comment on significant shows…but I want to document the actual museum; its location, its physical appearance, its physical presence, its various amenities, and its collection(s) or specialties.

Sound like fun? I hope so.

But why the title, A Place For A Muse? Well one of the hang ups in putting this idea to work was a working title. And that all came apparent to be apparent while attending a university class on mythology and the professor mentioned that museum comes from muse. And looking around the internet I found any number of fuller translations from the Latin or Greek…like seat of the muses, shrine to the muses, place for the muses, etc. So I pondered any number of these sources and definitions and went with a simpler and hopefully more apropos title.

Hope you come back to read about my discoveries and thoughts about museums!

Stealth Public Sculpture In Milwaukee County’s Lake Park! Part 3: It’s Alive!

Since my discovery of a number of related public sculptures in Milwaukee’s Lake Park and my documentation of them here at An Intuitive Perspective, these sculptures have become touchstone landmarks for me as I travel from my home up along the lake front. I am disappointed when traffic volume requires all of my attention and I can’t spot them as I pass. First article from December 12, 2021 and Second from February 12, 2022.

So this past Monday, April 25, 2022, I was unbelieving when one of my favorites had been changed. So on my way home I had to check again and yes indeed, the sculpture had changed. Whether the change was completed by the original artist or another party, there is no way for me to know. I am leaning toward the originator and would hope that it hasn’t been ‘vandalized’ by someone else.

So what am I talking about? Well, here’s the original configuration of the sculpture, as I first encountered it.

© 2022 Ed Heinzelman
© 2022 Ed Heinzelman

As you can see the concrete discs are facing the park and street…but on Monday and on Wednesday April, 27, 2022 when I took the following photographs, we are now viewing them edgewise.

© 2022 Ed Heinzelman
© 2022 Ed Heinzelman

And of course sculpture is a three dimensional art form that should be experienced in the round…and setting these into a tree at the base of the bluff somewhat restricts viewing angles and maybe flattens out the sculpture. But turning the stones that ninety degrees now presents us with an entirely different sculpture and experience. I like it but I will admit to preferring the initial presentation.

So I will continue to enjoy my interactions with this wonderful pieces and see where we and they go from here.

And I am waiting for a warmer day to walk the lake front to see if there are other stealth hidden treasures in the park that I haven’t been able to discover from my car…whether there is more to find or not…it will be a remarkable experience nonetheless to explore Lake Park and environs on foot after too many years absence.

P.S. If anyone knows the artist, I would love to talk with them about their vision and practice.