Tonight at 5 p.m., the Milwaukee Art Museum will celebrate the opening of A Social Event Archive, a collection of more than 700 submitted photographs depicting “public or private social occasions.” The piece is notable for having been assembled over the course of a decade, and for being the first solo exhibition from a contemporary Milwaukee artist—in this case, Paul Druecke—ever shown at MAM. Neat!
But back in 1983, just three years after the Milwaukee Art Museum changed its name from the Milwaukee Art Center, the museum was all about art history heavy hitters. In a recently unearthed commercial from that year, a diminutive Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a flamboyant Salvador Dalí, a tortured Vincent van Gogh, and a Last Supper-serving Leonardo da Vinci implore Milwaukeeans to become museum members—all for the low, low price of $35 a year. Buckle up for some wacky art jokes!
These days, an individual MAM membership is $65 a year—a little closer to van Gogh’s “arm, and a leg, and…,” but still entirely reasonable and worth it. A Social Event Archive will be on view through August 13.