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Three Monumental Mosaics Defining Milwaukee’s Modern Landscape

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Move beyond Cream City Brick and join us to learn more about Milwaukee Modernism and our world class monumental mosaics!

About this event

Did you know that Milwaukee is a center for mosaic art?

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article from1960 named the city just that! The successful integration of art and architecture in the mid-century built environment is nowhere more apparent than through the awesome beauty of monumental mosaics, and we're privileged to have many preservation worthy examples of them. Milwaukee’s modernist building boom of the early 1960s saw young artists working alongside the finest architectural firms. These collaborations are still evident today in some of Milwaukee’s most iconic downtown buildings: the War Memorial Center (1959, mosaic by Edmund Lewandowski); Marine Plaza, now known as Chase Tower (1962, mosaic by Merritt Yearsley), and Milwaukee State Office Building (1963, mosaic by Marjorie Kreilick).

Understanding the ethos behind the works, along with the principles and practice of mosaic methods of the era, can enhance historic preservation efforts as well as our general enjoyment of these precious cultural assets. Looking deeper at these site-specific artworks, we appreciate they are not ‘mere jewelry’ but intended as integral parts of the buildings’ architecture.

Our speaker, Lillian Sizemore, has worked as a mosaicist since 1993, with a specialty in midcentury mosaics, and will offer unique insight into these monumental architectural installations. Through an exciting visual presentation she will trace this ancient art from Italy to the Port of Milwaukee, to give viewers a 21st-century update and appreciation for these outstanding historic treasures hiding in plain sight.

You won't want to miss this jewel of a program!

This program is possible thanks to the generous support of Program Sponsors Mary and Ross Read and Anne H. and Fred Vogel III, along with Presenter Sponsor Eric Vogel and Zoom Sponsor UEDA - Urban Economic Development Association.

To register:

  • choose either MPA Member (free) or Non-MPA Member ($10)
  • if you aren't sure if your MPA membership is current, please email mpa@milwaukeepreservation.org
  • if you're not an MPA member, please consider supporting our work by joining today for as little as $15 at milwaukeepreservationalliance.org/membership

Login instructions to participate in the program on Zoom will be provided to registrants in an email sent following registration and will also be sent in follow up emails prior to the event as well as posted on the Eventbrite Online Event Page.

About Milwaukee Preservation Alliance

Milwaukee Preservation Alliance promotes stewardship and knowledge of the historic, cultural, and economic value of Milwaukee’s built heritage. We aim to strengthen Milwaukee’s neighborhoods by advocating for preservation in order to foster a strong and vibrant community. Through advocacy and education, MPA is making preservation mainstream in Milwaukee by demonstrating to residents, business owners, and building owners the link between historic preservation and viable economic development.

About Lillian Sizemore

Lillian Sizemore is an independent researcher and Italian-trained mosaicist specializing in midcentury mosaic history. Sizemore was educated at Indiana University in Fine Arts and Italian, the University of Bologna in Italy, and The Prince's School of Traditional Arts in London. Sizemore is currently writing on the field of mosaic for international journals and is developing a survey of modern muralists.

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Organizer Milwaukee Preservation Alliance

Organizer of Three Monumental Mosaics Defining Milwaukee’s Modern Landscape

Vision: MPA is making preservation mainstream by demonstrating to residents, business owners, and building owners the link between historic preservation and viable economic development.
Mission: Milwaukee Preservation Alliance’s mission is devoted to promoting stewardship and awareness of the historic, cultural, and economic value of Milwaukee’s built heritage. MPA aims to strengthen Milwaukee’s neighborhoods by advocating for preservation in order to foster a strong and vibrant community.
Founded: 2003
Awards: National Trust for Historic Preservation Partner Network, City of Milwaukee 2012 Cream of the Cream City

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