Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Artwork in Milwaukee

Yesterday I drove up to Milwaukee to see the Comic Art Masters exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum. It was my second visit to this beautiful structure since it opened a few years ago. The building is stunning inside and out, and Santiago Calatrava is defintely my favorite working architect. And when you go, DON'T enter from street level, but instead take the pedsetrian bridge over Michigan Street for a great view of the building's wings. On my previous visit to the museum the weather had been windy and the wings were contracted, but yesterday they were spread wide open. (Only my first real blog entry, and already I'm inserting hyperlinks like a pro! Blogspot really makes this easy!)

As soon as I entered the Comic Art Exhibit, I liked it already. It is so spacious and airy and well-lighted. (One time I went to an exhibit at a different museum, and the experience was one of crowdedness and dankness and darkness; I won't be mentioning what museum that was though, because the Hayfamzone Blog will be a reservoir of postivity and uplift.)

The exhibit is organized smartly in accordance with the historical evolution of comics. Comic Strip artwork is near the beginning, then comes Comic Book artwork, then comes Underground Comic Book artwork, then comes Other Contemporary Comics-Related artwork. There are a few details I could quibble with about the exhibition but I WON'T, seeing as this is an all-positive blog. The exhibit gets an A+ from me and I'm very glad I went to see it.

One thing I was wondering as I drove up to Milwaukee was: who owns this artwork? As a former and future comic art owner myself, I was curious who had opened their collections to share with the public. I will give an accounting below of some of the ownerships that were accredited.

The exhibit opened with Winsor McKay original artwork dating back 99 and 100 years. I was amazed at what great condition these ancient artifacts were in, and doubly amazed at their size which certainly encroached upon 2 feet wide by 3 feet tall. There were five Little Nemo strips, including the 1908 entry in which Nemo's bedposts become elastic stretching legs and take him on a harrowing journey through McKayLand. Some of the McKay originals are owned by Garry Trudeau.

The exhibit continued with some great Segar Popeye pages (two owned by Patrick McDonnell and one owned by Craig Yoe) and some equally great Herriman Krazy Kat pages (also with two owned by Patrick McDonnell and one owned by Craig Yoe). Patrick McDonnell, of course, is the creator of Mutts, which is my favorite currently-running comic strip. And although the details will be for another blog entry on another day, for now I'll just say that it was my pleasure to be invited to and to attend an Artists Party held by artist Craig Yoe in his home in 1983.

I'm skipping ahead a little bit now because my two typing fingers are getting weary
but, two words: Jack Kirby.
Jack Kirby is the reason I read and enjoy comic books to this day. For the past twelve months I've been selling my original art collection on ebay, everyting EXCEPT my Jack Kirby pages. As I was standing (drooling, actually) in front of three double-page splashes and the cover to Kamandi #1, a like-minded individual next to me started chatting with me about Kirby. A big Hayfamzone Blog Hello to Scott Gaulke. It turns out Scott is a comic art collector also, and he knew (like I do) about some Kirby pages that are up for bid on ebay right now. And also Scott has a Member Gallery on Or maybe you'd like another look at my Member Gallery.

There's more to say about my visit to the museum, but that will have to be for the Blog of the Future. As the museum closed and I exited, I saw many people standing on the pedestrian bridge looking back at the museum. They were watching as the wings of the museum swung closed for the day. And I watched too.


At 10:39 AM, Blogger *tom* said...

mr. fancy!


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