Milwaukee will celebrate Santiago Calatrava Day on Friday

MILWAUKEE – Bob Shirrell and his wife are frequent visitors to the Milwaukee Museum of Art, going there at least every two or three months.


What do you want to know

  • The Milwaukee Art Museum celebrates its 20th anniversary
  • The Quadracci Pavilion was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava
  • Mayor Cavalier Johnson dedicated Friday, September 16, 2022 to Santiago Calatrava Day
  • The Milwaukee Museum of Art is offering free admission on Friday to celebrate

On Wednesday, he and his wife were in town from Northfield, Illinois, with a cousin from the East Coast. This meant plenty of photo and video opportunities, especially in front of the museum as the wings closed and opened at noon.

“It’s a novelty, obviously, and it’s fun to have,” Shirrell said. “It’s striking.”

And they are not alone.

Many people from all over Milwaukee, Wisconsin and around the world come to admire the uniqueness of the museum movement.

Virginia Harrop is from London, England. It was his second visit to Milwaukee. The first was in 2015.

“One of the main reasons we really wanted to come back was because when we arrived the art gallery was closed for renovations, so we wanted to come back to see it now,” Harrop said.

Not only did she want to see the works of art, but she wanted to see the museum in its own grandeur.

“The wings that open and close… the moving architecture is quite amazing,” she added.

The museum celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Quadracci Pavilion, designed by Santiago Calatrava, on Wednesday, saying they got more from him than they ever hoped for.

“In 1994, when we started this process, we thought we would get a nice building. Ultimately, what we received as a gift from Mr. Calatrava was a sense of destiny, a sense of purpose, a sense of hope and aspiration for our community,” said Marcelle Polednik, Director of Milwaukee Art Museum. “A sense of aspiration that we haven’t realized yet, but that’s the good news. This is the work of the next 20 years and beyond.

With Calatrava in town for the celebration, Spectrum News 1 asked him how the museum compares to what he envisioned when he designed it.

“The intention was to open the city to the lake. It is also very important. It is not only a contribution to art, but it is also when art has become an anchor to the city as a point of reference as well as a connection with the city, with the nature of the lake in front us,” Calatrava said.

The museum celebrates “Santiago Calatrava Day” on Friday, September 16, 2022, with free entry. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day.

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