The pretty good day

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These days, every American museum of art with an even vaguely contemporary collection must have a Richter of its own.  Here is the Milwaukee Art Museum, a few days back, with a big splendid Richter that gets an entire wall to itself.  But, while your 9591 iris was delighted to see this big beauty, that’s not why she was there.

Visiting a good regional museum opens the world in ways that the major institutions cannot.  Chicago, MoMA, the Musée d’Orsay are stuffed to the gills with the greats.  But when you visit the smaller, more modest museums, that’s when you learn about the artists who may not have won the superfame jackpot but were instrumental in moving art ahead.

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This is “The Green House, Murnau,” by Gabriele Münter, one of the foremost avant garde painters of her time and almost unknown to most of us today – a founder, along with Kandinsky and Franz Marc, of The Blue Rider, and one of the very few pushing, hauling, leading art ahead from impressionism into expressionism. Milwaukee has quite a few of her pieces, and beyond that it is just generally a swell place to expand your understanding of the modern life of art. I walked out in a state of happy exhaustion.

A tour like that, plus a wood-fired pizza or a few oysters at the Public Market, and you’ve had a pretty good day.

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