Wisconsin Art Tour


Wisconsin Art Tour

Drive Dates: Thursday, October 14, and Saturday, October 16

Total Drive Distance: 148 miles

Estimated total tour duration: 8 hours

Art lovers, this one's for you! This tour will visit two noteworthy art museums: the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) in West Bend, a bustling city of approximately 32,000 residents, and the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM), in Milwaukee, the state’s largest metropolitan area. Both museums showcase striking, very contemporary architecture. MOWA was designed by the Milwaukee architectural firm HGA; MAM was designed by world-renowned Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava.


The tour route will make a beeline westward to reach scenic, twisty, hilly roads through the Kettle Moraine. The Kettle Moraine, deposits piled up between two glacial lobes, one emerging from the Lake Michigan basin, the other from the Green Bay basin, more than 10,000 years ago, offers some of Wisconsin’s most scenic, interesting, and fun-to-drive roads. This drive will not disappoint as we make our way to our Art destinations.


Upon arrival at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA), we will have a 1-hour docent-guided tour of the museum which explores the art and culture of Wisconsin. Founded in 1961, MOWA is one of the top museums of regional art in the United States with over 5,000 works of contemporary and historic art by more than 350 artists. MOWA opened its new 32,000-square-foot facility in 2013. The building is situated along the east bank of the Milwaukee River on a triangular plot of land that inspired the facility’s modern wedge shape. The museum houses five permanent collection galleries, three temporary exhibition spaces, and two classrooms as well as visible art storage, a shop, and a large atrium for public events.


After departing from MOWA, we’ll drive a few more miles on twisty Kettle Moraine roads before reaching flatter, straighter roads from which we’ll get glimpses of Lake Michigan. We’ll drive just a few miles on Interstate I-43 before getting off on Brown Deer Road to access North Lake Drive which we’ll follow southward through tony north shore suburbs. Many of Milwaukee’s early industrialists built mansions here overlooking the lake.

The drive continues by following Lincoln Memorial Drive along the shoreline to reach MAM a few minutes before noon. Twenty-five designated Porsche parking spaces will be reserved in the bright and airy underground parking structure beneath MAM. The Milwaukee Art Museum collects and preserves art, presenting it to the community as a vital source of inspiration and education. From its roots in Milwaukee’s first art gallery in 1888, the Museum has grown today to be an icon for Milwaukee and a resource for the entire state.


Our lunch spot is right next door at Harbor House Restaurant situated on a pier extending into the Milwaukee harbor (while our cars will remain safely ensconced in the MAM parking structure during lunch). Harbor House is a bright, spacious New England-style seafood restaurant Milwaukee residents and visitors love. The restaurant offers a premier lakefront dining experience and the freshest seafood flown in daily from both coasts. Our private dining room will offer unparalleled views of the lake, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Milwaukee's skyline.


After lunch, we’ll have a 1-hour docent-guided tour of MAM. Our tour officially ends after the museum tour. For those who wish to return to The American Club together, tour leaders will depart shortly after the museum tour to drive back to the resort.


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