Collection Highlights

Only a fraction of the more than five thousand works in the museum’s collection are represented in the Collection Highlights. The selection includes perennial favorites, as well as art historically significant works.

Meet Our Artists

The Artist Index includes over three hundred artists currently represented in the MOWA collection.

Explore Artists

DIVERSITY COMMIT MENT

Our Commitment

Diversity Commitment

MOWA is committed to presenting creative voices and narratives that have historically been under-represented, such as women and LGBTQ+ artists, Indigenous artists, and artists from our state’s Black and Brown communities.

The intention is to include all voices, challenge assumptions, and inspire fresh ways of thinking about culture and the history of Wisconsin art.

302

artists in the collection

23%

women artists

9%

BIPOC and underrepresented communities

About the Collection

Founded in 1961 by Melitta Hedwig Suder-Pick—a woman clearly ahead of her time—MOWA has been unconventional and forward-thinking from its earliest days. Suder-Pick established the first museum with three hundred paintings and drawings by her great uncle Carl von Marr. Six decades later, and way down the road from these humble beginnings, MOWA’s collection has grown exponentially in both historical range and stylistic depth.

Today, the museum’s collection represents more than three hundred artists, spans two hundred years of history, and includes over five thousand works of art that tell the story of the American experience. Artists include H. H. Bennett, Beth Lipman, Truman Lowe, Rosemary Ollison, Edward Steichen, Tom Uttech, John Wilde, Frank Lloyd Wright, to mention just a few.

With a growing interest in the art and artists of our time, MOWA’s contemporary collection has more than doubled in the last decade with major acquisitions in painting, photography, and studio glass. As MOWA continues to expand and diversify its holdings, the museum is committed to actively collecting work by contemporary artists with a special focus on underrepresented communities.

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