Art Museum Spotlight: Milwaukee Art Museum

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I love the museum trend in getting kids involved in learning through hands-on exhibits. So here begins a series of exploring how museums encourage kids to get creative. I’m beginning with the Milwaukee Art Museum, because we were just there on Sunday! Ironically, it was just Christian and me- no kids, but that didn’t stop us from checking out all of the fun kid stuff.

Kohls is a huge financial supporter of the Milwaukee Art Museum’s art education programming for teachers and students. The Kohl’s Art Generation Studio, Gallery and Lab were opened in the museum in February 2012, and they are fantastic additions to the museum. Who knew a big department store would care enough about the lack of art education in schools to become this involved? Love it.

Upon reaching the Education center area, we were met with this:


You can check out all sorts of stuff for your kids to get even more out of their museum visit- and it’s all free! In the middle are these little sketch cases for kids to draw as they roam the galleries. On the right are picture books with cue cards to be read in front of specific artworks.



These blue bags are full of scavenger hunt-type activities that each correspond to a specific piece in the museum.


We checked out the studio, which is a bright, lively room for kids to drop in and make art. (I always love to see how these sorts of places have their art materials organized.)

kid art studio

art material station


Next we moseyed across the hall to the Art Generation Lab, where kids can get a sneak peek at behind the scenes museum stuff with various interactive stations. My favorite were the blocks and laminated artworks for kids to move around and set up their own galleries. (This would be fun to do at home.)

mini art exhibit


I was especially excited to check out the exhibit in the gallery, Animation: Art Goes to the Movies, and it’s amazing! Full of hands-on goodness and information about animation that kids find fascinating. We brought home a mini flip book for Fen and she immediately set to work on a story of a stick figure person discovering an igloo.

Milwaukee Art Museum Animation Exhibit


Castle making station




What I especially loved about this museum is that it has a comprehensive collection of art, but it’s not overwhelming. The  kids’ area is really impressive- it will be interesting to see how it holds up and evolves. I’m thrilled that there is this sort of opportunity for parents to immerse their kids in so many aspects of art making and learning.

Kohl’s Art Generation comprises educational programs which seek not only to inform kids about art and its value, but also to involve them in hands-on, creative art experiences that whet their appetites for more.


(P.S. I feel the need to tell you that I wasn’t compensated for this post. I did receive 2 free tickets to the museum, which was a lovely surprise, but I’m really just a fan.)



  1. 02/27/2013 / 8:09 am

    It looks awesome! You’ll have to go back with the kids one day soon and let us know what they think. Hint hint to Kohls to send you FOUR tickets next time!!

  2. 02/28/2013 / 9:16 pm

    Looks like a great art museum for kids! We had fun recently at the Smithsonian art museum which has art a la carts with different related activities throughout.
    BTW, I don’t think I would want to share toothpaste with whoever is using that tempera!

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