American Beauty

February 13 - March 15
Curated by Kate Gelshenen Rafferty

American artist Thomas Cole's (1801-1848) 1835 Essay on American Scenery championed the American landscape, and its distinctive natural beauty as hallmarks of national identity. American Beauty explores Cole's influence on a number of 19th century American paninters working in diverse landscape aesthetics. The exhibition includes work by William Merritt Chase, Ralph Albert Blakelock, and George Inness.



Mad Hatter Tea

Mad Hatter Tea

Saturday, March 7
Sunday, March 8
3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
$30 / $25 Museum Members / $10 Children 12 and under

Wear a hat and don’t be late! Our popular Mad Hatter Tea returns for its fourth year. This is a great event for parents, children, relatives, friends, and mad hatters! Meet Alice and Wonderland characters while sampling a variety of Rishi teas, sandwiches and sweet treats, live music, complimentary hand massage, a guided museum tour, and a few surprises. Reservations are required and hats encouraged. To RSVP, call Ann at 414 278 8295 x5, or email


World War I Posters

Art For The Cause: French Posters from the First World War
March 27 - July 12

As in the United States, France solicited the support of its citizenry, both moral and financial, through large-format posters displayed in the windows of publicly- and privately-owned venues.  Countries on both sides of the Atlantic commissioned leading artists and illustrators to provide the poster designs and drawings.  Despite their common intentions, the French posters took on a more tragic character than their American counterparts, reflecting the devastation of the landscape and on the lives of soldiers and their families.  The exhibition is an opportunity for CAVT Museums, until recently a body under the War Memorial Corporation umbrella, to reflect on the turbulence of warfare and its portrayal in original works by the likes of Francisque Poulbot and Steinlen.

Gathered by Harriet Earling Fitch during the war years and after, the collection is a physical embodiment of an American philanthropist’s longstanding relationship with a foreign country.  Long before the entrance of the United States into the conflict, Harriet Fitch (later Thwaits Dake) organized and directed the Milwaukee chapter of the Fatherless Children of France and was instrumental in the founding of the Foster Mothers of America.  Both organizations and Harriet Earling Fitch’s philanthropic work focused on the care and support of the millions of children left fatherless by one of the deadliest conflicts in world history.  For her efforts, she was awarded the Legion of Honor from the French government; her medal will be on display in the exhibition, along with archival news clippings that outline her achievements in her charitable and philanthropic work.

About 20 posters, generously lent by the family of Thomas Van Alyea Jr., will go on display in the museum’s great hall in this small exhibition held 100 years following World War I.


Movie Time

Milwaukee film historian Dale Kuntz presents selections from his rare collection of classic films from the 30s and 40's. Films are shown on 16mm, reel-to-reel film. Most of these cinematic treasures are not available on DVD so don't miss this opportunity to see these films in their original glory on the big screen. Prior to each screening, Dale fascinates the audience with his knowledge of film history, giving the inside scoop on each film, including bizarre details about the stars and clues to help the audience spot little oddities that ended up in the film instead of on the cutting room floor.

Films Nominated for Best Picture - But Didn't Win

  • Jan 14 - Top Hat - 1935 - Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Helen Broderick
  • Jan 28 - Lost Horizon - 1937 - Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, John Howard, Edward Everett Horton
  • Feb 11 - Wuthering Heights- 1939 - Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven
  • Feb 25 - Kings Row - 1942 - Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan, Claude Rains
  • March 11 - Random Harvest - 1942 - Greer Garson, Ronald Colman, Susan Peters, Philip Dorn
  • March 25 - A Letter to Three Wives - 1949 - Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas


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