Charles Allis Museum

Current Exhibitions

exhibition-image

Forward 2018

Nov 15, 2018 | Apr 14, 2019

Events

The Collection

Charles Allis began accumulating his vast collection while still a young man, interested in many cultures from around the world. Working with various art dealers, he educated himself reading books about art, and he researched each purchase diligently.

Vase of a Thousand Faces

Size: 4.25 x 9.5 inches

Origin:Japan

Period: Meiji (1868-1912)

Material: Ceramic

Artist: Unknown

Room:Marble Hall | View Room

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Meiji Ceramic Bowl

Size: 5 x 3 inches

Origin:Japanese

Period: Meiji (1868-1912)

Material: Ceramic

Artist: Yabu Meizan

Room:Marble Hall | View Room

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Persian Ceramic Bowl

Size: 6.75 x 3.25 inches

Origin:Persian

Period: Sixth century B.C.

Material: Ceramic

Artist: Unknown

Room:Marble Hall | View Room

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Chinese Teakwood Screen

Size: 64 x 60 x 2 inches

Origin:Chinese

Period: Chien Lung (1736-1795)

Material: Wood

Material: Cloisonné

Artist: Unknown

Room:Dining Room | View Room

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A Glimpse in the Forest of Fontainebleau

Size: 10 x 13 inches

Origin:

Material: Wooden Panel

Material: Oil

Artist: Díaz de la Peña

Room:French Parlor | View Room

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Pasture in Picardy

Size: 6.5 x 9.5 inches

Origin:

Material: Wooden Panel

Material: Oil

Artist: Rousseau

Room:French Parlor | View Room

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Satsuma Vase

Size: 18 x 26 inches

Origin:Japanese

Period: Edo (1602-1868)

Material: Earthenware

Artist: Seikun

Room:Dining Room | View Room

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The Apple Orchard

Size: 6.5 x 13.5 inches

Origin:

Period: 1800s

Material: Wooden Panel

Material: Oil

Artist: Daubigny

Room:French Parlor | View Room

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Three-Legged Table with Medallion Top

Size: 19.5 x 23.5 inches

Origin:

Material: Wood

Material: Marble

Artist: Unknown

Room:French Parlor | View Room

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After the Storm

Size: 15.5 x 20 inches

Origin:

Period: 1800s

Material: Oil

Material: Canvas

Artist: Inness

Room:Library | View Room

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Moonlight on New York Bay

Size: 10.5 x 16.5 inches

Origin:

Period: 1800s

Material: Oil

Material: Canvas

Artist: Moran

Room:Library | View Room

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Head of a Roebuck

Size: 12.5 x 9 inches

Origin:

Period: 1800s

Material: Oil

Material: Canvas

Artist: Bonheur

Room:Marble Staircase | View Room

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The Rape of the Sabines

Size: 24 x 8 x 8 inches

Origin:

Period: 1600s

Material: Bronze

Room:Marble Staircase | View Room

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Red Porphyry Table

Size: 42.5 x 33.25 X 32 inches

Origin:

Period: 1600s

Material: Wood

Material: Red Porphyry

Artist: Unknown

Room:Charles’ Bedroom | View Room

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Westminster Palace

Size: 12 x 16 inches

Origin:

Material: Etching

Artist: Buhot

Room:Sarah’s Bedroom | View Room

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A Rainy Day in Madison Square

Size: 21 x 17 inches

Origin:

Material: Watercolor

Artist: Shinn

Room:Sarah’s Bedroom | View Room

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Fisherman and Girl in a Rowboat Streaked Red, White and Blue

Size: 7 x 16 inches

Origin:

Material: Watercolor

Artist: Homer

Room:Marble Staircase | View Room

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The Charles Allis Art Museum

Hours

Wednesday | 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday | 1:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Friday – Sunday | 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Special events occasionally affect these hours.

The museum is closed on the following holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day.

Enter the museum through the coach-house door on the Royall Place driveway.

 

Admission

$7 Adults

$5 Seniors (65+ w/ID)

$5 Students and Active Military

Free for children 12 and under

Free on the first Wednesday of the month

Free for members (Join here.)

charles allis museum

Explore
the Allis Mansion

1
Marble Hall
marble hall

Originally, this space functioned as the Allis’ front entrance hall, where visitors to the mansion were received before meeting with the Allises. The Marble Hall’s name derives from the four Italian marbles covering the walls and floor. Marble craftsmen from Italy were brought over to install it. The use of marble in the entrance deviates from the traditional Tudor-style entryway. 

2
Dining Room
marble hall

There is a marble fountain in front of the south window of the Dining Room that was purchased at an exhibition in Paris. It’s dated sometime between 1875 and 1900. The fountain was plumbed and fully functional, and is signed by the artist. The original operating instructions are included in Charles’ correspondence with his dealers and include detailed drawings.

3
Enclosed Porch
marble hall

This is the original entrance to the Allis’ home. The front door is made of bronze and the enclosed porch is walled with Lake Superior sandstone. The sandstone was chosen to create passive heat retention in this outer vestibule. The woodwork is quarter-sawn oak. On display are two baptismal fonts.

4
Billiards Room
marble hall

The billiards room located in the basement of the home once contained Charles’ billiards table, one lane of bowling, and the mansion’s wine cellar. Off the room is a full bathroom featuring the original spa shower.

The Allis Story

Charles Allis
Charles Allis

Industrialist | 1853 – 1918

The Allis family traces its roots to a passenger on the third voyage of the Mayflower in 1630. The Allis name made its way to Milwaukee two centuries later, when Edward Phelps Allis — after graduating college at the age of 21 — moved from his hometown of Cazenovia, New York to Milwaukee in the spring of 1846. Charles Allis was born in 1853 in Milwaukee, the third of E.P and Margaret’s twelve children.


Sarah Esther Ball
Sarah Esther Ball

1853 – 1945

Charles Allis married Sarah Esther Ball of Milwaukee in 1877. Sarah traced her lineage back to William Bradford, a passenger on the first voyage of the Mayflower and a signer of the Mayflower Compact. The Ball family migrated to southeastern Wisconsin in 1846. Her father, Edward Hyde Ball, started a grocery business in East Troy. Sarah was born in 1853, and Sarah's parents and three siblings moved to Milwaukee in 1861.


The Mansion

In 1911, Charles and Sarah built a residence on Royall Place and Prospect Avenue — in the heart of Milwaukee’s “Gold Coast” — to house their world-class art collection. Their intention was to bequeath their home and collection to the people of Milwaukee.


Alexander Eschweiler
Alexander Eschweiler

Architect | 1865 – 1940

But Charles and Sarah Allis are not the only Milwaukeeans key to the museum’s story. As they contemplated the building of their residence, the couple was drawn to English design, a nod to their English heritage. This led them to Alexander Chadbourne Eschweiler, a prominent Milwaukee architect who designed many lavish city residences — some in carefully executed Tudor style.


Allis-Chalmers Company

After moving to Milwaukee in 1846, E.P. Allis quickly established himself in business, eventually buying the Reliance Iron Works at a sheriff’s sale in 1861. The firm quickly grew from 75 employees to over 1,500. Reliance eventually became the Edward P. Allis Company, which supplied the water pipes and pumping stations for Milwaukee’s first public water system. In 1888, they built a pump for drawing water from the lake to “flush” the Milwaukee River.