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Milwaukee Art Museum Hires New Curator of American Art

The Milwaukee Art Museum has welcomed William Keyse Rudolph as its new Curator of American Art and Decorative Arts.

Rudolph has a distinguished career, coming to Milwaukee from the Worcester Art Museum where he was Curator of American Art since 2009. Prior to that, he was the Associate Curator of American Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, and Associate/Research Coordinator in European Decorative Arts after 1700 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Rudolph received his M.A. in Art History from the University of Virginia with an emphasis in 18th-Century Art, and Modern Art and received his Ph.D. in Art History from Bryn Mawr College in the fields of Colonial and Federal American Art and Victorian Painting. His dissertation was on Jean-Joseph Vaudechamp (1790-1864), a nineteenth-century French portraitist who commuted between Paris and New Orleans in the 1830s.

“We are thrilled to add William to our cadre of extraordinary curators,” said Daniel Keegan, director of the Museum. “His knowledge, experience and skills will benefit not only the Museum, its members and visitors, but our community as a whole.”

New to the Milwaukee area, Rudolph is already enjoying the lake, the diverse neighborhoods within the city, the downtown architecture, and the restaurants.

“The Museum exudes tangible, exciting energy, ambition and quality in its programming, exhibitions, campus, and plans for showcasing its collections,” said Rudolph. “For a curator, it’s an exciting time to join an institution that already has an enviable reputation but is definitely on the way up. The Museum has become the icon of the city and I’m just hoping to be able to help keep Milwaukee proud of its Museum.”

Milwaukee Art Museum, photo: Michael Hicks.

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s far-reaching holdings include more than 25,000 works spanning antiquity to the present day. With a history dating back to 1888, the Museum houses a collection with strengths in 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary art, American decorative arts, and folk and self-taught art. The Museum includes the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion, named by Time magazine as “Best Design of 2001.”

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