Bradleys Offer a Peek

“Angel (Red, White, Blue)” by Albert Zahn.

A rare opportunity to view one of the finest personal collections of folk art in the Midwest will be available on June 4, when Marilyn and Orren Bradley of Egg Harbor open their home for an event arranged by the Baileys Harbor Historical Society.

“Our collection began many years ago with the purchase of three pieces in New Orleans,” Marilyn says, “influenced by Russell Dowman, then the director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, and his personal collection. Our first piece by Baileys Harbor woodcarver Albert Zahn, the ‘Prussian Soldier with Birds,’ was purchased at a Contemporary Art Society auction in October 1996 at Russell’s suggestion.” The Bradleys’ extensive collection now includes 25 of Zahn’s carvings.

Kristen Peil has organized the event that will include not only viewing the Bradley collection, but also a talk by Margaret Andera of the Milwaukee Art Museum, who curated the current show there, “Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Art.”

Several pieces from the Bradleys’ collection, especially those by Zahn, were featured in that show. They have also been displayed at the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago, at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, and at the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek.

“Black Statue of Liberty” by Shane Campbell.

Andera will speak at the Baileys Harbor Town Hall for 45 minutes at 10 am on June 4, followed by questions and answers, before the first trolley leaves for the Bradley home. Ticket holders for any of the four sessions are welcome to attend Andera’s presentation. A collection of Zahn’s Birds Park carvings owned by his great-grandson, Randy Zahn, along with Randy’s own carvings, will be displayed at the town hall. Photos from the Zahn Family Archive will also be shown, and a video of the 2013 presentation Randy made to the Baileys Harbor Historical Society will be shown before and after Andera’s talk.

Only 60 tickets will be sold for the June 4 event. 15 to 18 guests can be accommodated on each of the four viewing sessions planned. The Door County Trolley will transport each group from the Baileys Harbor Town Hall to the Bradley home and return.

The ticket price of $75 includes Andera’s talk and the displays at the town hall, the trolley ride, the viewing of the Bradleys’ extensive folk art collection, and a box lunch from Pasta Vino.

All proceeds from the event will go toward developing and making public the Baileys Harbor Historical Society’s Zahn Family Archive, a project that will define the procedure for archiving future family histories donated to the historical society.

Tickets may be purchased by emailing [email protected] or by calling Kristen Peil at 920.839.2056.