Forty years ago – January 19, 1975, to be specific – the Miller Art Museum was gifted to the people of Door County and formally opened to the public. The museum was the first of its kind on the peninsula, with a focus of providing cultural programming and acquiring an art collection for Door County. “From its polished parquet floor to its soaring ceiling is a setting for a cultural program that can be worthy of even this beautiful Peninsula,” wrote the wife of Gerhard CF Miller, Ruth. “We give it to you, the people of Door County, as an expression of our love and our gratitude for the privilege of living here with you. We give it in hope that you will use it and thoroughly enjoy it!”
The museum, an organization that strives to be a catalyst for enrichment, is a popular destination for a broad spectrum of visitors from the local community as well as regional, national and international audiences. To commemorate this milestone year, and in the remarkable generous and giving spirit of the Millers, the museum is pleased to present an exhibit that explores the work of museum founder, renowned watercolorist and visionary Gerhard Miller, Gerhard CF Miller: The Artist and His Mentor.
The exhibit is scheduled to open July 18 with a free public reception from 5 – 6:30 pm, and run through Sept. 8. Along with welcome remarks, anniversary cake will be served and individuals who lent artwork for the show will be recognized.
Specifically, the exhibit explores the significance of Gerhard Miller’s mentor Roy Mason (1886-1972) in his development as an artist. The exhibit also touches upon the significance of the artists Jessie Kalmbach Chase and Lester Bentley to Gerhard’s artistic growth, and finally looks at Gerhard’s own role as a mentor and teacher.
“With this exhibit we are presenting an opportunity for the public to see Gerhard’s work in a new light,” said Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead, executive director. “Considered by many to be Wisconsin’s greatest watercolorist, this is the perfect opportunity to continue to share his work and his remarkable legacy with the public.”
The museum is located in the Sturgeon Bay Public Library, located at 107 S. 4th Ave. Hours are 10 am to 8 pm on Monday and 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit MillerArtMuseum.org or call 920.746.0707.