Back to News

Milwaukee Art Museum Receives Historic Gift of More Than 500 Jules Chéret Works; Britany L. Salsbury Named Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings

The Milwaukee Art Museum today announced the promised gift of an extensive collection of work by French graphic master Jules Chéret. This unparalleled group of more than 500 Chéret artworks, one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, has been generously promised by Milwaukeeans Susee and James Wiechmann. The gift encompasses the full range of Chéret’s innovative output from his bold, expressive posters advertising theatrical events, social gatherings and a myriad of products; to designs for book covers and menus; to intimate lithographic studies of his models. Often referred to as the “father of the modern poster,” Chéret inspired many other important artists of his time including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pierre Bonnard.

“Susee and I are thrilled to add our Jules Chéret poster collection to the Museum’s treasures where it can be shared by all,” said James Wiechmann. “These posters that lit up the streets of Paris in the late 1800s will now shine in the galleries of our Milwaukee Art Museum and those of other Museums as they are exhibited around the country.”

The Wiechmanns were lenders to the Museum’s popular 2012 exhibition, Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries, and from there began an important relationship with the institution. In addition to the promised gift of their Chéret collection, the Wiechmanns have underscored their commitment by underwriting a curatorial position. Thanks to their generosity Britany L. Salsbury will join the Museum in February as associate curator of prints and drawings.

Salsbury comes from the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design where she has been the Andrew W. Mellon curatorial fellow in the Prints, Drawings and Photographs department since 2015. During her tenure she worked on a major exhibition scheduled to open in June 2017 entitled Altered States: Etching in Late 19th Century Paris, which has an accompanying publication. She also developed a number of exhibitions including Inventing Impressionism (2016), and regularly instructed classes from RISD and Brown University on the history of works on paper in the museum’s print study room. Salsbury’s experience includes positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library & Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, 19th Century

Leave a Reply