The Milwaukee Art Museum announced the promised gift of an extensive collection of work by French graphic master Jules Chéret. Milwaukeeans Susee and James Wiechmann have promised the group of more than 500 Chéret artworks, one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind.
The gift encompasses the full range of Chéret’s output from his posters advertising theatrical events, social gatherings and a myriad of products; to designs for book covers and menus; to 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.