Established in 1966, when David was a 19 year old art student, the David Barnett Gallery has flourished to become Wisconsin’s premier gallery, known for having the broadest range of art available in any Wisconsin gallery, including works of art that represent more than 600 artists.
The gallery, once located at 21st and Wisconsin Avenue, was relocated in 1985 to its current space in the beautiful and historic Button Mansion at 1024 E State Street on Milwaukee’s eastside, overlooking Lake Michigan. The mansion was built by a prominent Milwaukee physician named Henry H. Button. This home is one of the last remaining masterpieces in Milwaukee that reflects the Italianate influence on Victorian architecture, with unique Cream City brick, providing an exquisite setting for works of art. The ornate fireplaces, plaster cornices, paneling, and inland parquet floor and brass fixtures have been beautifully preserved.
The gallery specializes in European and American masters, regional and nationally recognized artists, and “emerging” Wisconsin artists. Latin American, Asian, and African American artists also adorn the gallery along with Ethnographic art from Africa, Indonesia, and Oceania. The gallery has an international reputation for its extensive collection of Picasso ceramics and Milton Avery oil paintings. With over three floors of artwork and 6,000 available pieces, the gallery provides an art viewing experience unlike any other in Wisconsin.
When the gallery first started on 21st and Wisconsin, it featured primarily artwork from local art students attending Marquette University, UW-Milwaukee, Cardinal Stritch University, and other Milwaukee colleges. Today, the gallery has artwork from some of the best-known artists such as Chagall, Daumier, Kandinsky, Lichtenstein, Masson, Matisse, Miro, Mucha, Picasso, Rosenquist, Rembrandt and Thiebaud with mediums ranging from paintings, original prints, fine art photography and glass art to sculptures and ceramics. Since 1966, the gallery has held hundreds of exhibitions for local and international artists, famous and upcoming artists, and David Barnett’s own works of art. In fact, during the early years of the gallery, it would have 10 exhibits a year. The gallery currently exhibits new shows four times a year and is still attracting visitors from near and far.
Aside from selling artwork, the David Barnett Gallery also provides many additional services for your convenience including a full in-house frame department, appraisals, art installation, art consultations, restoration and conservation, lighting, custom giclee printing, delivery and Van Go Frame and Art: America’s Gallery to YouTM which is our mobile art service, bringing artwork to commercial and residential offices for “on-location” selection.