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Charles Allis Art Museum Utilizes Whole Mansion in 'Threshold'

Credit Jim Wildeman
Niki Johnson's piece "Lather" in the study.

For more than half of its life, a century-old mansion on Milwaukee’s east side has been open to the public, first as a library and then as an art museum. But until now, much of the building that houses the Charles Allis Museum’s collection has been off-limits to the public.

Threshold makes use of every room in the mansion. It is the brainchild of Milwaukee artist Niki Johnson. She guest curated the exhibit that involves the work of 25 other artists, craftsmen and musicians. 

Johnson hopes that through opening the entire building, all viewers will be able to see the potential and future possibilities of the space.

"Part of what I wanted to do was kind of recontextualize aspects of the museum. And more so than staging a full blown intervention, I wanted to activate aspects of the mansion that I felt like I overlooked," Johnson says.

According to the museum's website, every room in the Allis mansion becomes a conduit for experiencing fear, fragility, wonder and desire. Threshold will be on display through February 28, 2016.

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.