Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Contact Info: 

Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications
608.257.0158 x 237 or


On view June 2, 2018 into September, 2018

MMoCA Opening on Friday, June 1 • 6–9 PM


MADISON, WI—The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) announcesthe opening of an exhibition of work by independent filmmaker and longtime Madison resident Michael Paggie. Opening in the museum’s Imprint Gallery on June 2, The House of Sparkling Glasses: A Celluloid Experience by M. J. Paggie is comprised of sixteen short films, produced from 1967 to 1976, that are intimately linked to both the history of Madison and to MMoCA. This exhibition provides an opportunity to view films not shown in recent decades and coincides with a celebration of the 1960s organized by The Madison Reunion taking place in June 2018.

“Although he prefers to fly under the radar, Paggie has been an enormous part of the museum’s history and was responsible for bringing to Madison some of the foremost names in avant-garde cinema, including Kenneth Anger and George Kuchar,” stated Leah Kolb, MMoCA’s curator of exhibitions. “He translated his knowledge of filmmaking and passion for independent cinema into a number of his own short films, all of which reflect the vitality and freedom of artistic experimentation during the 1960s and 70s.”

The independent films of M. J. Paggie takes center stage in The House of Sparkling Glasses. Paggie’s connection to the museum began in 1970 when Cham Hendon, (museum director from 1967 to 1975) hired him to start a new film program. This evolved into a robust series of instructional filmmaking courses using the Super 8mm format and avant-garde screenings highlighting landmark developments in underground film. The museum continues to honor Paggie’s creative vision through its Spotlight Cinema and Rooftop Cinema series, both of which screen independent films. Although Paggie is no longer involved with the museum’s film programs, his long-standing commitment to the museum continues as he has overseen business operations for many years.

The works included in The House of Sparkling Glasses were either created by Paggie in conjunction with his Film Study Program at the museum, or produced independently as an expression of his interest in cinematic experimentation. In both instances, Paggie’s films embody the spirit of independent filmmaking—a creative approach that employs film as “a medium of and for the individual, as explorer and as artist.” Produced and based in Madison, these films also capture the city’s inhabitants and cultural happenings during an era defined by political radicalism and artistic experimentation. Paying homage to this pioneering era, the exhibition title references Madison’s former 602 Club, a tavern known to attract the loyal patronage of intellectuals, lefties, artists, and other creatives.

Generous funding for Imprint Gallery programs has been provided by Willy Haeberli in memory of Gabriele Haberland.


Housed in a soaring, Cesar Pelli-designed building on State Street, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art offers exhibitions and education programs that engage people in modern and contemporary art. The four galleries offer changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view. The award-winning Museum Store offers contemporary American craft and fine jewelry, while Fresco, the museum’s rooftop restaurant, features local, seasonal ingredients in fine American cuisine.

Admission to exhibitions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is free of charge. Hours at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art are Tuesday–Thursday (noon–5 pm); Friday (noon–8 pm); Saturday (10 am–8 pm); and Sunday (noon–5 pm). The museum is closed on Mondays. 


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