Wisconsin Pastorale: The Early Paintings of Lois Ireland
May 16, 2015 to July 19, 2015

In this exhibition, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art presents a selection of Lois Ireland’s Wisconsin landscape paintings. Ireland, born in Waunakee, Wisconsin and spending the majority of her life in the state, is known for her regionalist scenes of the 1940s and 50s. In 1942, at the age of fourteen, she caught the attention of John Steuart Curry, the first artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Curry encouraged her to study art and brought her into the newly-formed Wisconsin Regional Art Program. She began painting and produced her most important regionalist work over the next decade, extending the American Scene idioms of Curry, Thomas Hart Benton, and Grant Wood. During this time she studied art at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and at the Art Students League in New York. Although Ireland continues to paint today at the age of eighty-six, she is best known for her lyrical and nostalgic portrayals of an earlier rural Wisconsin.

Funding for Wisconson Pastorale: The Early Paintings of Lois Ireland has been generously provided by Dan and Natalie Erdman; MillerCoors; the Terry Family Foundation; Dane Arts; a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and National Endowment for the Arts; and MMoCA Volunteers.



Lois Ireland in Conversation
Friday, June 5 · 6:30–7 pm · State Street Gallery
Lois Ireland is best known for lyrical scenes of rural Wisconsin painted during the 1940s and 50s. As part of the opening celebration for the exhibition, MMoCA director Stephen Fleischman will engage the artist in a conversation about her work, including the paintings on view in Wisconsin Pastorale: The Early Paintings of Lois Ireland. Lecture Hall. $10 MMoCA Nights admission.


Learning Center
Learning Centers offers museum visitors of all ages a variety of resources for exploring MMoCA's exhibitions. Families can use the learning center for Wisconsin Pastorale to compose rural landscapes in Ireland's style, tap into stories about the artist's work, and explore her paintings through hands-on materials that promote close looking and playful association with her subjects.

MMoCAkids ArtPack
Stop by the reception desk in the lobby and ask for the MMoCAkids ArtPack, the museum’s hands-on discovery kit for exploring art. The ArtPack is filled with activities that tap into thoughts and feelings about a work of art, or encourage awareness of artists' creative decisions. Also included are drawing set and other interactive tools for use in the galleries or rooftop sculpture garden. A special take-home activity for Wisconsin Pastorale explores the experience of drawing out-of-doors.