MADISON, WI—2016 marks the 115th anniversary of MMoCA’s founding in 1901 and the 10th year in its Cesar Pelli-designed facility, which was made possible by the extraordinary generosity of W. Jerome Frautschi, a long-time friend of the arts in Madison and former board member of the museum. The weekend-long celebration will include a special MMoCA Nights reception, talks, tours, and family activities.

“We are thrilled to serve this wonderful community, and hope everyone will come enjoy, explore, and experience all that the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art has to offer. It is only with the tremendous local support that we are able to provide so many opportunities to the public at no charge,” stated Stephen Fleischman, MMoCA director. “It is a pleasure to celebrate these major milestones with people from across the region.”

Friday, April 8, 2016

MMoCA NIGHTS, 6 to 11 pm

Celebrate MMoCA’s anniversaries during a special MMoCA Nights event. From 6–11 pm, guests can explore exhibitions in four gallery spaces, and enjoy 10 special offerings and activities, including:

  • Hear the first StephenFleischman Lecture* beginning at 6:30 pm with internationally acclaimed architect Cesar Pelli¸ who is known for designing some of the world’s most prestigious and recognizable buildings. Pelli designed both the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Overture Center for the Arts.

o   *Lecture hall reservations are full. Overflow viewing is available based on a first come, first served basis. The seating will begin at5:45 pm.

  • Drop in for two, 15-minute tours of MMoCA’s exhibitions. At 7:45 pm, join senior curator Richard H. Axsom for a discussion of Pergusa Three, Frank Stella’s tour-de-force print on view in Frank Stella Prints: A Retrospective. At 8:45 pm, associate curator Leah Kolb will offer an introduction to the compelling animation in William Kentridge: The Heart has Its Own Memory. Visitors can then enjoy a lively behind-the-scenes tour at 9:45 pm with Erika Monroe-Kane, MMoCA’s director of communications.
  • Get creative: enjoy creating and curatingyour own mini museum and other art projects at 6 pm, 7 pm and 10 pm
  • Take in Rooftop Cinema highlights beginning at 9 pm in the lecture hall. The screening features four audience favorites from the past 10 years:

o   Powers of Ten (New Version) (Charles and Ray Eames, USA, 1977, 16mm, 8 min.)

o   Breakaway (Bruce Conner, US, 1966, 16mm, 5 min.)

o   Neighbours (Norman McLaren, Canada, 1952, 16mm, 9 min.)

o   Associations (John Smith, UK, 1975, 16mm, 7 min.)

  • Experience original poetry that animates, celebrates, and deliberates on the value of the arts. Poetry Speaks includes a short program of readings in the museum’s State Street Gallery from 8 to 8:45pm. The full roster of works is on view in the museum’s lobby and State Street throughout the week-end long anniversary celebration. Poets from across the state were invited by the museum to submit works to Poetry Speaks. The finalists were selected by Wendy Vardaman and Sarah Sadie Busse, proprietors of Cowfeather Press and Madison’s fourth Poets Laureate.
  • Dance to DJ Nick Nice mixes as the lobby turns into a dancefloor from 9 to 11 pm
  • Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktail specials from Fresco

Admission to this Anniversaries Celebration MMoCA Nights is FREE.

The MMoCA Nights sponsors are Newcomb Construction, The Alexander Company, Fresco, and Isthmus.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

FRESCO THROWBACK – noon to 10 pm

Fresco Rooftop Restaurant opens early to serve past favorites and new cocktail specials.


Join architect Ralph Jackson of Flad & Associates, for an insider’s view of the museum’s unique architecture designed by Cesar Pelli. The drop-in tour is free and departs from the museum’s lobby.

ITALIAN FOLKTALES – 1 to 1:30 pm

Join Professor Ernesto Livorni in a lively discussion of the literary references in Frank Stella’s Italian Folktales series, which was inspired by and named after Italo Calvino’s collection of Italian folk stories.

Ernesto Livorni teaches in the UW-Madison Department of French and Italian as well as Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies. His research includes modern and contemporary Italian literature, avant-garde literature and the visual arts, literary theory and criticism, and cultural studies.


Join docent Gil Hillman for a tour of Frank Stella Prints: A Retrospective.  The drop-in tour is free and departs from the museum’s lobby.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Join docent Beckie Artos for a tour of Curious Worlds: The Art of Ellen Lanyon. The drop-in tour is free and departs from the museum’s lobby.

KIDS’ ART ADVENTURES – 1 to 2:30 pm

Check out the expressive and colorful compositions in Frank Stella’s Imaginary Places series, and learn how the artist used many different creative processes to create a single artwork. Then, dream up your own imaginary place and create a three-dimensional collagraph print inspired by Stella’s visual language.

Six- to ten-year-olds and their families should meet promptly at 1 pm in MMoCA’s lobby; children must be accompanied by an adult. Space at Kids’ Art Adventures is limited to thirty children.


Join docent Bob Leschke for a tour of Frank Stella Prints: A Retrospective. The drop-in tour is free and departs from the museum’s lobby.


Housed in a soaring, Cesar Pelli designed building, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art provides free exhibitions and education programs that engage people in modern and contemporary art. The galleries offer changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view. The museum is open: TuesdayThursday: noon – 5 pm; Friday: noon – 8 pm; Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm; Sunday: noon – 5 pm; and is closed on Mondays.