Charles Allis Art Museum

Focused Tour: Allis Mansion First Floor

Portrait of Charles and Sarah Allis (1890/1918) by UnknownCharles Allis Art Museum

Charles and Sarah Allis decided to build their family home in 1909 and contracted with the renowned local Milwaukee architect Alexander Eschweiler on a plan for a lot on the corner of Prospect Avenue at Royall Place. As collectors of art from around the world, the Allises wanted to build a house that would later become a museum to "delight, inspire, and educate" the people of Milwaukee.

Marble Hall (1911) by Alexander EschweilerCharles Allis Art Museum

The home was completed in 1911. Visitors entered through a front vestibule and were greeted in the marble hall. Today, this receiving room is home to the Allis's collection of ancient art objects including ceramics from Asia and the Middle East.

Persian Ceramic Bowl (6th century BC) by Unknown (Iranian)Charles Allis Art Museum

This ceramic bowl from Iran dates from the 6th century B.C. It is one of several ancient objects the Allises collected during their travels abroad.

Vase of a Thousand Faces (1868/1912) by Unknown (Japanese)Charles Allis Art Museum

The Vase of a Thousand Faces is covered in hundreds of tiny portraits - an engaging vessel to explore with a magnifying glass.

Dining Room (1911) by Alexander EschweilerCharles Allis Art Museum

To the west of the marble hall is the dining room. The Allises could accommodate up to fourteen dinner guests here. The room is trimmed with Honduran mahogany, pressed leather, and sliver-plated light fixtures by Caldwell and Company.

Chinese Teakwood Screen (1736/1795) by Unknown (Chinese)Charles Allis Art Museum

This Chinese screen, made of teak wood, is decorated with wood carving and cloisonné, a process of adhering enamel to metal, usually copper. Each floral panel represents a different month of the year.

Chinese Teakwood Screen detail (1736/1795) by Unknown (Chinese)Charles Allis Art Museum

This detail shows a panel representing the month of April.

French Parlor (1911) by Alexander EschweilerCharles Allis Art Museum

To the east of the marble hall lies the French Parlor, so named for the French Barbizon paintings that hang here. The 1898 Steinway piano was enjoyed by Sarah Allis who played often. The room is trimmed with Circassian walnut, silk damask, and a carved marble fireplace.

Bronze Scuptures by Antoine-Louis BaryeCharles Allis Art Museum

One of Sarah Allis's personal collections consisted of bronze animals sculpted by the French artist Antoine-Louis Barye.

A Glimpse in the Forest of Fontainebleau (1874) by Narcisse Virgilio Díaz de la PeñaCharles Allis Art Museum

This detail of "A Glimpse in the Forest of Fontainebleau" by Narcisse Virgilio Díaz de la Peña is an example of the pastoral subject matter preferred by the Barbizon school of painters.

Library (1911) by Alexander EschweilerCharles Allis Art Museum

Charles and Sarah's library contains their volumes of art books and encyclopedias as well as works from their collections of Hudson River School paintings, Asian ceramics, and Japanese Netsuke.

Moonlight on New York Bay (1876) by Edward MoranCharles Allis Art Museum

This detail of "Moonlight on New York Bay" by Edward Moran shows his mastery of lighting contrasts, which contribute to a dramatic and enigmatic mood.

Japanese Netsuke by Unknown (Japanese)Charles Allis Art Museum

This detail shows a sampling of the many Japanese Netsuke sculptures in the collection of Sarah and Charles Allis.

Credits: Story

All photography by Kevin Miyazaki except the portrait of Charles and Sarah Allis.

Learn more about the Allises, their home and art collection at
www.charlesallis.org

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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