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Hiding in Plain Site: Marjorie Kreilick's Midcentury Mosaics

Meeting Room 302
03/05/2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Hiding in Plain Site: Marjorie Kreilick's Midcentury Mosaics for Milwaukee's State Office Building

Mosaic scholar and artist, Lillian Sizemore, will reveal the fascinating tale of UW professor emerita Marjorie Kreilick's ten large scale, yet little-known, mosaic murals for Milwaukee's State Office Building. In 1961, invited to submit a proposal by the State's architect, Kreilick offered her radically different vision. Her insistence on using Wisconsin's indigenous ecological landscapes as the subject of the murals continues to inform the legacy of Wisconsin's natural resources which remain a strength of its economy. A pulsating lobby mural dedicated to Wisconsin's state motto 'Forward,' boldly expresses a timeless celebration of modernist form executed in classical mosaic technique using hand-cut marble and 24-karat gold. The murals add a dramatic counterpoint to the clean, modernist architecture.

Sizemore will follow Kreilick's artistic journey from Rome to Wisconsin, and discuss what an uncertain future may hold for this signficant piece of our state heritage. A mosaic demo is included with the visual presentation.


Lillian Sizemore is a maker and researcher working in the field of mosaic for 25 years. She presents on mosaic methods and history at museums and educational forums and is an invited visiting artist to international mosaic symposia. She was educated at Indiana University-Bloomington in Fine Arts and Italian, University of Bologna, and The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts in London. Sizemore consults on midcentury mosaic and maintains a visual archive of hundreds of mosaic art environments. Her published articles can be found in Raw Vision, Society of Commercial Archaeology and Andamento/UK, and she is currently at work on a survey of modern women mosaicists, in which Kreilick is included.

Marjorie Kreilick has an impressive lifelong career in art-making, teaching, exhibition, and service. In addition to the Milwaukee State Office Building, Prof. Kreilick's commissioned mosaic works include Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; Telfair Academy of Arts in Savannah, GA; Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD; and First National Bank Building in Chicago. She received BA and MA degrees at Ohio State University and MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Ms. Kreilick's interest in art and nature, geology and stone, emerged from a love of the Great Lakes landscape. She continued to work in stone through-out her career, as well as painting and sculpture, while teaching in the UW Art Dept. for 41 years. She developed courses that became essential components of the UW art and graphic design programs and were required for environment, textiles, and design majors. She retired in 1991 as a distinguished professor emerita.

This event is part of Women's History Month, 2019.