March 5 2013
"We've got about 20 items that are 16th century or older and that's just from one of the 6 or 7 collections that are in the Gruenke Foundation."
-Gunar Gruenke, Gruenke Foundation For the Arts
Last week we did a community story about the historic Conrad Schmitt Studios, and learned how the Gruenke family continues the work Conrad Schmitt started in Milwaukee over 100 years ago.
In 1991, the Gruenke family created the Gruenke Foundation for the Arts, non-profit organization that is committed to giving back to the community where they work, live and playIn addition to awarding grants for education to artists of all disciplines, the Gruenke Foundation has collected, restored and put on display many historic works of art collected over the last 100 years by Conrad Schmitt and Bernard Gruenke. "We found in our attic hundreds of these renderings from the turn of the century," says Gunar Gruenke. "This is what we drew by hand to show how we would decorate the churches."
The Gruenke Foundation hopes to turn their collection into a traveling exhibition. The organization is also interested in displaying art works in public museums, art galleries and charitable organizations. But, their ultimate goal is to raise the funding to give their collections a permanent home in Wisconsin.
Information about the Gruenke Foundation for the Arts is found online at www.gruenkefoundation.com.