In my searching today...I came across an article detailing the origins of Art Teaching...the first known, and was surprised to read that one of the early art schools was incorporated into the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, the instructor at the time Alexander Mueller, retiring in 1923...
Here is a good link to begin with-
Art Teachers, Art Schools and Art Museums in Early Wisconsin
artists of influence and importance, links of their bios-
Scotch born Bernard Isaac Durward (1817-1902);
another Scotsman- George J. Robertson, arriving in 1846;
Henry Vane Thorne, landscape painter settled in 1847;
English born- Thomas H. Stevenson (showed up in Milwaukee around 1855...then eventually Green Bay);
Heinrich Rose and James Reeve Stuart, two German Art instructors (1834-1915) genres and portraits primarily; The first really influential art teacher in Wisconsin, however, was the German-born landscape painter Henry Vianden (1814-1899);
two of his best know pupils, were Carl von Marr (1858-1936)
Carl von Marr
Images of Carl von Marrs works
and Robert Koehler (1850-1917);
Koehler images of work
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Society of Milwaukee Artists
The public exhibition was the means by which society members felt they could best promote the arts in Milwaukee. The group sought to hold at least three exhibitions annually of no less than two weeks duration each and proposed that the exhibitions occur on a permanent basis. Exhibition space was first provided by the Milwaukee Public Library where the first four shows were held between 1900 and 1903. The first exhibition was the largest in the society's thirteen years with twelve artists showing a total of sixty-one works.
The landscape became a very important subject for paintings made by the Society of Milwaukee artists, and a look at the earliest exhibition catalogues will testify to the importance of depicting local scenery and its changing appearance in daylight. This type of landscape was exemplified by Bernhard Schneider's paintings of the Milwaukee River and Cedarburg areas. The idea presented in much of Schneider's work is one that attempted to evoke a mood of tranquility in the viewer.
In 1903 the Public Library could no longer furnish exhibition space to the artists, and they were left without a permanent place to exhibit. Later exhibition locations during the following years were Bressler's Gallery, the University Club, the Old Exposition Building (before it burned in 1905), and the subsequent Auditorium Building, which was built in 1908.
The artists continued to meet and to exhibit occasionally despite the discouragement they felt by their failure to gain permanent exhibition space. In 1906, a special meeting was called by members in an attempt to organize a society for the promotion of art and to organize exhibitions of local artwork. The inclusion of non-artists in the organization and a proposal to purchase art from local artists, which was to be placed in public buildings in the city, were additional aims discussed within the context of this proposed new society. Although this new group was never established, the idea it generated was acted upon in 1910 by the Milwaukee Journal newspaper company, which offered to buy paintings by Milwaukee artists to be hung in public buildings and schools. This offer represented a vital step toward corporate patronage in Milwaukee and one which escalated during the second decade of the 19th century.
I shall add to this, more as a journal of my own interest and convenience to refer to...