Mary Lousie Schumacher explains how Milwaukee came to be one of three stops on the China Palace Museum’s US itinerary:
The story of how “The Emperor’s Private Paradise,” a coveted and unprecedented exhibit of lavish 18th-century objects that have never been seen publicly, in China or out, came here is one of institutional moxie, business opportunity and the Chinese penchant for expressive represents.
Dan Keegan, the director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, was new to his post when he approached Dan Monroe, who runs the Peabody Essex, about getting the big China show. It would go to three cities and no more. China had been clear about that. […]
“Doing business in China means connecting with the culture, that’s an important part of business,” said Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, who made some introductions for the museum.
China is Milwaukee’s third-largest trading partner and sponsorship of such a high-profile exhibit could spotlight Milwaukee as a center for robust, international trade while also sending the right signals to trading partners overseas, Sheehy said.
“It’s the equivalent of buying a 30-second Super Bowl commercial in China,” he said.
How the Milwaukee Art Museum snagged the big China show (Art City/JSOnline)