Art Muscle

Unwrapping the foiled-in-gold box stamped with their signature gingko leaf and George Watts & Son, Inc., is an adventure in itself. Inside the ribbon-tied container nestles another (smaller) box, and inside that, perfect for holiday giving, nestles a hand-painted glass ornament swathed in tissue. Made in Poland. The one I hold in my hand is smooth to the touch, with a cloud strewn sky. In the mid and foreground are images of Milwaukee, some recognizable, others not so. For instance, see here, the Hoan Bridge, the winged Calatrava addition, and to the right, is that what used to be the First Wisconsin building? Mark di Suvero’s sculpture is included as are the domes three (topped with a red flag) and a church of uncertain origin. The “country” scenes include a smattering of barns, a lone pig, a lone cow spotted all black and white, a stalk of corn, a bale of hay, and behind those images, a soaring chunk of what appears to be a hunk of the Dells capped by a wigwam. Inside the next box, a much larger one stamped and wrapped in the Watts’ style, is a rectangular glass plate, an exclusive design titled “City Scene: Milwaukee.” Produced by Peggy Karr Glass, the images on the plate were designed by an artist who works at Watts and lives in Riverwest…Chrisanne Robertson. Some in our town know her as Ilse Klink, but if it’s proof you’re needing, her initials are in the lower left corner. Packed on the plate are images aplenty: the Hoan Bridge, U.S. Bank Center, di Suvero’s sculpture, the former Wisconsin Gas Building, the Calatrava Brise Soleil, City Hall, Cudahy Tower, and (as a nifty enclosed card says), “lastly, the North Point Lighthouse which overlooks our busy harbor!” Did we mention the Basilica of St. Josaphat? All of this beauty is dishwasher safe, microwave-able and made in the U.S.A. That alone gets my vote.