Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
4
Architectural BuildingsArt MuseumsHistory Museums
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
1:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Friday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
Overlooking Lake Michigan, the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum is an Italian Renaissance-style villa designed by architect David Adler in 1923 as the residence of Lloyd Smith of the A.O. Smith Corporation, his wife Agnes and their family. The villa’s courtyards, terraces and Renaissance garden flowing down to the lake make it unique in Milwaukee. The permanent collection features fine and decorative arts from the 15th through the 18th centuries. The museum is also home to the Cyril Colnik Collection and Archives. Colnik was Milwaukee’s master decorative iron artisan from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.
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Top ways to experience Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles63 reviews
Excellent
23
Very good
22
Average
11
Poor
7
Terrible
0

Diane K
Venice, FL4,459 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Friends
We enjoyed walking through this museum. Gorgeous interior and interesting design. There were also nice views of Lake Michigan. Your ticket for this museum also allows you to visit the Charles Allis Art Museum.
Written 28 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Francine W
Sun City Center, FL32 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Perched atop a bluff with a view of Lake Michigan, you'd think our visit would have been ideal. This historic, Italian Renaissance style house, constructed in 1924 for the Lloyd R. Smith family, has been restored and is currently promoted as a Decorative Arts Museum. Unfortunately, there was no tour guide available so we wondered around on our own without the benefit of historical information. We were served afternoon Tea in the Great Hall, but had to wait as staff and service were lacking. Tea sandwiches and cakes were not identified so it was a guessing game. On the positive side, the gardens provided a reprieve from cosmopolitan city life and offered a serene place to sit and enjoy the view.
Written 6 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

breadflwr
Madison, WI19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021
What a lovely Italian villa with gardens down the bluff
Worth the visit and the walk through the gardens.
It is a wonderful setting, and fun to imagine a family living here.
Written 9 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

larry155
California129 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
I am not sure what this place it trying to be. no real art. the mansion itself is no big deal. the gardens are OK. it does have a nice view of the lake. the woman at desk was helpful and pleasant. she gave us free passes to the Charles Allis museum nearby. That museum is worth a visit. there is a small display on ornamental iron.
Written 12 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alexisrachelletx
Nashville, TN1,631 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
The museum is inside a home built by David Adler for Lloyd and Agnes Smith. Agnes Smith wanted a home in the style of an Italian Renaissance villa. So visiting the Villa Terrace is like a piece of Italy in Milwaukee. And the home is beautiful. The grounds are even more beautiful. But the inside of the house doesn't have much furniture. The rooms of the house are used more as a gallery, so if you don't love the art in the rooms that day (we didn't), you can be in and out of the house quite quickly. The rooms didn't even have information about the rooms themselves. So, with the exception of one room we went in that had some information about the Smith family in it, we walked in a room, said: "Huh. Weird Art. Pretty room" and then left the room and walked into the next one and did the same. We visited on a Sunday over a holiday weekend, so a wedding was getting set up throughout the house as well. It was awkward to walk around the house and see bridesmaids getting ready or walk onto the terrace and see people waiting for the pictures to start. It felt very intrusive. The grounds are lovely, and we did enjoy our walk through the gardens. But ultimately, this is just a pretty house without much in it, and some very pretty Italian gardens. Not worth going out of your way for, even if the admission fee also allows you admission to the nearby Charles Allis Art Museum.
Written 3 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kakroo
London, UK72 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019 • Friends
Visited the location for a wedding party. The views from this place alone were worth the visit. The front garden and the water steps are so pretty! Would recommend going there for photography, if the weather is clear.
Written 17 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BYZplay
Welch60 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
Lots of the British Royals photos displayed, the grounds are a work in progress but it is an incredible setting with an awesome backdrop of Lake Michigan. Fountains and lots of architectural details not often seen in the US. Really enjoyed the old videos of the family ice skating on the patio. The ironwork on display was an incredible display of top notch craftsmanship. Famous artists had their actual work displayed & the history behind it. Very worthwhile to see.
Written 30 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dca
Washington DC, United States65 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
Was nice to see the area and the wonderful homes of all different styles. However, the interior of this house was disappointing. It had a unique art show going on that just further took away from the house. The gardens are nice (what we could see in October) court yard would be great to have in my own home. However, if I had to choose between this the Pabst or the Art Museum pick Pabst and the Art win hands down. If you are looking to she historic furniture and furnishings this isn't the place to go. They also had a wedding group there for photos that made it even harder to get around the house and the grounds. They need to find a better way to do that for the wedding party and the paying guests.
Written 30 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AaronFWA
Angola, IN945 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Couples
We were disappointed in the lack of furnishings in this once resplendent mansion,,but the views of the lake are lovely.
Written 18 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

B3029SJhelenl
Shorewood, WI36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018
Beautiful building...gardens...artwork...peaceful...historic...Sunday mornings enhanced with music, coffee, outdoor cafe during summer months.
Written 9 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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