Learn About the Collection

Albert Louden, Untitled (mysterious mind)
Albert Louden
Untitled (mysterious mind),
pastel on board

The Anthony Petullo Collection of Self-Taught and Outsider Art is one of the premier collections of its kind in the country. Comprised of more than 450 works, two-thirds of which are European, and continually growing in size, the Petullo Collection includes work ranging from the 1890s to the present. The collection features works by many of the most renowned American artists in the field such as Bill Traylor, Henry Darger, and Minnie Evans. The distinguishing characteristic of the collection, however, is the strong emphasis on the work of European outsider artists including Adolf Wolfli, Alfred Wallis, Scottie Wilson, and artists from the Gugging psychiatric hospital near Vienna. Nearly every artist is represented by multiple works, illustrating the depth of the Petullo Collection.

The Petullo Collection reflects the driving passion of both the artists and the collector. Self-taught artists, though often isolated, are involved with the world and its influences. They have no professional artistic training and are virtually unaware of the academic traditions of art. Unlike outsiders, however, they are grounded in reality and interactions with others. The term "outsider" is intended to suggest both artists who are institutionalized and those who live outside of mainstream society. Their creations are spontaneous and unstudied.

Located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, the collection is housed in a non-profit study center and gallery devoted to Outsider and Self-Taught art. The gallery is used for student educational groups and non-profit organization meetings. Group tours may be arranged by contacting us.

Anthony Petullo
Tony Petullo
Photo of the Collector, 2002

About the Collector

Anthony Petullo is president of the Anthony Petullo Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a trustee of the Milwaukee Art Museum, as well as a director of several civic organizations. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, served as an officer in the United States Navy, and was an entrepreneur for more than thirty years.

Research the Artists

Carlo, (Carlo Zinelli)
Carlo, (Carlo Zinelli)