You’ve no doubt noticed the amazing black pen sketches of Milwaukee’s church steeples arranged along the banner of Cream City Catholic as well as on our Twitter page. We are long overdue for a post that explains a bit of the history of these sketches. They are the work of a talented local artist, Mary Ann Berry. As you drive around town, some of its most striking architectural features are the towering steeples and domes of its Catholic churches. All have been a part of the city’s skyline for well over a century. Can you imagine Milwaukee without the graceful dome of Saint Josaphat on the South Side, or the elegant steeple of Saint John the Evangelist, smack dab in the middle of downtown at Cathedral Square? Or what about the Cream City brick clock towers of Saint Stanislaus? Since these churches are scattered throughout the city, separated from one another by miles of streets, highways and old warehouses, we thought it would be worthwhile to see them side-by-side, in a unique artistic panorama.
Months ago, we presented our idea to Mary Ann, and she was eager to get started on this original project. The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, Mary Ann attended Saint Rita’s School and grew up with the Sicilians and Poles on Brady Street. Since her youth, she has cultivated an enduring passion for sketching, painting and calligraphy. Her artistic skills were obvious at an early age, as she’d whip out impressive sketches as a teenager of the latest fashion trends, from bell-bottoms to Empire waist dresses. Since then, she’s never stopped pursuing her passion for art.
The details of the steeple sketches are amazing, as you can see up-close in the gallery. We hope to add more churches to the collection this coming summer, as those featured above are just a sampling of Milwaukee’s beautiful churches. We also decided to transfer these sketches onto blank notecards, which we are sure many CCC readers would be interested in acquiring.
If you love Milwaukee and its rich architectural and religious heritage, these special notecards are a great collectable now offered at the Cream City Catholic Shop. In addition to the notecards, we also offer coffee mugs with a print of one of your favorite Milwaukee Catholic churches or a poster which includes all the sketches.