Benno Rothschild

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Benno Rothschild is a public artist from Baltimore, Maryland that primarily works with community. After graduating with honors from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 2008 (Sculpture) he started volunteering locally and internationally and began connecting his passion for volunteerism with his studio art. Rothschild is an educator and an artist.


Rothschild spent one year pursuing an MFA in Community Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2013. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2008.

Early career[edit]

Rothschild created his first public work in 2006 in collaboration with the children at Milwaukee’s La Causa Crisis Nursery.[1] The large-scale painted-steel sculpture entitled Gertie Gets Her Ducks in a Row was designed to connect a story from the past to the difficult times of today. The work is now on permanent display along the Milwaukee Riverwalk. Rothschild’s work has been published in Creative Quarterly and his art has been displayed nationally. In August 2008 his steel sculpture entitled, “Big Wheel Flyer”[2] was featured at the Craven Arts Council and Gallery’s 2008 Annual Sculpture Show in North Carolina and his sculpture entitled “M42149” was displayed and awarded honors at the Visual Arts Society of Texas’ 41st Annual Visual Arts Exhibition. While galleries have honored his work across the country, Rothschild is most known for his public and community sculptures.


Rothschild creates works of art both for and with, those that inspire him or need inspiration. Defined as “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another,” Rothschild sees more value in “love” than material gain. Rothschild has made it his goal to teach young artists how to make good paint and love their canvas. After traveling to Uganda[3] in 2009 to volunteer his skills in fine art and facilitate a series of art workshops with the children and youth of Amagezi Gemaanyi, a center for art empowerment in Kampala, Rothschild was inspired to become active in his local community and now volunteers as an art teacher working with at-risk youth in the Milwaukee and Baltimore area. Rothschild currently travels to Uganda annually to volunteer and teach with Gujja Ting African Art, an organization he co founded, and currently works out of his studio in Baltimore City. Rothschild is a co-founder and former administrator for GTAA, a non-profit organization in Nabulagala, Uganda. He was an AmeriCorps Member at Access Art, as well as an art instructor, volunteer coordinator, and facilitator in Baltimore, Maryland, 2013-2014. He previously served as Service Learning Program Assistant Coordinator, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design from 2010 to 2013. While there he developed and coordinated community liaisons as needed for the implementation of course curriculum, promotion of Service Learning at MIAD, and researching Service Learning and Community Service opportunities.


Gertie Gets Her Ducks in a Row[edit]

Gertie Gets Her Ducks in a Row
Artist Benno Rothschild
Year 2007
Type painted steel
Location RiverSculpture!, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Owner Riverwalk District BID

Gertie Gets Her Ducks in a Row is a public art work by artist Benno Rothschild. It is located on the Milwaukee Riverwalk in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[4] The work depicts Gertie the Duck and her ducklings rowing in a regatta. Gertie stands at the bow of the boat with her wings raised and facing toward her ducklings. The ducklins populate the boat's hull and each hold an oar with a pink shaft and blue fin. The ducklings are each painted a bright solid color--orange, purple, red, green and yellow. Gertie's body and wings are blue and her back is red. All of the ducks have yellow bills and large eyes. The boat's hull is dark blue with squiggles of paint in varied colors and shapes applied. The sculpture is propped aloft by four steel legs.[5]


The work is installed near the Wisconsin Avenue bridge across the Milwaukee River, site of the historic event from which the sculpture draws inspiration. To make the work, Rothschild collaborated with children participating in programming offered by La Causa Crisis Nursery and Respite Center.[5]


The work was repeatedly vandalized following its installation. After the ducklings were stolen from the work in March 2012, Rothschild told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "I am really frustrated with what has happened here.... This is a work that was designed to be uplifting and inspiring for people from different generations."[4]


  1. ^ Mary Louise Schumacher. "Public artwork vandalized on the RiverWalk". Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Toys - Benno Rothschild". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Article - The Covenant Foundation". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Schumacher, Mary Louise (9 March 2012). "Public Artwork Vandalized on the RiverWalk". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 31 December 2012. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Gertie Gets Her Ducks in a Row". Benno Makes Website. Benjamin Rothschild. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 

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