The Rahr-West Art Museum is excited to be celebrating its 50th year of Art of Tablesettings! This annual favorite began in 1974 when Mrs. Ruth West organized an exhibition of tablescapes inspired by works of art. The first exhibition of Art of Tablesettings took place in the Vilas-Rahr Mansion and had over 20 artfully arranged tables.


Take a trip down memory lane with a table setting from each decade!



tablesetting zebra  tablesetting zebra inspo

Styled by Mrs. Ruth West herself, Zebras by Victor Vasarely was her chosen artwork for the tablescape. She paired the print with black and white dinnerware and sculptural elements to match. Zebras was a gift of Mrs. John D. West to the Rahr-West Art Museum and remains a part of the collection.



tablesetting gold  tablesetting gold inspo

Untitled by Charles Dix is an abstract painting with a splash of vibrant gold. This piece was combined with stunning gold, white, and tan place settings and accent pieces. The painting was a gift of Mrs. John D. West to the Rahr-West Art Museum and remains a part of the collection.

Table setter: Mrs. Ruth West



tablesettings libby  tablesettings libby inspo

Libby by Charles Fritz was paired with a tablescape of white and floral dinnerware, family photos, and elements of country living charm. This table setting was put together by Grace Markwardt who along with Don Markwardt, gifted the painting to the Rahr-West Art Museum collection.



tablesetting randolf

An eye-catching, colorful display of cactuses, objects, and dishes coordinate excellently with the image hanging above. Image text reads “Ron Marlett.” It was provided by the table setters, and is not part of the Rahr-West Art Museum collection. Table setters: Cindy Schroeder and Nancy Randolph.



tablesetting marlett  tablesetting marlett inspo

This whimsical table setting used plastic fruit, wooden bowls, and wooden artist’s manikins to reflect the imagery in the complimentary lithograph. Infinite Man, by Man Ray, was a gift of the Hooper Foundation and remains in the Rahr-West Art Museum collection. Table setter: Judy Culligan.



The Art of Tablesettings with black tablecloth  tablesetting courthouse inspo

This drawing titled, Manitowoc County Courthouse Stairs & Dome by Christian Tegen was elegantly put together with other historical items from the Manitowoc County Courthouse and a sparkling set of dinnerware. The drawing was a gift of the Manitowoc County Board and remains a part of the Rahr-West Art Museum collection. Table setter: Jim Day.


The Rahr-West Art Museum is honored to continue the tradition of inviting members of the public to create their own table setting inspired by works from the collection or their own.

If you’d like to take part and create a table setting for the 50th year of Art of Tablesettings, applications are open now through April 24th, 2024.

Online applications are available here: Tablesettings Application

Paper applications are available at the front desk of the Rahr-West Art Museum.

Find artwork from the collection here: Rahr-West Art Museum Art Collection

Or contact the museum Curator, Diana Bolander, for a collection appointment: or call 920-686-3090


For more information on the Art of Tablesettings visit: Art of Tablesettings

Applicants will be notified of whether or not they are chosen to participate by May 30, 2024.