Artist and Display to close after 78 years
Family decides to retire when lease expires

By Katherine Michalets - Special to The Freeman

Dec. 19, 2014

WAUWATOSA - Like great art, Artist and Display is an original. After 78 years of family operation, the business will close at the end of February when its lease at 9015 W. Burleigh Road ends.

Nora Hackenberg, creative director for the store, said she, her sister and brother-in-law felt like the time was right to retire and close the store at the end of February.

Her brother-in-law Jack Klein is the owner, and at 74 years old, he is beyond the normal retirement age, Hackenberg said. In addition, Hackenberg and her sister Lynn’s, younger brother, who was not involved in the business, recently died.

“We felt with all of those three things it was a sign to leave on our terms,” Hackenberg said.

Artist and Display was started by Klein’s grandfather, Jacob Klein, in 1936. The first location was on Wisconsin Avenue across from the Milwaukee Public Library. It then moved to 84th and Bluemound before settling in on Burleigh Road.

Originally, Artist and Display sold materials for store window displays, Hackenberg said, in addition to art supplies.

What has always set Artist and Display apart, but even more so in the age of box stores, is its selection of art supplies, Hackenberg said, as well as the employees who have worked there for as long as 28 years.

“Unfortunately it’s going to leave a hole in the community,” she said.

As a community-based store, Hackenberg said they offer classes for children and adults and free demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday.

“We were more than a place to buy art supplies,” she said. “We showed that people could participate in the arts.”

Since word got out that Artist and Display will closing Hackenberg said many people have been stopping by to say how much they’ll miss the store.

“There are so many of our customers who have become personal friends of ours,” she said.

In addition to art supplies, Artist and Display also sold quality gift items.

“We have fabulous things for the holidays,” Hackenberg said. “It’s great place for not only people who bought art supplies but for people who appreciate good design and nice things.”

Art classes and demonstrations will continue to be offered through the beginning of February.

Hackenberg said closing Artist and Display is bittersweet for the family, but they are looking forward to new adventures and spending time with the newest addition to the family - an 8-month-old boxer puppy who has been making trips to the store.

At a glance

What: Artist and Display

Where: 9015 W. Burleigh Road, Wauwatosa

When: open 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The store will close permanently at the end of February.

Info: 414-442-9100,