Museum of Wisconsin Art
He chose to make the museum the main storehouse of art and archives of Wisconsin artists who worked prior to 1950, the cut off date intended in part to reduce political infighting among living artists.
Lidtke succeeded brilliantly. After roughly 25 years of his guidance, the museum is the place to go for anything to do with Wisconsin art. It is also slowly moving to collect pre-European Wisconsin Indian art, and showing contemporary pieces as well. He spearheaded the new building on the east side of the river, making it more visible than the original, red brick former insurance agency building several blocks away, and going with a contemporary design.
When Tom Lidtke retired as the new building was finished, the museum hired a powerhouse curator from the Milwaukee Art Museum, Laurie Winters. If the membership numbers in this article are accurate, Winters has done quite a job of building on what Lidtke created.