Happy New Year!

Published on: September 3, 2014

“Happy New Year!” was the manner in which I was greeted by a colleague at this morning’s Faculty In-Service.  I paused for a brief instant and returned the sentiment, knowing exactly what he meant.  While most follow the standard 12-month calendar, life on a university campus is often quite different.  While the work we do continues year-round, our efforts are intensified during the academic year; ramped up when our students arrive for another year of scholarship.


Being an integral part of the larger institution, the Grohmann Museum also operates based more on the school year than the calendar year.  For example, just in time for the start of classes, we open a new exhibition on Friday – Erich Mercker: Painter of Industry – presented by guest curator and MSOE professor Dr. Patrick Jung.  New insights into the artist’s life and work are presented in this show, which was organized in conjunction with the release of Dr. Jung’s biography of Erich Mercker.  Dr. Jung will also present his research with a special lecture for Milwaukee’s Gallery Night, October 17th at 7pm.


The ‘New Year’ also means organizing the Museum’s 5th Annual Lost Arts Festival, to be held September 27th from 10am-3pm.  The festival celebrates the activities and ways of work captured in the paintings and bronzes in the Museum’s permanent collection.  A blacksmith, shoecarver, lacemaker, glass founder, brewer, spinners and master painters all share their expertise and demonstrate their techniques as the Museum becomes a laboratory for the creation of Lost Arts.  Our docents will also be on-hand to provide hands-on demonstrations and further insight into the Museum’s collection.  Plus, live music will be performed by local folk duo Frogwater.

It is also a time for planning our feature exhibition for the winter quarter: The Art of the Milwaukee Road (January 16 – April 26, 2015).  Hand-selected from the Milwaukee Public Library’s Milwaukee Road collection, this exhibition will include paintings, prints, maps, and photos from a time when railways and the Milwaukee Road formed the backbone of local, regional, and national industry and transportation.  From images of the legendary Hiawatha and others to a detailed photo essay of work in the Milwaukee Road shops, this exhibition is intended to offer a glimpse into the art and imagery documenting the rich history of the railroad in Milwaukee.

All this is in addition to the numerous classes, tours, and special events held daily and weekly at the Grohmann.  And I will again be teaching Visual Design for the Technical Communications program. 

It is indeed an exciting time at the Museum and and exciting time on campus. 


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JoEllen Burdue JoEllen Burdue
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