Current Exhibition

May 16 – Aug. 17, 2014
Art Shay: Working

Nihil sine magno labore
 (nothing without great labor) was one of the few things legendary photographer Art Shay learned in his year at Brooklyn College before enlistment as a heavy bomber in World War II. Though he was unsure of the significance of the Latin phrase at the time, its impact surely was felt throughout Shay’s career as a photographer for LIFE, Time and Fortune magazines, leading to his work in a variety of labor situations. Be they images of linemen or those on the assembly line, his affinity for capturing work and the worker has produced an unparalleled catalogue of images of human industry in its many forms. This special exhibition features a selection of dozens of Shay’s finest scenes of work, labor and pictures “made of fellow and sister laborers.”

Upcoming Exhibitions

Sept. 5 – Dec. 14, 2014
Erich Mercker: Painter of Industry

Following the release of his biography of Erich Mercker, author, MSOE associate professor and guest curator Dr. Patrick Jung presents his selection of Mercker’s work from the Museum’s permanent collection. New perspectives on the artist’s life, career and art are presented in this captivating exhibition of an often-overlooked master of industrial painting.

Jan. 16 – April 26, 2015
The Art of the Milwaukee Road

Hand-selected from the Milwaukee Public Library’s Milwaukee Road collection, with additions from the Grohmann Museum and other collections, this exhibition features 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 offers a glimpse into the art and imagery documenting the rich history of the railroad in Milwaukee.

Past Exhibitions


Trains that Passed in the Night: Railroad Photographs of O. Winston Link


A Working Ranch by Jim Brozek
Born of Fire: Scenes of Industry from the Westmoreland Museum
of American Art
Bridges: The Spans of North America – Photographs by David Plowden


MSOE at Work: Selections from the Campus Archives
Carl Spitzweg: The Poor Poet and Other Characters
Great Lakers: Selections from the Great Lakes Marine Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library
H.D. Tylle: Touring Germany and Working in Wisconsin


Working Legacies: The Death and (After) Life of Post-Industrial Milwaukee
Requiem for Steam: The Railroad Photographs of David Plowden
Milwaukee Mills: A Visual History
Lake Boats: The Photography of Jim Brozek and Christopher Winters


Wonders of Work and Labor: The Steidle Collection of American Industrial Art, Penn State University
Working Wisconsin: Selections from the Museum of Wisconsin Art
Foundry Work: A View of the Industry, The Photographs of Michael Schultz


Midwest Murals: Joe Jones and J.B. Turnbull from the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University
The Bookworm by Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885)
Wisconsin at Work: Thorsten Lindberg Paintings and Drawings from the MCHS Collection


American Steel: Works from the Collection of Tom and Lorie Annarella
A Focus on Figures


Physicians, Quacks and Alchemists

Visit the Museum

Grohmann Museum

1000 N. Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 277-2300

Gallery Hours:

Mon.-Fri.: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: Noon to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 4 p.m.

Museum Admission:

General admission: $5.00
Students / Seniors: $3.00
Children under 12: Free
MSOE students (with ID), alumni, faculty and staff: Free


Check out our smART audio tour system that will guide you through the gallery.

Become a Member

Museum Memberships

Make the Grohmann Museum your destination over and over again. One-year memberships are available at various levels.