The Grohmann Museum’s newest exhibition opens Friday, May 16. Art Shay: Working will feature the legendary photographer’s images of work and the worker.
Nihil sine magno labore (nothing without great labor) was one of the few things Art Shay learned in his year at Brooklyn College before service as a much-decorated lead navigator 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.”
Art Shay: Working will be on display May 16 through Aug. 17. Museum guests are invited to a special gallery talk event with Shay to celebrate the opening of the exhibit on Friday, May 16 at 7 p.m. Admission is free for the event.
The Grohmann Museum is home to the Man at Work collection, which comprises more than 1,000 paintings and sculptures dating from 1580 to the present. They reflect a variety of artistic styles and subjects that document the evolution of organized work: from farming and mining to trades such as glassblowing and seaweed gathering. The Grohmann Museum welcomes visitors to three floors of galleries where a core collection is displayed as well as themed exhibitions. The museum is owned by MSOE, an independent university with about 2,600 students. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the engineering, business, mathematics and nursing fields.