Erich Mercker and Technical Subjects:
A Landscape and Industrial Artist in Twentieth-Century Germany
Erich Mercker is almost completely unknown in the United States and the English speaking world; even among art historians in his native Germany his name is not familiar. This industrial artist produced more than 3,000 paintings during the course of his career, yet a full-length biography on him did not exist until now. Dr. Patrick Jung, associate professor in MSOE’s General Studies Department, and former faculty member Carma Stahnke co-authored Erich Mercker and Technical Subjects: A Landscape and Industrial Artist in Twentieth-Century Germany.
This biography offers a thorough examination of Mercker’s work within the larger context of German art history during the 20th century. According to the authors, this book was written for the general reader who is interested in learning more about Mercker and the artistic and historical contexts in which he lived and worked. As such, they provide the necessary background information concerning Germany and its rich artistic heritage to allow the reader to fully understand and appreciate Mercker’s corpus of paintings.
To celebrate the release of this title, Jung has curated an exhibit at the Grohmann Museum, 1000 N. Broadway, entitled Erich Mercker: Painter of Industry, on display now through Dec. 14. New perspectives on the artist’s life, career and art are presented in this captivating exhibition of a master of industrial painting.
Museum guests are invited to a special gallery talk event with Jung during Milwaukee’s Gallery Night on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. Admission is free for the event. Erich Mercker and Technical Subjects: A Landscape and Industrial Artist in Twentieth-Century Germany will be available for purchase at the Grohmann Museum’s gift shop.
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. This includes the world’s largest collection of Erich Mercker’s paintings; 82 finished paintings and more than 1,000 images of Mercker’s studies.
The Man at Work collection reflects 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 2,700 students. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the engineering, business, mathematics and nursing fields.