Current Exhibition

Sept. 10 - Dec. 19, 2021
The Railroad and the Art of Place: Photographs by David Kahler

Kahler PhotographThe exhibition The Railroad and the Art of Place: Photographs by David Kahler traces industrial rail lines across America’s Appalachian coal country. Once thriving economic centers, Kahler’s view of small-town West Virginia and Kentucky illustrates the ebb and flow of communities dependent on railroad traffic amidst the decline of the once powerful coal industry. Desolate, yet beautiful, Kahler’s photographs expertly capture the raw emotions attached to the railroad industry. Along with the loss of major coal productions in the region and the resulting economic vacuum it created as it disappeared, the railroad continues to serve as a financial lifeline and a reminder of a richer past.

-Exhibition organized by the Center for Railroad Photography and Art, Madison, WI-

Upcoming Event

Oct. 9, 2021 - 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
11th Annual Lost Arts Festival

The Grohmann Museum hosts its 11th annual festival celebrating the activities and ways of work captured in the paintings and bronzes in the Museum’s permanent collection.  Blacksmiths, shoecarvers, lacemakers, spinners, bookbinders, beekeepers, coopers, potters, and others all share their expertise and demonstrate their techniques as the Museum becomes a laboratory for the creation of Lost Arts.

Upcoming Exhibition

Jan. 21 - Apr. 24, 2022
Robert O. Lahmann: Working in Wisconsin      

This exhibition traces the pattern of Robert O. Lahmann’s industrial work in both painting and drawing.  A prolific Wisconsin artist throughout his lifetime, Lahmann graduated from Milwaukee’s Layton School of Art in 1949, but had already established a career as a painter, sculptor, stained glass artist, and art teacher by 1945.  His impressionist oils and pastels of rural and urban scenes elicit a sense of nostalgia and provide the viewer glimpses of a bygone era.  From farm fields to dock scenes, grain elevators to steel mills, this exhibition includes dozens of Lahmann’s vibrant and thoughtful scenes of Working in Wisconsin.

Past Exhibitions

2021:
  • artWORK by the League of Milwaukee Artists
  • ELECTRIC STEEL: Recent Photographs by Michael Schultz
2020: 
  • IRONBOAT: New Photography by Christopher Winters
  • TWO EDMUNDS: Fitzgerald and Lewandowski - Their Mark on Milwaukee
2019: 
  • Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee
  • Roll Up Your Sleeves: Photographs by Jim Brozek
  • Growing Place: A Visual Study of Urban Farming
2018: 
  • David Plowden's Portraits of Work
  • Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography
2017: 
  • Masterworks from the Grohmann Museum: Celebrating 10 Years
  • Steel: The Cycle of Industry
  • Artists at Work: The Cedarburg Artists Guild
  • Artists at Work was featured on The Arts Page on Milwaukee PBS.
2016:
  • On the Job: Photography by Jim Seder
  • Milwaukee’s Industrial Landscapes: Paintings by Michael Newhall
  • Art of the North Shore Line
2015:
  • Third Annual Technical Communication Design Exhibition
  • Forge Work: New Photography by Michael Schultz
  • Carl Spitzweg in Milwaukee
  • Metal for Mettle: Historic Commemorative Medals Honoring Labor and Achievement
  • H.D. Tylle: Studies
  • The Art of the Milwaukee Road from the Milwaukee Road Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library
2014:
  • Second Annual Technical Communication Design Exhibition
  • Erich Mercker: Painter of Industry
  • Art Shay: Working
  • Trains that Passed in the Night: Railroad Photographs of O. Winston Link
2013: 
  • Inaugural Technical Communication Design Exhibition
  • 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
2012:
  • 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
2011:
  • 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
2010:
  • 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
2009: 
  • 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
2008:
  • American Steel: Works from the Collection of Tom and Lorie Annarella
  • A Focus on Figures
  • Stone
2007: 
  • Physicians, Quacks and Alchemists