Current Exhibition

May 9 – Aug. 23, 2024
Crossing the DMZ: A Contemporary Look at Working Women 

Photographs by Dennis Darmek

Although he is a locally-based artist, Dennis Darmek’s photography has a global view. Often touching upon the enduring bond between the United States and Vietnam, Darmek’s experiences as a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War guide his art. Crossing the DMZ is the third media project of his which explores that connection. Spanning from video art to a photography book, Darmek contemplates Vietnam in the years since the war, as well as the lasting relationship between American and Vietnamese citizens. This third iteration of Crossing the DMZ examines the economy of Vietnam and acknowledges the influence that the war has had on Vietnam, from a scarred landscape to the tourist industry that emerged in recent years.

However, the primary focus of this photography exhibition is women at work. Between traditional jobs and today’s industries, women comprise a sizable portion of the workforce. From floating markets to street vendors, from farming rice and coffee to making deliveries on a scooter in cities, women shape the economy and culture of Vietnam. In his travels to Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia, Darmek uses his art to capture underappreciated moments of labor and brings greater attention to these working women.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Gil Reid and Friends: Working on the Railroad
Sept. 6 – Dec. 22, 2024

Gallery Night Event—Oct. 18, 5-9 p.m., featuring a Gallery Talk with Chris Burger at 7 p.m.

Sometimes called the “railroad industry’s very own Picasso,” Gil Reid’s work ranks among the all-time great railroad art. Gilmore Wiley Reid (1918-2007) was born in St. Louis but, following his service in the Second World War, made his lifelong home in Wisconsin where he practiced as a commercial artist for decades. Reid worked for Kalmbach Publishing in Waukesha from 1956 to 1978 as an illustrator for Trains and Model Railroader magazines. He also created illustrations for Amtrak’s annual calendars from the 1970s to the early '90s, among his other work for books, posters, and prints.

Reid’s longtime friends and collectors, Rita and Chris Burger, have established an archive of his art and Amtrak calendar work at the Grohmann Museum from which this exhibition is drawn. From initial sketches to printed product, the railroad art of this amazing watercolorist will be joined by other images or railroading from the Museum’s collection, including work by O. Winston Link, David Plowden, and others, including Chris Burger himself.

A must-see for any railfan, be sure to catch this rare display before it leaves the station!

Upcoming Events

July 20, 12 - 6 p.m.
Gallery Day

Visit the Museum during Gallery Day and see our current special exhibition, Crossing the DMZ: A Contemporary Look at Working Women (May 9 – Aug. 23, 2024).

Aug. 7, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Kids' Art Days: Yarn Bookmarks

Get inspired by the textile arts depicted in the galleries and then venture up to the rooftop where you will be provided a cardboard loom and instructions on how to make your own bookmark. 

Sept. 28, 12 - 5 p.m. & Sept. 28, 12 - 4 p.m.
Doors Open Milwaukee

The Grohmann Museum will be open with free admission during Doors Open Milwaukee 2024.

Oct. 18, 5 - 9 p.m. & Oct. 19, 12 - 6 p.m.
Gallery Night & Day

Join us for Fall Gallery Night & Day featuring our new exhibition, Gil Reid and Friends: Working on the Railroad, and a gallery talk with photographer Chris Burger on Friday, October 18 at 7 p.m.

Stay tuned for more upcoming events by joining our mailing list and following us on social media

Past Exhibitions

2024
  • Patterns of Meaning: The Art of Industry by Cory Bonnet
  • H.D. Tylle at Seventy: American Worklife
  • Mining Gems: Stories from the Collection
2023
  • Excavations: Paintings and Drawings by Michael Newhall
  • David Plowden: The Architecture of Agriculture
2022
  • A Time of Toil & Triumph: Selections from the Shogren-Meyer Collection of American Art
  • Familias Unidas: Tribute to the Migrant Farm Worker Labor Movement in Wisconsin, 1960s-70s
  • Robert O. Lahmann: Working in Wisconsin
2021
  • The Railroad and the Art of Place: Photographs by David Kahler 
  • artWORK by the League of Milwaukee Artists 
  • Electric Steel: Recent Photographs by Michael Schultz 
2020
  • TWO EDMUNDS: Fitzgerald and Lewandowski—Their Mark on Milwaukee 
  • IRONBOAT: New Photography by Christopher Winters 
2019
  • The Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee 
  • Roll Up Your Sleeves 
  • Growing Place: A Visual Study of Urban Farming 
2018
  • David Plowden's Portraits of Work
  • Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography 
  • The Art and Mechanics of Animation 
2017
  • Masterworks from the Grohmann Museum - Celebrating 10 Years 
  • Artists at Work: The Cedarburg Artists Guild 
  • STEEL: The Cycle of Industry by David Plowden 
2016
  • On the Job: Photography by Jim Seder 
  • Milwaukee's Industrial Landscapes: Paintings by Michael Newhall 
  • Art of the North Shore Line 
2015
  • Forge Work: New Photography by Michael Schultz 
  • Metal for Mettle: Historic Commemorative Medals Honoring Labor and Achievement 
  • H.D. Tylle: Studies 
  • Carl Spitzweg in Milwaukee
  • The Art of the Milwaukee Road 
2014
  • Erich Mercker: Painter of Industry
  • Art Shay: Working 
  • Trains that Passed in the Night: Railroad Photographs of O Winston Link 
2013
  • 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
  • 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 
2010
  • 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 
  • Cradle of Industry: Works from the Rhineland Industrial Museum 
  • American Steel: Works from the Collection of Tom and Lorie Annarella 
2008
  • A Focus on Figures
  • Stone
2007
  • Physicians, Quacks, and Alchemists