Current Exhibition

May 17 – Aug. 18, 2019
Roll Up Your Sleeves: Photographs by Jim Brozek

Grand Opening Event—Gallery Talk with the Artist: Friday, May 17, 7 p.m.
Gallery Night Open House: Friday, July 19, 5-9 p.m  

Milwaukee photographer Jim Brozek has spent his career documenting workers plying their trades. Like many great industrial photographers and cultural ethnographers, he also worked alongside these individuals—developing his own brand of participant observation. To truly understand his subjects and capture their essence, he first seeks to understand their working life and motivations. In the process, he discovers much more about them than merely what they do for a living.    

Roll Up Your Sleeves provides a broad view of this photographer’s work. From the farm fields of northern Wisconsin, to scenes from a New Mexico ranch, Great Lakes shipping, local construction projects, and even artists performing their trade, Brozek’s catalogue of work is defined by work. At once an examination of hard work and a tribute to the worker, this exhibition opens a window to the predominant facet of our culture—human industry.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Sept. 6 – Dec. 29, 2019
Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee

Grand Opening Event-Curator’s Presentation: Friday, Sept. 6, 7 p.m.
Gallery Night and Day Events: Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18–19 

Have you ever used a QWERTY keyboard? Ridden a motorcycle? Adjusted the thermostat? Been a passenger on a boat with an outboard motor? If answering ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you have a Milwaukee engineer/inventor to thank. See, all of these marvels, and many more, originated in Milwaukee. From household names like the Sawzall, to more arcane developments like DESCO’s diving apparatus, Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee seeks to highlight not only Milwaukee-born equipment and machinery, but also the engineers who created them.  

This exhibition will feature some of the most significant engineering marvels in Milwaukee’s history and will include photographs, documents, ephemera and a number of the actual machines highlighted in the book of the same name by engineer Thomas Fehring, who also serves as guest curator. Nash automobiles, Merkel motorcycles, Evinrude outboards, Johnson Controls environmental systems, Masterlock locks, and Stereo-Realist cameras—these are but a few of the Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee; a one-of-a-kind exhibit filled with one-of-a-kind inventions.

Past Exhibitions

2019

    • 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: The J.J. Sedelmaier Collection

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