Current Exhibition

Jan. 19 – April 29, 2018
The Art and Mechanics of Animation: The J.J. Sedelmaier Collection

From its very beginning, the art and craft of film animation has been as much a part of movie history as motion picture film itself. The motion picture industry had its beginning in the 1880s, but animation production actually pre-dates this launch by a half century with devices such as the Phenakistiscope (1833) and the Zoetrope (1834). These simple mechanical wonders allowed the viewer to experience moving images through the use of sequential exposure of a short series of registered drawings or even photographs.

As the motion picture film industry advanced, so did the invention and development of animation equipment. The Art and Mechanics of Animation chronicles more than a century of the development and use of various devices and equipment key to the production of animated films from their beginning up to the 1990s. Fortunately, studios like New York’s Terrytoons and Fleischer Studios and, of course, The Walt Disney Studios, documented much of the behind the scenes activity in newsreels and promotional films. Some of these are included in this exhibition.

The Grohmann Museum is privileged to offer The Art and Mechanics of Animation, from the collection of J.J. Sedelmaier Productions Inc., an animation and design studio located in White Plains, New York started by J.J. and Patrice Sedelmaier in 1990. JJSP is responsible for producing some of the most groundbreaking animation in broadcast history.

Gallery Night and Day

  • Friday, Jan. 19, 5 to 9 p.m. – “Talking Animation” with J.J. Sedelmaier, Free admission,
  • Saturday, Jan. 20, Noon to 6 p.m. – Free admission

Upcoming Exhibition

May 11 – August 19, 2018
Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography

Wally Abbey’s voice is essential in telling the story of American railroading in the latter half of the twentieth century. As a journalist, author, historian, and railroad industry communications executive, he helped a wide variety of constituency groups understand and appreciate what was omnipresent in the nation’s life: a world of locomotives, passenger trains, big-city terminals, small-town depots, along with the hundreds of thousands of people who called themselves railroaders. His command of the subject had roots in his early years as an apprentice railroader and a young reporter, experiences that would inform all his later work in magazines, books, and corporate communications.  

The Center for Railroad Photography & Art and the Grohmann Museum at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wis.) have collaborated to present this exhibition, which features dozens of outstanding photographs from the Center’s Abbey Collection.

May 11 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Opening Event: Lecture and book signing with Kevin Keefe and Scott Lothes, authors of Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography

Past Exhibitions


  • 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.


  • On the Job: Photography by Jim Seder
  • Milwaukee’s Industrial Landscapes: Paintings by Michael Newhall
  • Art of the North Shore Line


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • American Steel: Works from the Collection of Tom and Lorie Annarella
  • A Focus on Figures
  • Stone


  • Physicians, Quacks and Alchemists