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Grohmann Honors Milwaukee's 'Great Lakers'

May. 7, 2012
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The Milwaukee School of Engineering's Grohmann Museum honors Milwaukee's heritage in the shipping industry with "Great Lakers." The exhibition features artifacts, photographs, paintings and models from grand boats that once sailed into the city's harbor.

The exhibition highlights more than 50 artworks, including paintings by Edmund Lewandowski, Robert von Neumann and Fritz Gerlach and scale models of ships by Jerry Guenther. The exhibit, a collaboration of the Milwaukee Public Library, the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society and the Grohmann Museum, recalls stories of steamers that carried autos, grain, iron ore and machinery to international ports.

On display will be selected artifacts from the largest whaleback steamer ever built, the Christopher Columbus, which was constructed in Superior, Wis., in 1892-1893. The only whaleback built for passenger service, the ship carried more people than any other vessel over the Great Lakes during her 40 years of service. Built to transport Milwaukeeans to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Christopher Columbus became an excursion boat for cities around Lake Michigan after the exposition ended.

Museum Director James Kieselburg visited the port and discovered that it remains active. "They ship more raw materials rather than finished goods," Kieselburg says. "But the port is still a vital part of activity on the Great Lakes."

"Great Lakers" opens with a 6-8 p.m. reception Friday, May 11. U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Matthew Sibley will attend the reception to discuss Milwaukee's modern-day shipping industry.

Art Happenings

"Mazel Tov! A Celebration of Jewish Weddings"

Jewish Museum Milwaukee

1360 N. Prospect Ave.

A new exhibition presents memorabilia from traditional Jewish weddings. It opens with a noon-4 p.m. reception Sunday, May 13. Visiting historian Robin Judd will present lectures 7 p.m. May 22 at the UWM Golda Meir Library and 11 a.m. May 23 at the museum.


Hyatt Regency Hotel

333 W. Kilbourn Ave.

Mount Mary College hosts a free exhibition of works from its students in fine art, fashion design, graphic design and interior design on Friday, May 11, from noon-10 p.m. Tickets are required for the annual fashion show, which runs at 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. May 11. For more information, call 414-256-1210.


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