Milwaukee School of Engineering
Press Release

Steel: The Cycle of Industry extended through June 5 at the Grohmann Museum

Steel places the viewer at the point where shovel meets dirt in the mining process and ends in the same soil surrounding these long-abandoned steel mills.

By - Apr 26th, 2017 03:18 pm
Steel: The Cycle of Industry. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Steel: The Cycle of Industry. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

April 26, 2017 –Steel: The Cycle of Industry, a special exhibition at the Grohmann Museum, has been extended through June 5 following a gift of the photographs to the museum by David Plowden. Steel places the viewer at the point where shovel meets dirt in the mining process and ends in the same soil surrounding these long-abandoned steel mills.

“The gift instantly increases the scope and quality of the museum’s photo collection,” said James Kieselburg, Grohmann Museum director. “We are pleased to extend the exhibition through June 5, allowing visitors more time to view these spectacular images.”

Between 1962 and 1985, Plowden sought to photographically capture the majesty of the steel industry while at the same time documenting the demise of the industry as we knew it. He states that “the architecture of steelmaking is like no other. Nowhere can you find this massiveness, drama, spectacle and danger but in a steel mill.”

Plowden initially selected the 178 photos for this exhibition, but since decided that the Grohmann Museum would be an ideal home for the images in perpetuity, given MSOE’s engineering focus and the images themselves documenting engineering marvels across the North American landscape.

The Grohmann Museum, 1000 N. Broadway, is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; $3 for students and seniors; free for children under 12. MSOE students (with ID), alumni, faculty and staff are admitted free.

The Grohmann Museum is home to the Man at Work collection, which comprises more than 1,300 paintings and sculptures dating from 1580 to the present. They reflect a variety of artistic styles and subjects that document the evolution of organized work: from farming and mining to trades such as glassblowing and seaweed gathering. The Grohmann Museum welcomes visitors to three floors of galleries where a core collection is displayed as well as themed exhibitions. The museum is owned by MSOE, an independent university with about 2,900 students. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the engineering, business, mathematics and nursing fields.

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