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An absolutely magnificent museum that is a fitting tribute to human work. Don’t miss it!

We came here for a visit on a Sunday afternoon in early October 2018. We were greeted quite... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
ScenicTrek
,
New Jersey
Totally unexpected gem!

I had never heard of this museum before, despite living in this city my whole life. It is owned and... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Karen N
,
Hales Corners, Wisconsin
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Reviewed 1 week ago

We came here for a visit on a Sunday afternoon in early October 2018. We were greeted quite cordially by two people at the front desk (MSOE students?). Our admission included not only the museum but also a 58-page color booklet about the museum. What a nice bonus!

From the moment you walk in and see the exquisite mosaic on the floor, the eye-catching mural three stories up on the ceiling above you, and the beautiful architecture of the front entrance and staircase, you know that you are in a very special place. This museum was one of the best attractions we visited during our stay in Milwaukee. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

The people at the front desk suggested that we start our tour from the top and work our way down. So we did. We started with the rooftop sculpture garden, which has a beautiful mural and fifteen or so life-size or larger sculptures. You also get a really nice view of the surrounding area and buildings. On a warm and sunny day it must be spectacular. (It was overcast when we went.)

The three floors are distinguished by color and subject matter. The 3rd floor is blue and contains works relating to mythology, smiths, artisans, and the medical profession. A highlight is a 1693 German book on urology / uroscopy. It lies open inside a display case, so you can only see the open pages, but it is intriguing nonetheless. The 2nd floor is green and contains works relating to construction, quarrying, roads and bridges, brick making, beer and wine making, and harvesting. A highlight for me on this floor was a Norman Rockwell painting. The 1st floor is red and contains works relating to early industry, iron and steel making, and mining. It also has framed photographs of various subject matter.

The paintings throughout the museum are mostly substantial in size. There are smaller bronze sculptures positioned in the lobby of the rooftop sculpture garden and throughout the museum on pedestals. Each floor has a couple of corner display cases with more sculptures in them.

Helpful things to know:
1) The museum is affiliated with the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE).

2) There is a rest room on each floor.

3) There are padded benches on each floor, so there are plenty of places to sit and relax. Even the rooftop garden has (metallic) benches for people to just sit and enjoy the view.

4) There are sitting areas near the front staircase on each floor. They consist of a few chairs and a coffee table with magazines and books. It’s a quaint touch.

5) There is an elevator for people with mobility issues.

6) There is a modest gift shop on the first floor (books, shirts, postcards, coffee mugs, etc.). Just outside of it is one of those penny-squeezing machines that makes souvenir coins in four different designs. Be sure to bring quarters and some shiny pennies!

7) The entire place was immaculate. It is clearly evident that the people who work there and attend to the museum’s upkeep take great pride in their work. How fitting!

8) There is a designated parking lot with a limited number of spaces just north of the museum. There is also street parking. We happened to visit on a Sunday afternoon, and we had no problem parking on the street just a few spaces up from the front entrance.

I would unhesitatingly recommend this museum. It’s a real gem and definitely worth a visit.

If my review was helpful to you, please consider clicking the green thumbs-up / Yes button. Thank you!

Thank ScenicTrek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I had never heard of this museum before, despite living in this city my whole life. It is owned and operated by the Milwaukee School of Engineering and includes three floors of galleries and a rooftop sculpture garden. I was in awe of some of the art collection housed here. It was donated by one man (Eckhart G Grohmann) and includes over 900 paintings and sculptures ranging from 1580 to the present that focus on the evolution of organized work. When we first heard about it, we thought we would spend maybe an hour or less here, but we stayed two hours and could have stayed longer. The student at the reception desk was very knowledgeable and helpful too. The building is in excellent condition and it was a true pleasure to spend our time here enjoying the marvelous art! I will definitely go back!

Thank Karen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2018

It is ironic that so much of the collection consists of European art and yet the rooftop sculptures were made in Cebu, Philippines. The labor of the Filipinos who executed these sculptures should be recognized with a small exhibit detailing the process of creating the sculptures and acknowledging the hard work that went into the execution of this project. Otherwise one might come away with the impression that the work of some people is worth more than the work of others. I'm sure the University that owns the museum would not endorse such a view that many would find objectionable.

Thank Clyde A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2018

This eleven year old museum is a small gem and not to be missed. It's perspective is very focused on the working people through the ages and is beautifully curated and displayed. It's best to start on the roof garden and work down. The beautiful and imposing statues reminded me of the Rodin museum in Paris. Each floor highlighted a different aspect of man's work through the ages with magnificent paintings from the 1500s to the present. A beautifully focused exhibit and so enthralling your time there will fly be. Not to be missed.

1  Thank Carol L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2018

More likely than not you have never heard of MSOE's Grohmann Museum. Please take a couple hours out of your day if you like art and visit this hidden gem... you will not be disappointed. Filled with paintings that tie to the theme of manual labor you will want to come back several times.

1  Thank tabrandt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2018

I had read about this museum before arriving in Milwaukee and I'm glad I took time to visit. Sadly many locals I spoke to were unaware of it although the statues in the roof garden are visible from the street. Part of the Milwaukee School of Engineering this small museum houses the collection of Dr Eckhart Grohmann, he donated it to the MSOE in 2001. Although the collection is titled "Man at Work" you'll see plenty of women depicted! Artwork dates from the 1500's to the present day.
From the roof garden - with some great views of the city - don't miss looking in the window to see the stained glass windows.
Entrance fee is minimal. Well worth a visit.

1  Thank hornbeamVal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2018

The Grohmann Museum is a part of The Milwaukee School Of Engineering and a unique "must visit" destination in any visit to Milwaukee. Centrally located downtown and soon to benefit from the new light rail transit system, the Grohmann offers a unique collection of art celebrating the industry of engineering, as well as special exhibitions that inhabit the first floor. Their permanent collection is a feast for folks interested in both art and history !

1  Thank J.J. S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2018 via mobile

Located within the Milwaukee School of Engineering campus this museum was an excellent collection of painting, sculptures and photographs depicting man at work throughout the world and the years of the industrial revolution. If you love history of manufacturing technology you'll love this place. Oh don't forget to visit the rooftop as well - nice sculptures and views of the city.

1  Thank dwatanab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2018

We went through this museum on an "Doors Open Milwaukee" weekend. Actually, my wife dragged me in as we walked past it, as she had heard about it. I did not feel much like a museum. "We'll just walk through quickly to see what it is". Well, it turns out the museum (which is larger than it seems from the outside) has way too much fascinating art to allow a quick exit. The science and industry thematic organization of the exhibits is extremely well done, and it much more riveting (no pun intended) than it may sound on paper. And, I didn't know about the roof sculptures. Stunning. Whether you have lived in Milwaukee you whole life, or are here for a quick visit, do not assume this museum is anything ordinary. See it.

1  Thank hjg33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2018

Excellent Art and Cultural Exhibits in the middle of middle of Milwaukee and part of the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

2  Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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