By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Oct 11, 2007 at 12:10 PM
After a year of hard work, the Milwaukee School of Engineering is ready to unveil the fruit of its labor: the Grohmann Museum, a 38,000-sq. ft. art space dedicated to the world's most comprehensive collection focusing on the evolution of human work.

Located on the MSOE campus at 1000 N. Broadway, the museum's steel and glass-domes entrance welcomes visitors to three floors of gallery space presenting more than 400 years of artist's depictions of workers.

The Eckhart G. Grohmann Collection, "Man at Work," comprises nearly 700 paintings and sculptures from 1580 to today that reflect a variety of artistic styles and subjects documenting the evolution of organized work, from farming and mining to trades as glassblowing and seaweed gathering.

The atrium's ceiling features a 700-square-foot circular mural, "The Element of Fire," depicting great thinkers -- Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Johannes Gutenberg and Leonardo da Vinci. Decorating the atrium dome, eight stained-glass works depict a rolling miller, a hay harvester, blacksmiths, a carpenter, a cooper, a quarryman, working at a river valley iron smelter and building the Tower of Babel.

The museum also has an auditorium, docent library, gift shop, vending café and workshop. The free Grand Opening is Saturday, Oct. 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. 
Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”