I visited a fascinating museum about Men (and Women) at Work. The Grohmann Museum features pieces at the intersection of art and work and arranges them in loose chronological order to allow patrons to see the evolution of both.

The top floor features heavy oil paintings in large, ornate frames depicting occupations of an earlier time: blacksmith, leather tanner, railroad worker, and hay harvester. As the floors descended, the works became more modern and illustrated professions such as computer scientists and respiratory technicians working to save a patient with Coronavirus. The museum provided a powerful visual reminder that the work of today, just like the art of today, has changed over time.

As media pioneer Marshall McLuhan famously said: “The medium is the message.” Nowhere is that more true than at the Grohmann Museum in Milwaukee. The Grohmann can serve as a model for your organization to tell its story — using methods of the day to illustrate your work at the time and allowing the art to evolve along with the content.

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