Portrait of Milwaukee

September 6, 2019—March 1, 2020
Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts

What made Milwaukee into the city it is today, and what does it mean to call oneself a Milwaukeean?

Portrait of Milwaukee reveals a deep connection between the city of Milwaukee and its residents. Photographs from the 1930s through the 2010s highlight some of the people, movements, businesses, and neighborhoods that have helped make Milwaukee what it is today. From small businesses to community churches, tannery workers to New Wave rockers, the subjects of the pictures in the exhibition show a midwestern city that is just as dynamic and diverse as the people who call it home.

Photographs in the exhibition are drawn from the Museum’s collection, as well as from local collections that are rarely on public view.

Portrait of Milwaukee: Living Library

Discover how the photographs in Portrait of Milwaukee continue to reflect Milwaukee and its community. On December 5, 2019, local residents created a living library inside the exhibition and shared personal stories that relate to specific works on view.

Co-organized with: Ex Fabula

Presenting Sponsor:
Media sponsor: OnMilwaukee
Exhibitions in the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts sponsored by: Herzfeld Foundation Madeleine and David Lubar
Thanks to the Museum Visionaries:Donna and Donald Baumgartner John and Murph Burke Sheldon and Marianne Lubar Joel and Caran Quadracci Sue and Bud Selig Jeff Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation
  • Murdoch & Company, View West of Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, from Pabst Building, 1923/25. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Friends of Art, M1989.410. Copy photo by John R. Glembin.
  • Mark E. Jensen, Linus Mullarkey, Barber (East Side, Milwaukee, WI), ca. 1975. Gift of Douglas C. James, Frederick P. Stratton, Jr., and Photography Council, M2001.46. Copy photo by John R. Glembin. © Mark E. Jensen
  • Larry Chatman, Ricco and Cleopatra, 1979. Gelatin silver print. Gift of the Sheldon M. Barnett Family, M1980.163. © Larry Chatman
  • Larry Chatman, Couple Outside W & L, 1979/89, printed 2019. Inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist. © Larry Chatman
  • Susan Armour, Jack and Esther Glusman and Jack’s cousin Sasha at Glusman Sanitary Kosher Meat Market, 4827 W. Center St., 1976. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the Historic Photo Archives / Milwaukee Public Library. Copy photo by John R. Glembin. © Susan Armour
  • Lyle Oberwise, [“Girl in the Moon” baton twirler], 1954, printed 1996. Chromogenic print. Purchase, Exhibition Fund, M1996.311. Copy photo by John R. Glembin. © Milwaukee County Historical Society