I was curious about the man behind this museum. Why did Eckhart Grohman collect so many artworks of builders, farmers, mill workers, taxidermists, watchmakers and the like? According to the museum’s website:
To understand this unique collection, it is helpful to have some background on the collector, who grew up visiting his grandfather’s large marble processing business and quarry operation in Silesia, Germany (now within the borders of Poland). It was there, watching the stonecutters and sculptors select raw material that would soon become a work of art, that Grohmann developed his appreciation and admiration of work. To Grohmann, hard work is not an idealized concept but a principle of life.
Yet I’d love to know if there’s more to it. What is this man like?
There are paintings by well known artists like Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1638). The paintings by lesser known 17th, 18th and 19th century painters are skillfully done so while they may not make it to a first tier museum, they do work in this thematic collection.
While a lot of the art romanticizes work, there are no accidents in the factories or noticeably unhappy workers, there are a few pieces that have a touch of satire like this painting in a legal office. The man in the corner does look intimidated.