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Remembering Cedarburg’s Historic Mills


May 8 through October 31, 2020

Remembering Cedarburg’s Historic Mills is an exhibition celebrating the culmination of Cedarburg Art Museum’s 18-month Historic Mill Project.  A local benefactor provided a special gift to commission five artists to create artworks for its permanent collection to represent the Cedarburg mills that spurred the community’s 19th Century industrial growth. The Historic Mill Project supported local artists while commemorating the 1853 Concordia Mill, the 1855 Hilgen-Schroeder Mill, the 1864 Hilgen-Wittenberg Woolen Mill, the 1871 wind-powered grist mill, and the 1871 Excelsior Mill that by 1890 became known as the Nail Factory. 

In October 2018, a Call for Art was announced, and Wisconsin artists responded with images of their sketches of architectural subjects or the local mills.  A Museum subcommittee helped to determine five artists to create artworks of the five mills.  Bruce Hustad, Tom Kubala, Lynne Ruehl, Benjamin Sloma, and William A. Suys, Jr. were awarded the commissions to produce their artworks in 2019. 

This exhibition is the first public showing of the finished, commissioned artworks in the Historic Mill Project.  An earlier artwork in the museum’s collection, a 1976 watercolor by Harold E. Hansen of the 1845 Columbia Mill, also helps to provide the full picture of Cedarburg’s rich, industrial heritage built mostly upon the waterpower of the Cedar Creek.  

Learn more about the commission and exhibition by clicking the buttons below.

Click each image below to view the full work!

Wind Grist Mill, 

William Suys Jr.

Excelsior Mill, Benjamin Sloma

Hilgen-Schroeder Mill, 

Bruce Hustad

Hilgen-Wittenberg Woolen Mill, 

Tom Kubala

Concordia Mill, Lynne Ruehl

Sponsored by:

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