Door County Maritime Museum Launches Winter Speakers Series with Bonnie Hartmann on Life and Art of Gerhard Miller, Dec. 3

The Door County Maritime Museum and Friends of the Maritime Museum will launch their popular Winter Speakers Series on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 pm at the Museum in Sturgeon Bay. It will be the first of five Thursday night programs extending to March 25, 2010.

Gerhard C. F. Miller

Gerhard C. F. Miller

The first presentation is centered on the life and art of Gerhard Miller. Noted for his diverse repertoire of work, much of Miller’s work was inspired by Door County and its strong maritime influences before his death five years ago at the age of 100. Bonnie Hartmann, director of the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay, will provide this introspective on one of Door County’s most beloved citizens. While many are aware of the gallery he and his wife Ruth donated to the community, not as many know of Miller’s initial support for the construction of the new Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay.

Included in that support was the donation of 500 limited edition prints of one of Gerhard’s Cana Island works to help fund the museum’s planning. A number of signed prints remain and will be available for sale on the night of Dec. 3. The Miller Museum will also have some of Gerhard’s prints for sale that evening. Holiday shoppers will be happy to know the Museum’s gift shop will be open throughout the evening.

The series resumes after the holidays on the first Thursday evening of each month, before winding up on the March 25.

Judy Beck from the Environmental Protection Agency will present a program on Jan. 7 related to the EPA’s work on the Great Lakes. On Feb. 4, representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in Green Bay will talk about the planning and progress associated with the Michigan Street Bridge rehabilitation. Come March 4, the spotlight will be on Marine Travelift and its amazing gargantuan 1,000-ton lift. The Museum’s Executive Director Bob Desh will present the final program in the series, a look at the International Ice Patrol and the role it has played tracking icebergs since being formed in the wake of the Titanic disaster. Desh served as the commanding officer of the Ice Patrol during his service in the United States Coast Guard.

The Speakers Series is sponsored by the Friends of the Door County Maritime Museum, an organization dedicated to assisting the Museum both through fundraising projects and volunteer service. Admission to the program is free. Refreshments will be provided by the Friends groups. Donations will be appreciated.

For more information on the Speakers Series or the Museum call 920.743.5958 or visit

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