National Museum of the Great Lakes Unveils Two Traveling Art Exhibits

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is excited to announce the launch of two traveling art exhibits, designed to spread the museum’s mission and showcase its extensive collection of maritime art throughout the Great Lakes region.

Great Lakes Masters

The first exhibit, Great Lakes Masters, is currently on display at the Hoover Auditorium in Lakeside Marblehead, OH. The exhibit features some of the finest works from the museum’s collection, highlighting the rich history and evolution of naval painting on the Great Lakes.

Location: Hoover Auditorium, Lakeside Marblehead, OH

Dates: Now through June 16

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday: 7 PM – 10 PM

             Daily: 10 AM – 2 PM (during ticket office hours)

About the Exhibit:

Naval painting dates back thousands of years to ancient civilizations. On the Great Lakes, this art form flourished during the Industrial Revolution as artists documented the thriving shipping industry. The exhibit showcases works from the late 19th century to the present, illustrating the evolution of maritime art and its enduring realism.

“We are honored to present the Great Lakes Masters exhibit, which beautifully captures the rich history and significance of maritime life on the Great Lakes. These pieces of art tell the tales of time, offering stunning depictions of ships, sailors, and the waters they navigated, bringing to life the vibrant history of our region,” said Carrie Sowden, Director of Research and Archaeology at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “Each artwork is a testament to the enduring beauty and legacy of the Great Lakes, preserving the stories of those who lived and worked on these waters for future generations to appreciate.”

An Artist at the Water’s Edge: A Century of Marine Art by Alexander Burns Cook

The second exhibit, An Artist at the Water’s Edge: A Century of Marine Art by Alexander Burns Cook, celebrates the life and work of the renowned Great Lakes Marine artist.

Location: The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, St. Joseph, MI

Opening Reception: Friday, May 31, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Exhibit Dates: Opens Saturday, June 1

About Alexander Burns Cook:

Cook, a WWII veteran, maritime enthusiast, and philanthropist, dedicated his life to capturing the essence of life on the Great Lakes through his artwork. The exhibit celebrates what would have been his 100th birthday (he died in January 2024 at 99 years old) and showcases a variety of his works, from cartoons to murals.

Exhibit Highlights:

  • Personal journey of Cook’s 90-year artistic career
  • Deep connection to maritime life and the Great Lakes
  • Diverse collection including cartoons, murals, and more

“We are thrilled to share Alexander Burns Cook’s extraordinary legacy with the public,” said Chris Gillcrist, Director Emeritus at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “This exhibit not only honors his artistic achievements but also highlights his lifelong dedication to preserving and celebrating the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes.”

Visiting Information:

The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center Hours:

  • Thursday and Friday: 2 PM – 7 PM
  • Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM
  • Sunday: 12 PM – 5 PM

Contact: Chris Gillcrist at or 216-956-9734

For further details on both of these exhibits and high-resolution images, please contact Ashley Streichert, Marketing and Communications Manager at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, at or 419-460-8181.