The Art of Rube Goldberg Opens at GRAM

The Art of Rube Goldberg opens May 20, at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) and runs thru August 27, 2017. The exhibition marks the first comprehensive retrospective of Goldberg’s work in 50 years and chronicles all aspect of the artist’s 72-year career, from his earliest published drawings and iconic inventions to his Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoons and beyond.

Along with showcasing the legendarily inventive cartoonist’s astonishing body of work, the sweeping exhibition includes interactive elements, films and inventions inspired by Goldberg’s drawings.

“The Grand Rapids Art Museum celebrates creativity in its wide range of forms,” said GRAM’s Director and CEO, Dana Friis-Hansen. “We’re excited to present this delightful mixed media collaboration at GRAM, which explores the whimsical world of Rube Goldberg and others who have been influenced by his work nearly a century later.”

Prominently featured are Goldberg’s infamous invention drawings, adorned with astounding imagination and zany contraptions meant to solve common problems (“Simple Orange Squeezing Machine,” “Fish an Olive Out of a Long-Necked Bottle,” “An Automatic Back Scratcher”).  Accompanying films and interactive stations allow visitors to explore the concepts behind these often purposefully absurd inventions. Additionally, in a partnership with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, (OAISD) and Grand Haven Public Schools, a portion of the exhibit showcases inventions built by fourth-grade students inspired by Goldberg’s machines.

On June 8, GRAM will host a special evening with Creighton Michael, the man who created the exhibition during which attendees will have the opportunity to listen to a lecture my Michael as he shares his journey of formulating the exhibit with Goldberg’s granddaughter.

To learn more about The Art of Rube Goldberg and events surrounding the exhibition, please visit



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