Steamship William G. Mather

More information on hours can be found here. The Science Center and Mather will be closed September 4-14, with the exception of the FRONT International exhibition (details below).

Tour this restored 618-foot historic ship and see what life was like on board a working Great Lakes freighter. Explore the 1925-built Mather from stem to stern and see its huge cargo holds, brass and oak pilot house, elegant guest quarters and four-story engine room. Walk the decks and marvel at the “engineering firsts” that helped transform Northeast Ohio into a great industrial center. Experience the golden era of steamships on one of the best.

Tickets can be purchased at the Science Center Box Office or aboard the ship. 


FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art: An American City

July 14 – September 30, 2018

FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art is an exhibition comprised of artist commissions, performances, films, and public programs that will launch its inaugural edition in July of 2018. An American City: Eleven Cultural Exercises, in collaboration with museums, civic institutions, and alternative spaces across Cleveland, Akron and Oberlin, will showcase an ambitious roster of projects, including performance and theater throughout the landscape and built environment. With a roster of national, international and area-based artists at all points in their career, FRONT will examine the ever-changing and politically urgent conditions of an American city.


Allan Sekula at the historic Steamship William G. Mather at Great Lakes Science Center

The Steamship William G. Mather, launched in 1925, was a state-of-the-art freighter that ferried iron ore, coal and grain across the Great Lakes, between Duluth, Minnesota, and Cleveland’s steel mills, for the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. Now decommissioned, it docks on Lake Erie at Great Lakes Science Center. During FRONT, its cargo hold will host an installation of film and photography projects by Allan Sekula (1951–2013), the prominent photographer, filmmaker and writer, whose work from the 1980s onward took the sea as a defining subject. Sekula’s work explores the effects of capitalism on our social structures, the workplace and the visual grammar of photography itself.


FRONT is a new Art Triennial based in Cleveland and opening the summer of 2018. This citywide art program will bring together international, national and regional artists, curators and scholars to propose a new format for biennials and triennials. It focuses on process, research, collaboration and long-term engagement with Cleveland and Northeast Ohio to provide an expansive stage to create and share new work that is inspired by and engaged with the social, political, cultural, ecological and economic issues of our time. These themes and ideas are explored by the participants will revolve around the history and the current realities of Cleveland that serves as an example of a midsize American city in time during which this country is deeply divided. FRONT sees museums and exhibitions as places for a nuanced conversation about the difficult issues and concerns in society, away from the perhaps comforting but also reductive way of absolute thinking that is so destructive. The program feels the need to address complexities and diversity of thought within the spectrum of institutions that address the state of the world around us.

FRONT has teamed up with all of Cleveland and the region’s most renowned arts and cultural institutions, making it unique in the world for the scope of its collaboration.

FRONT is organized by the FRONT Exhibition Company.


Beginning Saturday, May 5. 

May, September, October
Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
June – August
Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

Closed Mondays (with the exception of Memorial Day 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Labor Day for the Air Show).

Last ticket sale at 4 p.m. last admission at 4:30 p.m.

The Mather will be open by pre-sale only for the Air Show Deck Party on September 1-3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Tickets can be purchased by calling reservations at (216) 621-2400 or online

Cargo Hold 1 only will be open on the following dates for the FRONT exhibition:

- September 6-9. 2018

- September 13-14, 2018

- September 20-21, 2018

- September 27-28, 2018


Adults $8.95
Seniors (65+) $6.95
Youth (2-12) $5.95
Children (under 2) FREE
Members FREE


William G. Mather Steamship

When the Steamship William G. Mather was built in 1925 by Great Lakes Engineering Works in Ecorse, Michigan, she was considered the latest word in ship design, propulsion, navigation equipment, and crew accommodations. She was the flagship of The Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company fleet until 1952.