Travel Wisconsin: Arts & Culture

Wisconsin's Afternoon News



Spring is a great time to visit art museums. The snow season is winding down, but we’re still waiting for the temperatures to warm up. These are a few world-class art museums that are right here in Wisconsin. 


The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau is one of Wisconsin’s premier art museums, with rotating exhibits, educations programs and impressive sculpture gardens all rooted around birds. 

- They have more than 5,000 works that celebrate birds and the natural world. 
  - Every fall, Woodson hosts its popular “Birds in Art” exhibit, featuring 100 artistic interpretations of birds and related subject matter. 

- The Museum is also a leader in barrier-free experiences:
  - The Museum’s campus and facilities are fully accessible to all individuals with mobility issues
  - Artwork and labels are placed at heights designed to be viewed by all visitors 
  - Every month they offer a storytelling program for toddlers that includes sign-language interpreters. 
  - Plus, admission to the museum is free. 

Lat year, Woodson Art Museum was one of only two art museums to receive the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest museum honor. 

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan is a nationally acclaimed visual and performing arts center. Its exhibitions focus on a wide range of artwork, including “art environments,” which are the transformations of a personal space, such as a living room, into a work of art within the museum. 

- Performance art is also a large part of the museum’s programming. The performing arts space welcomes dancers, musicians and theatre performances from around the world. And, every summer, the art center hosts its Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series. 

- The ARTery at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is a free drop-in art-making studio. Kids can create a piece of art at the Make & Take workshops, or collaborate on a community piece of art. 

- While you’re there, stop in to check out the bathrooms, which are art in themselves. The museum commissioned a different artist to custom design the tiles and fixtures in each of their washrooms.

The Milwaukee Art Museum has become on of the city’s most iconic buildings. They have 30,000 works of art, from ancient objects to contemporary paintings. In fact, the museum holds one of the largest collections of works by Wisconsin native Georgia O’Keefe.

- The museum has permanent collections and rotating exhibitions. 
  - For a tourism tie-in check out the exhibit called “The Open Road.” It features photographs from 18 different photographers from the 1950’s through today, as they document the idea of the American road trip and car culture. It will be on display through April 22. 

- Beyond the art, Milwaukee Art Museum includes Cafe Calatrava, a full-scale restaurant that was a 2016 OpenTable Diner’s Choice winner. 

- Visitors can also check out Kohl’s Art Generation Open Studio, where kids can create their own take-home art project. 

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