Events Calendar

  1. Wisconsin in Watercolor: The Farmscapes of Paul Seifert

    Apr 8, 2014 - Aug 30, 2014   9 am–4 pm, Tuesday through Saturday German immigrant Paul Seifert came to Wisconsin and lived a varied and creative life on the edges of society but all the while deeply immersed in the Wisconsin River valley landscape of the Driftless Region he called home. He's best known for his vibrant watercolor farm pictures, which are beloved locally and highly desired by collectors nationally. This is the first major exhibition of Seifert's art.

  2. Playtimes of the Past

    Apr 18, 2014   10 am–2 pm Explore a different side of history in this drop-in spring break program. Discover toys and games from Wisconsin's past, enjoy a snack, and create an art project to take home.

  3. Gallery Night at the Wisconsin Historical Museum

    May 2, 2014   5–9 pm Stroll through Wisconsin in Watercolor: The Farmscapes of Paul Seifert, the first major exhibition of paintings by renowned German-immigrant folk artist Paul Seifert. Join us for unique and beautiful art, intriguing Wisconsin history and light refreshments. At 7 pm Wisconsin Historical Society curator Joe Kapler will discuss Seifert's work and its cultural and historical significance.

    • Learn more about the Wisconsin in Watercolor exhibit.
    • The gallery night event at the museum is part of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's Gallery Night, celebrating Madison's thriving art scene with events throughout the city.

  4. History Sandwiched In: Exploring Paul Seifert's Wisconsin Farm Paintings

    May 6, 2014   12:15–1 pm Reflect with museum curator Joe Kapler and University of Wisconsin-Madison doctoral candidate Sarah Anne Stolte as they discuss the exhibition, Wisconsin in Watercolor: The Farmscapes of Paul Seifert. Learn about the life of this German immigrant artist, his vision of his surroundings and the land that inspired his work. Will you recognize the landscapes? Join us, and see.

  5. Wisconsin Museums Week

    May 13, 2014 - May 17, 2014   9 am–4 pm Celebrate Wisconsin Museum Week with the Wisconsin Historical Museum. Visitors are invited to participate in a special self-guided tour of the museum that will reveal connections between artifacts that may not be obvious at first glance. Wisconsin Museums Week is sponsored by the Wisconsin Federation of Museums.

    On Saturday, May 17, enjoy free museum admission and a 10-percent discount in the museum store in honor of International Museum Day. Tour four floors of exhibits to learn the stories of native people, settlement days, immigrants' experiences and lively politics of Wisconsin.

  6. International Museum Day

    May 17, 2014   9 am–4 pm In honor of International Museum Day, enjoy free museum admission and a 10-percent discount in the museum store. Tour four floors of exhibits to learn the stories of native people, settlement days, immigrants' experiences and lively politics of Wisconsin.

  7. History Sandwiched In: 'The Brave Journey of an Orphan Train Rider'

    May 20, 2014   12:15–1 pm Between 1853 and 1929 nearly 150,000 children were transported from New York City to the homes of farm families in almost every state, particularly in the Midwest. Join author and historian Clark Kidder as he brings to light his own research on orphan trains. Kidder tells the story of his paternal grandmother, the late Emily (Reese) Kidder of Milton, who was brought to Wisconsin in 1909 as one of these orphan children. Learn more about 'Emily's Story: The Brave Journey of an Orphan Train Rider.'

  8. History Sandwiched In: Preserving Works of Art and What the Materiality of Objects Teaches Us

    Jun 3, 2014   12:15–1 pm As repositories of works of art, museums have the responsibility to preserve the objects in their care. Chazen Museum of Art Curator of Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative arts, Maria Saffiotti Dale, will present an introduction to the field of art conservation and will discuss individual paintings and other works of art from the Chazen Museum's permanent collection that have undergone conservation treatment and scientific analysis. In preserving the material evidence from the past, we can learn about the makers and the society they lived in, as well as the history of materials and techniques.

  9. History Sandwiched In — 'Cold War University: Madison and the New Left in the Sixties'

    Jun 17, 2014   12:15–1 pm Join Matt Levin, author of "Cold War University," as he traces the paradox that developed during the Cold War: higher education became increasingly enmeshed in the Cold War struggle, specifically through research partnerships with the federal government, as university campuses became centers of opposition to Cold War policies. Levin will share how the University of Wisconsin-Madison became one of the hubs of student political activism in the 1950s and 1960s, adding texture to the history of national youth protests of the time. Some of the events in Madison — especially the 1966 draft protests, the 1967 sit-in against Dow Chemical, and the 1970 Sterling Hall bombing — have become part of the fabric of "The Sixties." A book signing will follow the presentation.

  10. Summertime Fun: Wisconsin Folk Art (Rosemaling)

    Jul 2, 2014   11 am–noon and 1–2 pm Art has always been a part of people's lives in Wisconsin, although you won't find all of it in a museum. Learn how artists from Wisconsin's past have added their personal touches to everyday objects. Join us each Wednesday to learn about a different style of art and create your own masterpiece.

    In this session, learn about this traditional painting method brought to Wisconsin by Norwegian immigrants, and create your own piece to take home.

  11. History Sandwiched In: Wisconsin Printmakers

    Jul 8, 2014   12:15–1 pm Printmaking has a rich history in Wisconsin, starting before statehood and following local and international artistic trends. Today fine printmakers, homegrown and transplants, make art in Wisconsin that continues the proud tradition. Chazen Museum or Art Curator of Prints Drew Stevens will trace the tradition and look at where it stands today.

  12. Summertime Fun: Wisconsin Folk Art (Photography)

    Jul 9, 2014   11 am–noon and 1–2 pm Art has always been a part of people's lives in Wisconsin, although you won't find all of it in a museum. Learn how artists from Wisconsin's past have added their personal touches to everyday objects. Join us each Wednesday to learn about a different style of art and create your own masterpiece.

    In this session, explore the innovations developed by early Wisconsin photographers, and pose for a vintage-style photograph.

  13. History Sandwiched In: Viskonsin! Yiddish Radio in Badgerland

    Jul 15, 2014   12:15–1 pm Return to 1929 with the Peabody Award-winning director of the University of Wisconsin's Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture, Henry Sapoznik, as he reveals the forgotten story of Wisconsin's first brush with nationwide radio. Listen to the long-lost broadcasts from fledgling CBS network station WISN as it carried Yiddish radio shows from New York to the growing Wisconsin Jewish community.

  14. Summertime Fun: Wisconsin Folk Art (Pottery)

    Jul 16, 2014   11 am–noon and 1–2 pm Art has always been a part of people's lives in Wisconsin, although you won't find all of it in a museum. Learn how artists from Wisconsin's past have added their personal touches to everyday objects. Join us each Wednesday to learn about a different style of art and create your own masterpiece.

    In this session, discover how Wisconsin's earliest residents added decorations to everyday objects, and try your hand at making your own pottery.

  15. History Sandwiched In: A Photographic Journey Through Early Excavations at Aztalan

    Jul 22, 2014   12:15–1 pm Aztalan State Park naturalist Kurt Sampson will take the audience on a photographic journey through the Milwuakee Public Museum's excavations of Aztalan in 1919, 1920 and 1932. These excavations, led by Samuel A. Barrett, were the first professional and systematic archaeological excavations of any site in the state of Wisconsin. During these three excavations, more than 500 black and white photographs were taken that help detail certain aspects of the site's unique prehistoric occupation. View these fascinating photos, and learn about the mysterious past of Aztalan State Park.

  16. Summertime Fun: Wisconsin Folk Art (Watercolors)

    Jul 23, 2014   11 am–noon and 1–2 pm Art has always been a part of people's lives in Wisconsin, although you won't find all of it in a museum. Learn how artists from Wisconsin's past have added their personal touches to everyday objects. Join us each Wednesday to learn about a different style of art and create your own masterpiece.

    In this session, come see the works of folk artist Paul Seifert in our newest exhibit, Wisconsin in Watercolor: The Farmscapes of Paul Seifert, and paint your own watercolor scene.

  17. History Sandwiched In: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine

    Jul 29, 2014   12:15–1 pm Does the shape of your skull reveal your character? Can cold water cure everything? These are just some of the alternative medical cures popular in 19th-century America. Discover how these alternative remedies challenged the dominance of mainstream medicine, drawing support from everyone from Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charles Darwin. Learn about Wisconsin's water cures and the Milwaukee brothers who prescribed electrical belts and vests to anyone who came through their doors. Historian Erika Janik will share some of the eccentric narratives from her book, 'Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine.' A book signing will follow the presentation.

  18. Summertime Fun: Wisconsin Folk Art (Commercial Art)

    Jul 30, 2014   11 am–noon and 1–2 pm Art has always been a part of people's lives in Wisconsin, although you won't find all of it in a museum. Learn how artists from Wisconsin's past have added their personal touches to everyday objects. Join us each Wednesday to learn about a different style of art and create your own masterpiece.

    In this session, explore the use of commercial art by Wisconsin businesses, and design your own personal logo.

  19. History Sandwiched In: Stories from the Days of One-Room Schools

    Aug 5, 2014   12:15–1 pm What was it like to attend a one-room school, to be in the same classroom as your older brother or younger sister, or to have your teacher live with your family for part of the school year? In 'One Room Schools: Stories from the Days of 1 Room, 1 Teacher, 8 Grades,' Susan Apps-Bodilly chronicles life in Wisconsin's early country schools. Join the author as she describes the role of the teacher and the duties children had at school besides their schoolwork. Learn what led to the closing of the one-room schools, which were more than centers of learning but also a gathering place for the community. A book signing will follow the presentation.

  20. History Sandwiched In: Art and History at Shake Rag Alley

    Aug 12, 2014   12:15–1 pm Shake Rag Alley has been a part of Mineral Point's colorful and rich history of interesting characters, fanciful artists and crafts people who make up Wisconsin's Driftless region. Through its unique location by a magical spring, tucked away but pleasantly near the influence of the artist studios in Mineral Point, Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts has been inhabited by various owners and operators, all with the spirit of supporting the techniques of traditional craft. In its decade of arts education and programming, the arts organization has worked to maintain the groundwork laid by previous owners and visionaries. Courtney Henson Brienen, executive director of Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts, will discuss the history of the Shake Rag Alley grounds and the artists who seem to be magnetically drawn to the location.

  21. History Sandwiched In: ' Wisconsin Talk'

    Oct 7, 2014   12:15–1 pm Wisconsin is one of the richest places in the United States in terms of both the languages spoken here and the kinds of English spoken here. Perhaps more remarkably, it's getting richer and more diverse as new dialects and dialect features emerge here. Join professors Joseph Salmons, Thomas Purnell and Eric Raimy, editors of 'Wisconsin Talk: Linguistic Diversity in the Badger State,' as they present some of their latest findings about language in Wisconsin. Their research reveals how understanding our state's linguistic history can help us understand the linguistic present. A book signing will follow the presentation.

  22. History Sandwiched In: Rethinking Jean Nicolet's Journey to Wisconsin

    Oct 21, 2014   12:15–1 pm Did the French explorer Jean Nicolet really don a Chinese robe when he arrived at Green Bay in 1634, thinking he had reached the fabled land of China? Join historian Patrick Jung and learn how this is just one of several myths that has been repeated about Jean Nicolet for over a century. While the popular image of Jean Nicolet as an inland Christopher Columbus seeking a passage to China through the Great Lakes has been an integral part of Wisconsin history and lore for many years, it is little more than mythology that has resulted from a misunderstanding of the original historical sources that describe his voyage. Jung's description of Nicolet's journey will demolish this long-cherished myth, but his reinterpretation of Nicolet's story is, in many ways, far more fascinating.


Label