Nov 26, 2013 - Jan 11, 2014 9 am–4 pm Monday through Saturday, 11 am–4 pm Sunday (after Christmas: 9 am–4 pm Tuesday through Saturday)
Aluminum Christmas trees became popular in the 1960s, and a Wisconsin business, The Aluminum Specialty Company, became the largest manufacturer of these trees. Their tree, the Evergleam, became a remarkable success, with more than a million trees making their way into American homes. Stroll through this display of shiny aluminum Evergleam trees and relive holiday memories.
Nov 29, 2013 - Dec 15, 2013 9 am–4 pm Monday through Saturday, 11 am–4 pm Sunday
Join the Wisconsin Historical Museum in giving back to the community by helping those in need this holiday season. The Wisconsin Historical Museum will be collecting items for Porchlight Inc., an organization that provides services to help fight homelessness in Dane County. We will be accepting the following items at the museum:
As part of the museum's 11th Annual Holiday Sale, on Sunday, December 15, the museum will celebrate the last day of the donation drive with a "Day of Giving." For each item donated to the Porchlight Donation Drive, participants will receive a coupon for 10 percent off one item. Coupons can be combined for up to 20 percent off one item; there is no limit to how many coupons that can be received or redeemed.
- New or gently used twin-size bedding
- New or gently used bath towels
- New personal hygiene essentials (travel or full-size) such as shampoo, soap, moist towelettes, deodorant and lotion
For more information on Porchlight Inc., please visit the organization's website.
Dec 12, 2013 - Dec 15, 2013 Open daily from Thanksgiving through Christmas, Monday through Saturday 9 am–4 pm, Sunday 11 am–4 pm
Give the gift of Wisconsin history and support the museum. This holiday sale features gifts from our Real Wisconsin line and a great selection of Wisconsin books for young and old readers alike. There's sure to be something for everyone on your shopping list. Society members receive a 10-percent discount.
- December 12 — BOGO half-off storewide
- December 13 — 20 percent off all Real Wisconsin products
- December 14 — 20 percent off all Native American-related products
- December 15 — Day of giving (for each item donated to the Porchlight Donation Drive, receive a coupon for 10 percent off one item)
Dec 14, 2013 1–2 pm
In conjunction with the Wisconsin Historical Museum's 11th Annual Holiday Sale, Patty Loew will be at the Wisconsin Historical Museum for a book signing. Patty Loew is the author of the popular publication, 'Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal,' which the Wisconsin Historical Society Press recently released in a revised, second edition.
Jan 11, 2014 10 am–2 pm
Beat the winter blues and transport yourself back in time to the era of black-and-white movies with this drop-in series. View clips from classic films and participate in fun, family friendly activities.
In this first event in the series, learn techniques of acting in silent films with members of the Madison Creative Arts Program and record your own minute-long silent scenes. Several silent films starring Wisconsin native and world-famous magician Harry Houdini will be shown for inspiration.
Jan 14, 2014 - Mar 29, 2014 9 am–4 pm, Tuesday through Saturday
"Wisconsin fashion" often refers to cold-weather clothing rather than stylish designer wear from Paris and New York. Yet beginning in the late 19th century, there have been Wisconsin women with the means and interest to wear extraordinarily expensive and fashionable clothes.
Wisconsin Women of Style showcases significant pieces from the Mount Mary University Historic Costume Collection and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Explore these spectacular gowns and garments, and discover the stories of the remarkable Wisconsin women who wore them.
Jan 18, 2014 10 am–2 pm
Beat the winter blues and transport yourself back in time to the era of black- and-white movies with this drop-in series. View clips from classic films and participate in fun, family-friendly activities.
In this second event in the series, bring out your inner artist and create your own comic strip with help from the Monroe Street Arts Center. Classic cartoons from the 1920s and '30s will be shown.
Jan 21, 2014 12:15–1 pm
Join photographer and professor Craig Schreiner as he captures the rhythms and richness of everyday life on the farm through the evocative color photographs that fill his book, "One Small Farm: Photographs of a Wisconsin Way of Life." Schreiner's depiction of the Lamberty family of Pine Bluff, Wisconsin, explores larger questions concerning the future of small-farm agriculture, Wisconsin cultural traditions and the rural way of life.
Jan 25, 2014 10 am–2 pm
Beat the winter blues and transport yourself back in time to the era of black- and-white movies with this drop-in series. View clips from classic films and participate in fun, family-friendly activities. All Cure Cabin Fever sessions are free with admission by donation.
Learn how Wisconsin has been home to several award-winning actors, actresses and directors. Ten Wisconsinites have received stars on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. Decorate your very own Walk of Fame star as you enjoy clips from award-winning movies.
Feb 4, 2014 12:15–1 pm
Sylvia Bell White's life tracks the roots and routes of many working-class black people of her generation. Join historian and co-author Jody LePage as she presents Sylvia's oral-history autobiography, "Sister: An African American Life in Search of Justice." With a historical span from grandparents born in slavery to the nation's first African-American president, the story centers on Sylvia's post-World War II migration to Milwaukee and her pursuit of justice for her younger brother's racially charged murder.
Feb 8, 2014 1–2 pm
Learn more about fashion throughout history and explore the exhibit, Wisconsin Women of Style, with these events. Join Leslie Bellais, the Wisconsin Historical Society's curator of costume and textiles, as she shares the Victorians' secret for tiny waists, the origins of underwear, and how Victorian undergarment styles changed over time. Bellais will explore how women's undergarments reflected societal values and will share examples of Victorian underwear from the Wisconsin Historical Society's collection. After the lecture, view the beautiful dresses on display in the exhibit for Valentine's Day style inspiration.
Feb 15, 2014 - Feb 16, 2014 Saturday from 10 am–3 pm, Sunday 11 am–4 pm
Madison Winter Festival revelers can drop in to warm up with hot chocolate and explore the exhibit, Wisconsin Women of Style.
Feb 18, 2014 12:15–1 pm
The Wisconsin Historical Society owns one of the nation's richest archives on the civil rights movement: tens of thousands of letters, diaries, meeting minutes, phone logs, internal memos, photographs, press releases, audio tapes and other primary sources. For half a century every serious researcher on the civil rights movement has used the Society archives. Join historian Michael Edmonds to discover why this national treasure is in Wisconsin rather than Washington, D.C.
Feb 22, 2014 10 am–2 pm
Learn more about fashion throughout history and explore the exhibit, Wisconsin Women of Style, with these events. In this event, use sequins, feathers and ribbons to make fashionable paper doll dresses inspired by the exhibit.
Mar 4, 2014 12:15–1 pm
A century ago, the growth of the Schenk family businesses triggered commercial development and gave a name to Schenk's Corners. Join Ann Waidelich, Madison historian, Sue Retzlaff, granddaughter of Elsie Schenk and Arthur Huegel, and videographer Gretta Wing Miller as they present the history of the building at the corner of Atwood and Winnebago streets and the history of the Schenk and Huegel families from 1893 to the present.
Mar 18, 2014 12:15–1 pm
Though the contributions of women during the Civil War were many, documentation of their efforts was scattered at best. Join historian John Zimm as he reminds us of the stories Ethel Alice Hurn preserved through findings in collections of letters, newspaper files and interviews. 'Wisconsin Women in War Between the States' documents an important turning point in the changing role of women in American society.
Apr 1, 2014 12:15–1 pm
No symbol is more synonymous with Wisconsin's rich maritime traditions than the lighthouse. Ken and Barb Wardius tell the tales of historic structures and mariners of yesteryear through their photographic and historical guide, 'Wisconsin Lighthouses: A Photographic and Historical Guide.' The book takes readers on an intimate tour of lighthouses on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago. Come hear about the details about lighthouse vocabulary and the busy lives of light keepers that make this the definitive book on Wisconsin's Lighthouses. A book signing will follow the presentation.
Apr 15, 2014 12:15–1 pm
"People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin's Love Affair with an Ancient Fish" chronicles the history of the sturgeon and the cultural traditions this remarkable fish has spawned. Co-author Kathleen Kline will share this story through a fascinating collection of images, stories and interviews. Known to many as the "dinosaur fish," sturgeon have teetered on the brink of extinction since the late 19th century. Discover how a community-wide effort in the Lake Winnebago region has allowed the sturgeon population there to thrive. A book signing will follow the presentation. Learn more about 'People of the Sturgeon,' which is also available as an audio book.
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.'
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.
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.