Visit the Best In Madison museums in Madison and South Central WI in Southern Wisconsin.
MADISON WISCONSIN AREA MUSEUMS:
CHALET OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE MUSEUM– (24 S) – New Glarus WI museums.
Explore the Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum – Picture 3 floors in a Swiss Bernese mountain chalet built in 1937 in New Glarus filled of the unique collections of Edwin Barlow and you have The Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum. The collection includes a 300-year-old Swiss slate and wood inlaid table, 17th century Bolivian silvered gourd jewelry, a Swiss porcelain tile stove made in 1760, 2000 year old Etruscan earrings, Gregorian chants on parchment–one of the world’s oldest forms of written music–dating from 1485, a jeweled watch once owned by King Louis XVI, antique glass and china, antique silver and pewter, coins, etchings, fabrics, original artwork, paintings, painted furniture, prints, quilts, samplers, stamps, Swiss dolls, Swiss scissors cuttings and Swiss woodcarvings. Tours are May through October – Saturdays Only – call 608-527-2095 or 1-800-527-6838.
Chazen Museum of Art – www.chazen.wisc.edu/home.htm – Phone 608 263-2246?Visit the Chazen Museum of Arts at 800 University Avenue Madison, WI 53706-1479.
CHEESEMAKING CENTER – (35 SW of Madison) – Green County, Monroe – History of cheesemaking and factories. Welcome to the National Historic Cheesemaking Center in Monroe, WI – a cheesemaking center and historic account of cheese factory processes and a top 101 Southern Wisconsin attractions and things to do in South Central WI. Visit Monroe, South Central WI and the Cheesemaking Center. Cheesemaking museum museum is located at the southern gateway to Wisconsin – Monroe, WI about 35 miles SW of Madison. Learn the story of early cheese-making which gave Monroe the title of the “Cheese Capital of the USA.” A visit to the museum includes a video showing the cheese making process in today’s modern cheese factories. A “Cheese Country” book tells the past and present story of cheesemaking in Green County. Cheesemaking Center – 2108 6th Avenue, Monroe, WI 53566 – (608) 325-4636.
CIRCUS WORLD MUSEUM – (33 NW – Baraboo), Sauk County, WI – Visitor Center, Programs, Displays and Shows. Welcome to Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI – a realistic display of the circus. Circus World is located about 33 miles NW of centrally located Madison. Experience Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin which includes a Visitor Center, programs, and displays. Explore the vast collections of authentic circus wagons, advertising posters, and other big top memorabilia. The Circus World Museum is history of the circus in a large museum complex in Baraboo saluting over 200 years of the American circus. It was the original winter quarters of the Ringling Bros circus. It is a National Landmark Site including the original buildings of the Ringling Bros Circus. The Circus World Museum is located at – 550 Water St, Baraboo, WI – 608.356.8341
GEOLOGY MUSEUM, UW – MADISON WI
Welcome to UW Geology Museum in Madison Wisconsin. The museum is filled with history and exhibits. You can actually touch the rocks from a time when there were volcanoes in Wisconsin and see the sea creatures that used to swim where we now walk. See minerals that glow, dinosaurs and meteorites. The Vertebrate Room includes display cases for existing dinosour specimens, a Driftless Area scene, the steps of the formation of Devil’s Lake, the Boaz Mastodon and the glyptodon replica. Add rock collections and mineral display. See a 1,300 lb copper piece, sparkling gems, meteorites, a ultraviolet light display of rock specimens and numerous fossils. In the vertebrate room – where the dinosaurs roam – you can view a Prep Lab where dinosaur and other fossil remains are carefully uncovered, cleaned and restored. The Geology Museum begun on 3rd floor of the original Science Hall building and much was lost in an 1884 fire. Frank Lloyd Wright as a part-time student aided the completion of an entirely fireproof building in 1887. UW Geology Museum – The University of Wisconsin – Madison, 1215 West Dayton Street Madison, WI 53706 – 608.262.1412.
HOUSE ON THE ROCK – The House on the Rock began in 1945 when Alex Jordan wanted a retreat with view. Alex expanded his vision on a massive scale with many buildings, exhibits and collections. The house inspires, the exhibits and collections seem endless. In the middle of the tour is an eating place and a chance to rest your feet. House On The Rock – 3591 Hwy 23, Dodgeville, WI. 608-935-3711 or 888-935-3960.
Visit the Mid-Continent Railway Museum – an outdoor museum at North Freedom, WI that operates a short line railroad that recreates the “Golden Age of Railroading” of 1880-1916. Museum opened in 1963 and has operating trains, educational exhibits, and displays of restored rolling stock. Museum is located about 36 miles NW of centrally located Madison. The Mid-Continent Railway Museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the railroad legacy for the educational benefit of the general public. Step back in time and take a trip on the seven-mile, 55-minute round-trip ride in a valley between the Baraboo Hills in rural Sauk County. Ride in restored steel coaches built a century ago. An authentically-attired conductor calls “all aboard!” before the train leaves from the historic wooden depot, built in 1894. All trains are currently powered by diesel locomotives with a hope to add steam locomotives in the future. Mid-Continent is much more than just a train ride. It is also a museum. The Coach Shed is filled with restored wooden passenger, freight cars and displays from the turn of the century including the Badger #2 “Fish Car”, and the 1903-built Copper Range coach #60. The outdoor display yard includes steam locomotives including Copper Range locomotive #29, Soo Line #2645 and Kewaunee Green Bay & Western #49 among about 40 train cars and locomotives.
Joseph Goodrich, an abolitionist founded Milton WI, built the first frame house and Milton College and built an 1844 hexagonal stagecoach inn called the Milton House. The inn was constructed of “grout,” and is considered the oldest building of its type in the U.S. Its’ basement and tunnel served as one of 14 stops along the Underground Railroad. Today, the Milton House is a museum.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS
Welcome to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI located on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin just a couple blocks from the Capitol building. It offers exhibitions of contemporary art from over a 5000 item collection housed in the museum’s 51,500 square feet of space for exhibitions, study, presentation, and conservation of modern and contemporary art. The facility also includes a 230-seat lecture hall, a classroom for children, a new-media gallery, and a study center for drawings, prints, and photographs. And, there is a 7,100-square-foot rooftop sculpture garden; an Award-Winning Store directly accessible directly from State Street and offers contemporary American craft, books, children’s merchandise, fine gifts, jewelry and stationery. Plus, enjoy the Museum Restaurant that offers great food at Fresco, the museum’s rooftop restaurant. The museum was designed by the famous architect, Cesar Pelli. He also did the the Overture Center of The Arts. The new home of the 105-year old Madison Museum of Contemporary Art opened to the public on April 23, 2006, in the new facility within the Overture Center for the Arts. The MMOCA is an independent, nonprofit organization that exists to collect, exhibit, experience, preserve, and interpret modern and contemporary art. There is no admission fee for museum exhibitions. Some museum events are also free. Check with the museum for hours and a Calendar of Events. The Museum of Contemporary Art – Madison, Dane County, WI. – 222 State St, Madison, WI. – Phone 608.257.0158, Fax: 608.257.5722.
Mustard Museum – National Mustard Museum, Middleton, WI.
Welcome to Pendarvis Historical Musuem – a top South Central Wisconsin attraction. Pendarvis Historical Museum is in Iowa County, Wisconsin and offer Cornish miners history and culture. Highly-skilled Cornish immigrant miners were lured to Mineral Point at the discovery of lead in the area in the early 1800’s. The Pendarvis Historic Site thus begun as a settlement of experienced miners, arriving from Cornwall England in the 1830’s. They constructed small, limestone homes familiar to them back home in England. Mineral Point boomed into the 1850’s when zinc mining and processing became dominant. Pendarvis Historical Museum has preserved Mineral Point’s Cornish heritage with a joint venture in 1988 by the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin Conservation Corps. In 1970 Pendarvis became a Wisconsin Historic Site when the Wisconsin Historical Society acquired the property. For tours or more information, ask Pendarvis Historic Site, 114 Shakerag Street, Mineral Point, WI 53565. CALL (608) 987-2122. Pendarvis is located about 42 miles SW of centrally located Madison.
Swiss Historical Village and museum offers a glimpse of frontier New Glarus Wisconsin and Little Switzerland. It is an attraction displaying the founding of New Glarus in 1845, it’s dairy farming heritage and early Swiss life in a complex of 14 artifact-filled, preserved and showcase buildings. Some buildings are replicas and some are original buildings with period furniture, books, implements, tools and textiles used by the early Swiss settlers. You will leave the Swiss Historical Village with a complete understanding of how these brave immigrants lived and worked. Continuous guided tours of the buildings – including a bee shop, blacksith shop, cheese factory, church, collective shop, farm implement building, print shop, school house, a settler’s cabin, smoke house – will last about an hour and a half. You can also take a self-guided tour at your own pace with an instruction booklet. There is a gift shop. You can find the Swiss Historical Village about 22 miles SW of centrally located Madison. The museum is rather uniquely arranged as a historic Swiss village. Tours are informative. The Swiss Historical Village is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, May 1 through Oct. 31. The museum is located at 612 7th Avenue, New Glarus, WI 53574. Call 608-527-2317.
Talisin is famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s summer home. Wright grew up near Taliesin and much of his life unfolded at Taliesin. The visitor center overs a book store and tours beginning at the Visitor Center located near Spring Green about 35 miles NW of centrally located Madison. The tours offer a glimpse into the life of Frank Lloyd Wright where he breathed the country air and viewed the magnificent panorama of nature that Wright loved. The tours run from May 1 through October 31 and include various types of tours. Reservations are recommended for all tours. In 1993 Wright designed the neighboring Spring Green Restaurant overlooking the Wisconsin River. That building is now the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center. It houses not only the book shop and tour center, but the dining facility called The Riverview Terrace Cafe. Taliesin Preservation, Inc. – 5607 County Road C, Spring Green, WI 53588 – (608) 588-7090 for more detail or call 877-588-7900. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the Wisconsin Historical Museum, Madison WI – located on Madison’s Capitol Square offers Wisconsin’s history and heritage and a variety of other American history topics visually presented in artifacts, full-scale dioramas, photographs, audio-visual presentations and interactive multimedia programs. There are collections that contain over 110,000 historical objects and nearly 400,000 archaeological artifacts documenting the history of Wisconsin. A few permanent displays include the People of the Woodlands: Wisconsin Indian Ways and On Common Ground: 200 Years of Wisconsin History. Other Museum collections include Anthropology, Business, Costumes, Domestic Life, Military Life, Personal Artifacts, Political Life, Textiles and Technology collections. Check web site for current displays, information, admissions and parking at Wisconsin Historical Museum. Wisconsin Historical Museum – Capitol Square, 30 North Carroll Street, Madison, WI 53703 – Phone: 608-264-6555.
Welcome to the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, WI. The 10,000-square-foot Wisconsin Veterans Museum is located across the street from the State Capitol. The Veterans Museum maintains instructive exhibits highlighting Wisconsinites at war and important military events in Wisconsin history from the Civil War to the present. Large collection of artifacts, educational programs and a Resarch Center of books, photographs, oral histories, archival collections and online reference assistance help tell the story of Wisconsinites in wars. The Civil War gallery has a great diorama of the Battle of Antietam. Dioramas, consisting of life-size figures and painted murals portraying historical events portray Wisconsin veterans in authentic scenes from conflicts in the 1900s and several famous World War II Battles, a Stuart light tank, two anti-aircraft guns, UH-1 Huey helicopter (Vietnam War), a replica of a Sopwith Camel biplane (WWI), a replica of a P-51 D Mustang (WWII), a functional submarine periscope, protruding through the roof, provides a unique view of the State Capitol and downtown Madison. Exhibits are subject to change. The museum is closed on holidays. WI Veterans Museum – Phone 608) 267-1799 – The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is located at 30 West Mifflin Street on the Capitol Square.
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