New Wisconsin History Museum to Open in 2026
MADISON, Wisconsin (CBS 58) – The Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) is delighted to announce that a new State History and National History Museum will open in 2026.
It comes after the WHS recently announced the final location of the new Wisconsin History Museum which maintains the building in Capitol Square next to the State Capitol building in Madison. Thanks to the leadership and vision of Fred and Mary Mohs and the Mohs family, the Wisconsin Historical Foundation will acquire the properties 20-22 North Carroll Street adjacent to the current Wisconsin Historical Museum on Capitol Square for the development of the new museum. .
“The new history museum will highlight stories that connect individuals and communities to our region, the nation and the world,” said Christian Overland, director and CEO of Ruth and Hartley Barker of the Wisconsin Historical Society. “We are delighted to be able to maintain our commitment to our residents and we are grateful for the support and enthusiasm from the state, donors and communities of Wisconsin and the country to open a new museum in 2026.”
New pledges from Madison, Wisconsin philanthropists Jerry Frautschi and Pleasant Rowland, founder of American Girl, bring their combined donations to $ 16.6 million and total private funds raised for the campaign for a new history museum of Wisconsin at $ 34.9 million. This exceeds the $ 30 million required to free up the state’s $ 70 million count for site design, construction and acquisition.
“Thanks to Pleasant and Jerry’s generosity, we are once again indebted to them for their incredible support of the Wisconsin History Museum Project,” said Julie Lussier, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Historical Foundation.
Through exhibits and curated programs for guests of all ages, the museum will share broad perspectives of the past and present and provide historical context to a vast collection of American history of national significance. It will house permanent and temporary galleries that will allow WHS to present stories to local, regional and national audiences. Visitors will enter spaces that engage all the senses through works of art, rotating objects and images, soundscapes of state and national musicians, and regional food and drink tastings. It will be a regional learning center, emerging as a premier historic experience in the Midwest.
With plans to accommodate more than 200,000 guests annually, the new $ 100 million, 100,000 square foot Wisconsin History Museum will more than double exhibit space, include cutting edge technology that will provide better access to the Society’s collection and provide them with access to history. The new museum will be the heart of a network to reach and connect people across the state through distance learning technology and exciting, modern exhibits.
“By expanding our current space, we will be able to build a new history museum that will display and connect our stories with the 72 counties of Wisconsin and allow the Company to provide better access to our valuable Wisconsin history collections. and the United States, ”Overland continued. “The future larger museum will serve more than double the number of students and families currently visiting the Wisconsin Historical Museum.”
The Wisconsin Historical Society will immediately begin researching exhibition and architectural design societies.
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