MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Public Museum has announced five permanent galleries at its new museum location.

MPM and exhibit designer Thinc Design will roll out design concepts for the five permanent galleries over the course of 11 weeks, with the first on March 7 and last on May 23.

The galleries will be:

  • Time Travel, dedicated to exploring the deep past, including when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, through three of the planet’s geological chapters: The Paleozoic Era, Mesozoic Era, and Cenozoic Era

  • Wisconsin Journey, focused on the geological wonders and strong and varied cultures of Wisconsin, from the Driftless Area to the Northwoods, the Apostle Islands, the Great Lakes and Wisconsin’s vast Prairielands

  • Milwaukee Revealed, a gallery that’s similar to “Streets of Old Milwaukee” that will immerse visitors in city streetscapes they can explore to learn about the history of the city

  • Living in a Dynamic World, which takes visitors on an unconventional journey to five distinct ecosystems across the globe, where they will be immersed in the landscapes and cultures that occupy them

  • Rainforest, an exhibit that transports visitors to the tropics to learn about the biodiversity that flourishes in tropical rainforests and the life rainforest climates support, and includes a butterfly exhibit and rooftop terrace

Each announcement will provide a look at a sampling of exhibits, collection items and features visitors can expect to encounter upon the future museum’s opening in 2026. Groundbreaking is slated for late 2023.

(Courtesy of Ennead Architects)

“After much collaboration with community stakeholders, educators, tribal partners from Wisconsin’s First Nations, museum curators and scientists and many others, MPM and our partners at Thinc Design are excited to be on the cusp of sharing more details about the much-anticipated future museum,” said MPM President & CEO Dr. Ellen Censky.

“We have aimed to create a future museum experience that honors the mission, history and legacy of the Milwaukee Public Museum," Censky continued. "The iconic specimens and elements visitors love are being brought forward and reimagined in new, exciting scenes alongside collection objects that have not been on display previously. As part of one of the most highly anticipated milestones of this project, in the coming months we will give our community a first look at the stories of nature, culture, science and history the future museum will tell.”

The new location for the museum is located at the northeast corner of Sixth and McKinley Streets. The 2.4-acre site is next to the Deer District.

The museum will feature six galleries across four exhibit floors, including the five permanent galleries and a temporary gallery space to host a rotation of special or traveling exhibitions. The five-story building will be approximately 200,000 square feet.

“Each gallery, and the many exhibits that comprise them, will tell a story about the interconnectedness of nature and culture,” said Oronde Wright, Senior Exhibition Designer at Thinc Design and a lead designer on the project. “In keeping with the singular, beloved energy of MPM, the future museum will also continue to champion immersive, interactive experiences that transport visitors to new places across the world and through time, spark curiosity and make the Museum such a special place to visit again and again.”

For more on the future museum and its exhibits, click here.


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