The Museum is all about discovery. Through our collections and exhibitions, we present stories about this place called Oshkosh. The Museum is the perfect place to find inspiration in objects, images, and information that interests you. With almost 300,000 objects in our collections, from quilts to decoys to clothing and more, you are sure to discover some awesome artifact on view. The Museum is the ideal place to connect with the community and its past, and to find out about people or meet friends. If you are searching for your ancestors, the Museum archives holds over 70,000 historic photographs, along with film, letters, and diaries.
For over 90 years, the Oshkosh Public Museum has been entrusted with the documentation, preservation, care, management, and exhibition of material representing the history and heritage of Oshkosh and the Lake Winnebago region. The Museum is a remarkable resource with amazing holdings, leading the way in defining the culture and heritage of our region. Did you know we are the second-oldest Public Museum in Wisconsin?
Part of the Museum is the historic 1908 Sawyer home with its beautiful Tiffany designed features, We offer awe-inspiring long-term exhibitions like the award winning People of the Waters that explores life for the last 13,000 years. The Museum also presents temporary and traveling exhibitions, including the annual – and impressive - Holiday decorations. The Apostles Clock is a long-time favorite, and gives a brilliant hourly performance of music and movement.
In addition to our many exhibitions, the Museum offers a robust calendar of programs and presentations, which promote further understanding and appreciation of local history and culture, and provide a fun and interesting way to enjoy learning.
The Museum is operated for the public good through a blend of City of Oshkosh tax levy funding, membership support, income, and foundation and private support. It takes all these things to help make the Museum successful. We are a non-profit organized under Section 170 (c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.
The Museum is governed by an eleven-member citizen board. If you are interested in serving on the Museum Board, click here to learn more about this important role of stewarding our city's rich history.
Our mission is to identify, collect, document, preserve and interpret material culture, ideas and values representing Oshkosh and the Lake Winnebago Region. The Museum will strive to promote and nurture an understanding and an appreciation of this valuable legacy through easily accessible, quality exhibitions, programs, publications and other educational experiences.
The Oshkosh Public Museum will be a center for the preservation of our culture dedicated to bringing history and heritage to life through quality creative, unrestrictive educational experiences.
For 90 years the Oshkosh Public Museum has been a community resource where people come together to celebrate a common heritage, to connect and remember our past, and to create new memories. Download a copy of our 2019 Annual Report and discover how we are meeting challenges and serving the community.