Exhibitions & Programs

The Oshkosh Public Museum invites you to discover the real things of history and the stories they tell through our many exhibitions and programs throughout the year. While these programs and events support our mission of promoting and nurturing an understanding and appreciation of local history and culture, above all else they are fun and interesting ways to enjoy learning.

Enrichment Program Calendar

All programs are included with general admission, unless indicated otherwise. 

History of Sport Fishing Sat, July 20, 1:00 pm Presented by Frank Koffend, Owner of A-Lure LLC, Appleton WI. Catch the history of sport fishing from the 1460’s forward. See historical fishing lures, rods, reels, creels, Native American lures, and fossils. Get hooked by lots of “fish stories.”

Sturgeon, Our Living Dinosaurs Sun, July 21,  1:30 pm  Speaker Joan Voigt, Naturalist Guide, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wild Rose Fish Hatchery, presents the life of the sturgeon, Native American culture/respect for the sturgeon, impact of European settlers, and hatchery work on restoration and recovery efforts.

A World of Partings: Excerpts from the Diary of Nancy Chandler Derby, 1857 – 1869 Sun, Aug 4, 1:30 pm  Ginny Gross will discuss her newest publication, as well as the process of creating a published volume from another person’s private journal.

Oshkosh During Prohibition Sat, Aug 17, 1:00 pm Presented by Lee Reiherzer, Author Since 1849 there have been 30 breweries in Winnebago, most in Oshkosh. “People tend to think of beer in Wisconsin and they think Milwaukee. But Milwaukee is kind of an outlier.” Details to follow.

Writing All the Hometown Boys Sat, Aug 24, 1:00 pm Presented by Brad Larson, Museum Director and Author. The story of the three Fox Valley National Guard companies that came together in 1917 to form the 150th Machine Gun Battalion took many years of research. Why tell the story? Discover some of the dozens of photographs that didn’t make it into the book. Join author Brad Larson for a look into ‚ÄčAll the Hometown Boys. Books will be available for purchase in the museum shop.

Learn Native American Beadwork Sat, Sept 14, 10 am–12:30 pm or 1–3:30 pm  Taught by Kathryn Footit, Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation. Registration will be required. More details to follow on Facebook, online, and in upcoming museum e-newsletters.

Steeped in History: Equali-tea Party and the Suffragette Movement  Sat, Sept 21 More details coming soon!

Woodcarving Techniques and Hand Carving Demonstration Sat, Sept 28, 1:00-3:00pm  A member of the Winnebago/Oshkosh Chapter of Mid-Wis. Chippers will do a presentation and hand carving demonstration of birds, fish, and caricatures. 

If you need assistane with the online registration system, please call 920-236-5799. We can take registrations/payments over the phone. 

Temporary Exhibitions

Cemetery Tales: The Exhibition

Jul 21 - Oct 31, 2019
This gripping exhibition resurrects popular life and death stories, and also features local mourning and funeral history, while artifacts, photographs and other ghastly surprises breathe life into these local legends. Read more>

Deck the Halls
Nov 24, 2019 - Jan 5, 2020
Stroll through the halls of the historic Sawyer home to witness the beautiful holiday decorations and marvel at the gorgeous interiors designed by Tiffany Studios of New York. Read more>

Monthly Make and Take Projects

float leftEvery visit to the Oshkosh Public Museum can be enhanced with a special make-and-take project. Located in the sunroom near the main entrance, this area features an entertaining, historical do-it-yourself project.

The take home activity changes monthly, and directions and supplies are provided to make and take home your very own piece of history.

June: Stained GLass - Have you ever wondered how the large fancy windows in the Sawyer home were made? Learn about the Museum's Tiffany Studios stained glass window, then create your own "stained glass" work of art.

July: Family Tree - Come create a family tree! Learn about the importance of remembering family members and keeping a record of your family history. Use the Sawyer family tree as an example, then make your own. 

August: The Mighty Oaks - Learn about Oshkosh magician John "The Marvelous Mighty Oaks" in Cemetery Tales: The Exhibition. Then make and learn one of his simple magic tricks to amaze your friends.