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 

Pre-registration for all programs helps us plan, and will save you time. Print your registration information for easy access upon arrival. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free for Museum Members and are the cost of Museum admission for non-members. To register click here or call the Museum at 920-236-5762.

Oshkosh During Probition
Sat, Aug 17, 1:00pm
Presented by Lee Reiherzer, Author of  Winnebago County Beer: A Heady History. Oshkosh was anything but dry during Prohibition. The city was home to wildcat breweries and scores of speakeasies. We’llexplore the underground culture that blossomed here when liquor was made illegal. Oshkosh was a city that refused to go dry. Join author Lee Reiherzer to learn the intrigue of Oshkosh during the Prohibition. And, courtesy of Fifth Ward Brewing, sample a few brews as well! Register here

Writing All the Hometown Boys
Sat, Aug 24, 1:00pm
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 ​his latest book, All the Hometown Boys. Books will be available for purchase in the museum shop. This program is free with regular museum admission.

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
Join us for afternoon tea with light refreshments and a joint presentation by City Attorney Lynn Lorenson and Durow Curator of Collections Anna Cannizzo. Presentations will explore the long struggle and persistence of suffragists to achieve the right to vote and how the suffrage movement in America was intertwined with the State of Wisconsin and the City of Oshkosh. Artifacts related to Oshkosh suffragists will be exhibited in the Sawyer Parlor for attendees to view. Reservations required by Sept. 17, 2019. Cost $10, Members $6. Register here

Woodcarving Techniques and Hand Carving Demonstration
Sat, Sept 28, 1:00-3:00pm
Gene Bengel, member of Mid-Wisconsin Chippers Carving Club and wood carving instructor at the Oshkosh Senior Center, will demonstrate the techniques of wood carving.  His talents include animals, caricatures, and birds, which will be on display.  Four of his carvings, K-9's, are on display in the lobby of the Oshkosh DNR Building.

The Exhumation of Grignon Family Remains
Sat, Oct 5, 1:00pm - 3:00pm 
Unmarked graves were discovered in Butte des Morts: who found them?  In what year? What was their story? As the story unfolds you will learn about a number of incredulous twists and turns and unusual circumstances that will astound you.  The program will feature actual photographs and records from the exhumation found in the archives of the Oshkosh Public Museum.  Presented by the Butte des Morts Historical Preservation Society. Presented by Randy Domer.

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.