Visit

Discover history and compelling stories told through innovative exhibitions and educational programs. Situated just off the Fox River near historic downtown Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the Oshkosh Public Museum is a non-profit regional history museum, an amazing resource for research and discovery. 

Step inside the new, interactive People of the Waters and explore prehistoric and early life that spans 13,000 years. Travel back to the logging and lumbering days that put Oshkosh on the map. Uncover the hidden treasures of Grandma’s Attic, experience pioneer life on the frontier, and discover the hardships of a Civil War soldier. And, enjoy an incredible rotation of engaging temporary exhibitions that will both inspire and entertain guests of all ages and interests. 

Several galleries of the Oshkosh Public Museum are located in the historic Sawyer home, a beautiful English Tudor Revival residence built in 1908 for lumber baron and banker Edgar P. Sawyer and Mary Jewell Sawyer. A visit to the Museum is hardly complete without a stroll through the halls to marvel at the stunning carved woodwork, exquisite artwork, fine glass and ceramics, and the rich Tiffany treasures. A definite must-do is to watch the brilliant hourly performance of the Apostles Clock, a rare monumental timepiece built in 1895.

Museum Manners

The Oshkosh Public Museum is an exciting place of discovery, learning and inspiration. The Museum strives to create positive experiences for all visitors. Please adhere to the following guidelines on proper museum etiquette to help ensure that all visitors will have a meaningful experience while at the Museum. 

  • Use quiet inside voices and walk respectfully in all areas of the Museum. Cell phone use should be restricted to the lobby. Please be courteous of others and act responsibly.
  • For their safety, and of course the security of our exhibitions, all children must be supervised and accompanied by an adult at all times. Shouting and running are not permitted.
  • Stay with your group. Teachers and chaperones must remain with students at all times to ensure responsible museum behavior, and for facilitating an enjoyable and engaging learning experience for all. The Museum reserves the right to ask any students or classes to leave due to unruly or disruptive behavior.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the galleries, to include water bottles, coffee cups and other covered containers.
  • Please do not touch or lean on any of the works of art, sculptures, artifacts, tapestries, walls, cases or other objects. The oils from our hands and bodies can cause serious damage over time.
  • Some exhibits have interactive hands-on features, which should be treated with respect. When you are finished playing or using something, please return it to where you found it.
  • Photography and video recording for personal use are encouraged, unless posted otherwise. Selfie-sticks, tripods, or umbrella-type lights are not permitted. Objects or furniture in the galleries may not be handled or moved.
  • Most important, have fun! Enjoy your visit and come back to see us again. Better yet, become a Museum Member and enjoy unlimited year-round access to fun and education.

Before You Visit

  • Touring the Oshkosh Public Museum and its exhibits takes approximately an hour and a half. Allow ample time to explore the permanent collection and the Sawyer home and grounds, as well as any traveling exhibitions that may be on site during your visit.
  • Schedule your visit to coordinate with at least one chiming of the Apostles Clock. The clock chimes every hour, on the hour, and is one of the Museum's not-to-be-missed attractions.
  • Time your visit with one of our special exhibitions or events. Special activities occur at the Museum year-round; see our events calendar for details.
  • Learn about the Sawyer family and the Museum's permanent collections and exhibitions prior to your arrival. Our website is a great resource for brushing up on the Sawyers and other Oshkosh history, and offers a detailed guide to the Museum galleries.
  • Plan to visit the Museum Store. This fun little shop is located in the main entrance of the Oshkosh Public Museum. Here you can find souvenirs from your trip, books featuring local history and more.
  • Consider complementing your visit to the Oshkosh Public Museum with visits to other area attractions. As Wisconsin's event city, there is always something to see and do in town. Check out the city's event calendar to see what else is happening nearby.

For more information on planning your visit, please contact the Museum at 920-236-5799 or museum@ci.oshkosh.wi.us.

Museum Hours

The Oshkosh Public Museum is open to visitors on:

Tuesday-Saturday,
10 am - 4:30 pm

Sunday, 1 pm - 4:30 pm

The Museum is closed on Monday and all major holidays.

Accessibility

The Oshkosh Public Museum is committed to providing superior customer service to all visitors. We offer a variety of services to ensure the best possible accessibility to the Sawyer home, grounds and facilities in recognition of the diversity of our general public’s abilities and needs.

The Museum is fully handicap accessible. A wheelchair lift is located just inside the main entrance. For special needs, please contact us at 
museum@ci.oshkosh.wi.us or 920-236-5799.