Museums and Art Galleries Walk (Self Guided), Madison

If you are planning a trip to Madison, it cannot be complete without exploring the city's most important museums and art galleries. Madison is home to many great museums, including the Geology Museum, Chazen Museum of Art, as well as some nice galleries. Take this tour to the best museums in Madison.
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Museums and Art Galleries Walk Map

Guide Name: Museums and Art Galleries Walk
Guide Location: USA » Madison (See other walking tours in Madison)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: DanaU
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Geology Museum
  • Chazen Museum of Art
  • Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Hyart Gallery
  • Wisconsin Veterans Museum
  • Madison Children's Museum
Geology Museum

1) Geology Museum (must see)

The Geology Museum has its beginnings in the original building of the Science Hall, where the first meeting of the Board of Regents took place. The board's meeting aimed to create a place to exhibit geological and mineralogical items. After the fire of 1884 that devastated a great part of the collections, the plans to build a fireproof building were drawn up. As a result, the Geology Museum opened its doors again within the Science Hall in 1886.

Worthy of special attention, and the museum's major attraction, is the Boaz mastodon. The mastodon's bones were discovered by Dosch children after a storm in 1897. More than half of the skeleton was found. G. M. Schwartz and M. G. Mehl reconstructed it afterward. Today, the skeleton stands at 9.5 feet tall, 15 feet long.
Chazen Museum of Art

2) Chazen Museum of Art (must see)

The Chazen Museum of Art is an art museum accredited by the American Association of Museums located at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Madison, Wisconsin. It was known as the Elvehjem Museum of Art until 2005. The mission of the museum is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit works of art and present related educational programs in support of the teaching, research, and public service mission of the university.

The museum is named after Jerome Chazen, a University of Wisconsin–Madison graduate and one of the founders of Liz Claiborne. In May 2005 he and his wife, Simona, donated $20 million towards an expansion of the museum, which is due to be finished in 2011. The museum is raising funds for the remaining $15 million required for the expansion.

European artists represented at this art museum include Joan Miró, Auguste Rodin, Barnaba da Modena, Andrea Vanni, Giorgio Vasari, Hubert Robert, Thomas Gainsborough, Benjamin Williams Leader, Eugène Boudin, and Maximilien Luce. The museum also has a large collection of American works, including contemporary works by the likes of Shusaku Arakawa. This museum has a fine collection of regionalist paintings by John Steuart Curry and Russian Social Realist paintings by Georgy Ionin and Klavdy Vasiliyevich Lebedev.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

3) Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (must see)

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art — MMoCA, formerly known as the Madison Art Center, is an art museum located at State Street. A three-story glass facade "icon" on the corner of State and Henry Streets serves as the museum's main staircase, as well as its architectural landmark. MMoCA has three components: the multi-wing main museum is at the Overture Center for the Arts. Two large galleries frequently display touring exhibits and local works in the MMoCA collections; Henry Street Gallery showcases a rotating selection from the Museum's collections; the theater showing member patron-selected art films, and open to the public. MMoCA is free to the public. The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art obtains most of its funding from museum memberships, the annual Art Fair on the Square, and also private gifts and donations to the collection.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Hyart Gallery

4) Hyart Gallery

Located on West Johnson Street, Madison, the Hyart Gallery specializes in metal work. Here, you can find unique gifts for friends or simply get some novelties for your house. Alongside metal jewelry, Hyart Gallery also features impressive furniture pieces that can be an interesting addition to any interior. The gallery is run by Hiroko Yamada, who is a specialist in metal art and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Wisconsin Veterans Museum

5) Wisconsin Veterans Museum (must see)

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum, located on Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin, is dedicated to the soldiers of the state of Wisconsin. The museum is composed of two award-winning galleries that chronicle the history of Wisconsin citizens who served in their nation's wars from the American Civil War to the Persian Gulf War. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is an educational activity of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.

The 19th century gallery showcases Wisconsin's involvement in the Civil War. It includes a large diorama depicting the Battle of Antietam. Visitors are also available to research their ancestors' Civil War records using two state-of-the-art computers available in the gallery.

In the 20th century gallery, exhibits illustrate Wisconsin veterans' roles in the Mexican Border campaign, the First and Second World Wars and also the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf conflicts. Three full-scale aircraft, a Sopwith Camel from World War I, a P-51 Mustang from World War II and a Huey helicopter from the Vietnam War, are displayed in the gallery as well.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Madison Children's Museum

6) Madison Children's Museum (must see)

Madison Children’s Museum was founded in 1980 by a group of early childhood specialists. The founding board of directors and volunteers built traveling exhibits that were displayed at neighborhood centers, parks and playgrounds. They also operated a pilot museum in the basement of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. The success of the pilot program prompted the museum to relocate to a warehouse at Bedford and West Washington. The new location was a success, and the museum was often filled to capacity.

After a successful capital campaign, Madison Children’s Museum opened its doors in another rented location on 100 State Street in 1991. The museum flourished at this site and once again outgrew its space. In 2005, MCM acquired a $5 million, five-story office building through the generosity of W. Jerome Frautschi. The museum undertook a $10 million capital campaign to renovate the building, create an accessible green roof, and install new exhibits. The new facility opened on August 14, 2010, and greatly expands the museum’s capacity to serve larger audiences, older children, and school groups in a strong interdisciplinary program that emphasizes the arts, sciences, history, culture, health, and civic engagement.

The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Madison, Wisconsin

Create Your Own Walk in Madison

Create Your Own Walk in Madison

Creating your own self-guided walk in Madison is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Architecture Tour

Architecture Tour

Madison boasts of some great architectural masterpieces. There is something for everyone who is into stunning past and present structures. Take this walking tour to the most significant buildings Madison has to offer.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Madison Introduction Walk

Madison Introduction Walk

Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin, has no shortage of landmarks notable in terms of architectural, historic, and cultural importance. The city's skyline is dominated by the Wisconsin State Capitol dome modeled after the U.S. Capitol. Linking the Capitol Square with the University of Wisconsin campus is State Street, Madison's main thoroughfare, running across Downtown and lined with...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles