Wisconsin History and Visual Arts Tour 

The Wisconsin History and Visual Arts (Wisconsin Art Adventure) is an activity-based school group tour program designed to enhance 4th grade students’ education, creativity, and cultural literacy. This unique museum experience incorporates gallery tours, art-making, a live performance, and multiple activities for creating, imagining, and connecting with art and Wisconsin history.

Launched in 2012, the program welcomes 4th grade classrooms from throughout the region and through online resources, from throughout the state, serving thousands of students and teachers each year.  

Onsite visits include

  • Interactive Gallery Tour: Each student receives an interactive guide and travels through the galleries with an experienced museum educator. Students view the art and through observation and inquiry, writing and discussion, games and play-based activities, and group collaboration, learn about Wisconsin history. For example, they build a structure evocative of the Prairie School out of Froebel blocks near the Frank Lloyd Wright chairs, draw a Wisconsin animal evocative of Tom Uttech’s Dream Net moose painting, act out the motions in the intense The Flagellants painting, and “meet” Wisconsin artists through video interviews. 

  • Live Performance: Students attend a dramatic performance about artist Mary Nohl, set against a backdrop of her Lake Michigan home. They hear from actors who portray Mary Nohl and her biographer Barbara Manger. They learn about Nohl’s life, why her home became known as the “witch house,” how she became an artist, and her legacy as a philanthropist. 

  • Art-making: Inspired by the art work of Mary Nohl, students convene in the studios for a hands-on, art-making session that includes a variety of materials. Each student creates his/her own 3D artwork to take home.

MOWA’s permanent collection is a unique resource for students to learn about Wisconsin history. The museum setting facilitates hands-on, engaging experiences that accommodate different learning styles. And, in turn, students make connections between history and the present day that fascinate and delight.