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Diving deep into MPM's newly unveiled 'Wisconsin Journey' gallery

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An artist's rendering of an exhibit space in a museum with silhouetted figures walking around a bison in the center of the room and a model of an indigenous person near the wall.
Milwaukee Public Musuem

Milwaukee Public Museum last week unveiled it latest wave of renderings and details about the newest gallery coming to its Future Museum in 2026, and the exhibits contained within.

"Wisconsin Journey" will take visitors across the state to learn about its distinct ecosystems, and how humans and animals have survived together, including a detailed look at the Northwoods, Apostle Islands and Wisconsin Dells.

For a deeper understanding that goes beyond the renderings, Bobby and I sat with museum officials and lead designers to unpack each element of the new exhibit space. Then, to close out the interview, we asked the group what the most misunderstood element of the museum's move is and what they as designers aren't being asked about.

Listen to this week's Urban Spelunking episode, made in partnership with OnMilwaukee, and be sure to subscribe! All throughout the spring, we'll cover the remaining Future Museum reveals, including:

  • April 14 — Milwaukee Revealed. City streetscapes visitors can explore to learn about the history of Milwaukee, the people who came to settle and live here and its interconnected systems, neighborhoods and ecologies (and where future generations of children can shop for a sweet treat).
  • May 9 — Living in a Dynamic World. Visitors will take an unconventional journey to five distinct ecosystems across the globe and be immersed in the landscapes and cultures that occupy them.
  • May 9 — Mixing Zones. Two spaces that will showcase a rotating selection of collection items, offer spaces for public interaction and programming and turn the Museum “inside out” by providing behind-the-scenes views into the collections’ storage areas.
  • May 23 — Rainforest. Visitors will travel to the tropics to learn about the biodiversity that flourishes in tropical rainforests and the life rainforest climates support.
  • May 23 — Puelicher Butterfly Vivarium. A warm, lush greenhouse thriving with real tropical plants and live butterflies flying freely throughout the space.
  • May 23 — Bucyrus Rooftop Terrace. A gathering space to reconnect visitors to the outdoors and natural world.
Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee