The James Watrous Gallery is a place to explore and learn about art from Wisconsin. Our focus is sharing the work of Wisconsin artists past and present and investigating ideas at the intersection of the sciences, arts, and letters. Solo exhibits present a significant body of artwork by a single artist, while our curated shows often draw connections between art and other disciplines. We strive to create a welcoming environment that encourages engagement and inquiry.
Current Exhibition: FRI, FEB 14 – SUN, APR 5
In celebration of its 150th anniversary, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters hosts an exhibition that recreates the natural history and archaeological collections gathered by early Academy members such as Increase Lapham, Thomas Chamberlin, Charles E. Brown, Edward Birge, and John Wesley Hoyt. Curated by Martha Glowacki and Jody Clowes, Collections & Connections embraces a nuanced view of the Academy’s historical collections, considers the complex legacy of this small but influential organization, and looks to the Academy’s future.
Both the exhibition and a series of related events will reflect on the Academy’s changing role over its 150 year history, address the importance of scholarly research and intellectual discourse in public life, and examine the cultural shifts that have affected the Academy’s work.
“In a sense, we are reconstructing a lost history to uncover what the Academy’s founders were surveying and collecting. Their collections reflected a 19th-century landscape that has been radically changed—effigy mounds looted or razed, prairies plowed under, wetlands drained and ridges flattened. We are confident that this fictive recreation of the Academy’s collections—like a cabinet of Wisconsin curiosities—will blow the dust from its remarkable history, raise important questions about the ends and means of scientific investigation, and inspire a genuine sense of wonder.” – Jody Clowes
Free and open to the public, the James Watrous Gallery is located on Overture Center’s third floor. Gallery hours are noon-5pm Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday and noon-8pm on Friday and Saturday, or by appointment.
The Watrous Gallery is a program of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, which improves life in Wisconsin through programs that explore, explain, and sustain Wisconsin thought and culture. For more information on James Watrous Gallery exhibitions and Wisconsin Academy Talks, a regular lecture series in Overture Center for the Arts, click here.