About the Museum Exhibit Awards | Wisconsin Historical Society

Guide or Instruction

About the Museum Exhibit Awards

Submission Guidelines

About the Museum Exhibit Awards | Wisconsin Historical Society
Enlarge Photograph of a complex clock made by John Muir. 

John Muir Clock, 1940 ca.

Children looking at John Muir clock in museum at The State Historical Society. View the original source document: WHI 49173

The Wisconsin Historical Society invites nominations for its Museum Exhibit Awards.

Two awards for historical exhibits on Wisconsin themes are offered each year: one for an exhibition budget $5,000 or less and one for an exhibition budget greater than $5,000.


Permanent, temporary and traveling exhibits are eligible as long as they opened between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year. The entire exhibition must be organized by the applicant institution. Supplements to outside traveling exhibitions are not eligible.

Award Criteria

Nominations will be evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Audience. Who is the intended audience? How is that audience reached? How is the audience included in the exhibition?
  • Accuracy. Where is the content coming from? Are these reliable sources? Is the content presented accurately? Is it relevant to the exhibition?
  • Relevancy and significance. How is this content relevant to the community? The state? What is the value to the community? How is the content of this exhibition significant? Is there a clear idea presented in a coherent manner?
  • Collections. Are collections used to tell the story? Does the selection and presentation of objects express the significant ideas of the exhibit? Are cases, lighting, and environment secure and appropriate?
  • Design. Is the design effective in communicating the content? Is the content presented in a way that visitors from different cultures, backgrounds, and ages are able to learn from it?

Due Date

March 10 of each year (postmarked or delivered)

How to Apply

Nominations must be submitted on the nomination form (PDF, 145 KB).

Please attach:

  • Narrative (not to exceed three single-spaced pages) that describes the exhibition and addresses how the criteria are met.
  • Exhibition script including label text.
  • Exhibition artifact list.
  • No fewer than 10 photographs of the exhibition showing the layout, design, and displays.
  • A copy of the exhibition budget.
  • Exhibition floor plan.
Send applications to:

Wisconsin Historical Museum
Attention: Mike Hollander
30 N. Carroll St.
Madison, WI 53703

Past Award Winners

Read about the recent Museum Exhibit Award winners.

Have Questions?

For more information about this award, contact Mike Hollander by email, by phone at 608-264-6570, or by writing the address above.