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Current Exhibitions

Diverse exhibitions change more often than the seasons as do themes of programs and events developed to enhance visitors’ experiences.

In addition to the flagship, fall Birds in Art exhibition and new exhibitions drawn from its collection, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum brings diverse artwork from all over the world in temporary exhibitions, enlivened by visiting artists during artist residencies and programs for all ages.

Visit often to experience what’s new to see and do.

On View in Temporary Exhibitions


Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of the Guitar

February 28 – May 31, 2015

This spring, an exciting guitar exhibition comprises dozens of iconic stringed instruments – enlivened by a performance series, hands-on Sound Lab, luthier’s studio, guitar collectors’ stories, and more.

As the guitar’s ancestors evolved over centuries from the earliest ouds and lutes, guitar makers experimented with shapes, materials, and accessories, seeking the perfect blend of beauty and sound. A relentless redesign push, seeking a fresh aesthetic and sound, continues to fuel creative synergy and musical innovation. Consider the cultural significance of the guitar. Just as American guitar designers of the 1960s departed radically from the iconic hourglass shape, street-corner guitarists led the protest movement that challenged the status quo. Medieval to Metal, a touring exhibition of the National Guitar Museum, comprises design illustrations, guitars, and photographs of performers, bringing sound to life.

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Student Art Exhibition 2015

Colorful and imaginative artwork of north central Wisconsin students in grades 5-8 is featured in the 38th annual Student Art Exhibition, March 7 through April 4, at the Woodson Art Museum in Wausau. The 2015 Student Art Exhibition offers a window into what students can imagine. For the students whose artwork is selected by their art teachers, this is a coveted opportunity for their creations to be displayed at the Woodson Art Museum in celebration of Youth Art Month. The geographical region covered reaches from Manitowish Waters to Wisconsin Rapids. Art teachers are encouraged to submit student works for the exhibition. To celebrate Youth Art Month and the students’ artistic endeavors, attend the Student Art Reception, Saturday, March 7, Noon- 2pm.

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Student Photography Exhibition

Online, public voting Saturday, February 28 – Sunday, March 8

Opening reception Thursday, March 26, 5-7 pm

Exhibition on view Thursday, March 26 through Sunday, May 31

Wausau-area high school students participated in a six-month photography project, including workshops and conducting their own photo shoots to explore the question “what makes Wausau a great place to live?”

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Legacy Lost & Saved: Extinct and Endangered Birds of North America

Through July 2015

What lessons can be learned from the demise of the passenger pigeon? Project Passenger Pigeon, a nationwide educational initiative marking the 100th anniversary of the species’ extinction, inspired the Woodson exhibition Legacy Lost & Saved: Extinct and Endangered Birds of North America. Comprising works from the collection and loans, including two Owen Gromme passenger pigeon paintings and sculpture by Todd McGrain, Legacy Lost & Saved features other artists’ portrayals of species such as the great auk and ivory-billed woodpecker. Related programs consider how a brighter future can be shaped by the past.

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For the Birds: Rare and Extinct

Through February 2015
These artworks are a sampling from a collection of more than 350 paintings commissioned for a stamp series highlighting endangered species from around the world to promote awareness and stave off extinction. The entire collection was a gift to the Woodson Art Museum.

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The Great Marsh: Horicon Waterfowl

Through July 2015

Owen J. Gromme’s lifelong commitment to the restoration of the Horicon Marsh – a vast wetland just west of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where he grew up – began in the 1920s. Among the largest freshwater cattail marshes in the nation, Horicon sustains an abundance of wildlife and attracts thousands of migratory ducks and geese annually. Artworks depicting waterfowl by Gromme and others, including Frank Benson, Don Henson, Jim Morgan, Sherrie York, and Andrea Rich, comprise The Great Marsh.

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Carved & Cast

Through February 2015

Small-scale and medium-sized sculptures recently acquired by the Museum are featured, including maquettes by Gwynn Murrill and work by Willard Stone, Jason Stone, Simon Gudgeon, Hank Tyler, Hélène Arfi, and Tim Cherry.

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Visit Extras

Audio Tours
Enriching audio tours on an iPod touch offer insights into selected changing exhibition artworks.
Activity Guides
All ages explore exhibitions via fun, interactive exercises in printed in-gallery activity guides.
In-gallery videos expand on exhibition themes.
Available for purchase.

Artist Residencies

Explore the range of programs with guest artists.


Birds in Art 2015 Entries Due April 15
More »
Guitars that Rock the World on View
More »
38th Annual Student Art Exhibition on View through April 4
More »
Wausau Student Photography On View
More »

Weekly Blog

New Audiences & Fresh Perspectives More »
Guitars Hit High Notes More »
Unbridled Talent More »


Tues–Fri 9am–4pm
First Thurs of month 9am–7:30pm
Thurs during Birds in Art
Sat–Sun Noon–5pm
Closed Mon & holidays

Always-Free Admission

700 North 12th Street
Wausau, WI 54403
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