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Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am to 4pmJoin & Give

Permanent Galleries

The Cook Gallery





Our permanent exhibits are housed in the original 1918 Carnegie Library section of the museum building. Named after  Gayle Cook, exhibits in the Cook Gallery explore Monroe County from the time of first European settlement to the culture of today, including industrial advancement, education, and lifestyles. Sit at a desk in the 1880’s one room school, explore pioneer life in an original 1840’s cabin or immerse yourself in Bloomington and Monroe County Sports and learn about athletes from Indiana University and area high schools. Come explore the fascinating history of Monroe County.

 Henry & Cecilia Wahl Gateway

Come meet Monroe the Schmalz bear, sample local music, check out some limestone samples from around the area and get a sneak peak of the exhibits featured in the Cook Permanent Gallery.

Brown Gallery

From carriages to airplanes, the Brown Gallery features the ever-changing history of Monroe County transportation.

Rotating Galleries

Anatomy of a Quilt

Anatomy of a Quilt takes a close look at the history, material, deterioration, and conservation of the 1884 Showers Quilt. Sewn in the aftermath of the catastrophic Showers Bros. factory fire as a fundraising effort, the quilt tells a story of community resilience. Using the popular Building Blocks pattern, the quilt is both a who’s who of 1880s Bloomington society and a gallery of calico from the period. Join us as we explore the history and future of those fabrics—how were they made, where did they come from, what causes some blocks to deteriorate and others to endure, and what methods can we use to preserve this quilt for generations to come?

January 17 to April 15

The Hill Gallery is a rotating exhibit gallery sponsored by Margaret C. Hill. New exhibits are installed every 2-3 months.

To the Soldiers of All Wars

Restoring the Alexander Memorial

For nearly 100 years, the Alexander Memorial has stood on the Monroe County Courthouse lawn in honor of and in remembrance of Monroe County veterans. In 2022, after 6 years of dedicated work by our community, the memorial was restored to its original condition. To the Soldiers of All Wars: Restoring the Alexander Memorial will share the history of the monument and the community effort to restore it. The exhibit will also include 3D-printed panels of the monument for visitors to touch and examine up close.

Support for To the Soldiers of All Wars is provided by:

Dr. John Thiel

Kimberly Schmalz Oschenschlager

The Harding Family

Anthony & Jeannie Francalancia



January 24 to June 24

The Rechter Gallery is a rotating exhibit gallery sponsored by Richard P. Rechter. New exhibits are installed every 4-6 months.