Museum Hours: Tues-Fri 10am-4pm Appointment Only    (812) 332-2517JOIN & 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

Extra! Extra!

Bloomington Newspaper Advertisements


Before the internet, television, and radio, newspapers told Monroe County families what was happening around the world. It wasn’t just the stories, but the advertisements that captivated people’s attention. Car dealerships, retail stores, and everything in between relied on this method to spread word of their sales and events. Visit the History Center to see a display of larger-than-life copies of advertisements showcasing the Monroe County community from almost a century ago.

November 3 to March 5

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


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

Explore details of previous exhibits in the Rechter Gallery with our YouTube channel!

From Women and RCA (on display January to May 2019), local women enter the workforce:

From Michelangelos of Monroe (on display June to October 2019), local structures and sculptures in Monroe County:

From Where Hoosiers Found Hysteria (on display January to June 2020), local high school teams make history:

From Hoosier-in-Residence (on display July to November 2020), explore two paintings of Hoosier artist TC Steele: