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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

Pioneer Quilts from Hoosier Country

A quilt’s patterns and stitches can reveal a lot about a family’s history and throughout central Indiana they were passed down from one generation to the next. Handcrafted with patience and love, the History Center is fortunate to have examples in our permanent collection. Some of the heirlooms on display in the Hill Gallery date back to the nineteenth century. Visit us and see some of the most cherished pieces from Monroe County history.

January 25 to May 28

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

Preserving History: The Legacy of Gayle and Bill Cook

How a building looks and functions can affect the lives of everyone in and around it. As several properties around Bloomington went into disrepair, Gayle and Bill Cook, with Cook Inc., started to preserve the physical structures and set them up to impact the community for years to come. This exhibition explores the history of some of Gayle and Bill’s favorite projects and illustrates the transformation each one underwent.

This exhibit is sponsored by:


February 8 to July 2

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