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Natural History & Fine Arts Museum

Special Exhibits

The Kenosha Public Museum collects, preserves, and interprets decorative and fine arts, natural science specimens, and cultural artifacts from around the world.

Our galleries are filled with objects and information to facilitate learning, collaboration, and engagement. Here are our current and upcoming special temporary exhibits.


The Rivers – A Celebration of Life and Work on America’s Waterways

August 17 – October 6, 2019

Join artist Daven Anderson for an Exhibit Reception
Saturday, September 14, 2019; 1-4pm

Click here for more information about Daven Anderson and his exhibitions.


Watanabe: Japanese Print Envoy

August 17 – October 27, 2019

Drawn from the Chazen Museum’s collection of nearly four thousand Japanese prints, this exhibition features 50 works from one publisher: Shozaburo Watanabe.

Learn More Here

Determined to renew the tradition of Japanese color wood-cuts, Watanabe hired a new generation of artists and craftsmen to create prints that brought traditional techniques into the twentieth century. He called these prints “shin hanga” or “new prints,” now the generic name for the style his workshop pioneered.

The prints are colorful images of traditional Japan’s natural beauty, made with a Western audience in mind. Watanabe actively sought out artists who would incorporate a more western style of representation into his prints and he actively courted the international market.

Many of Watanabe’s most innovative prints, made at the beginning of his publishing career, are rare. The Kanto earthquake of 1923 destroyed his shop, including stored prints and the blocks they were made from. This exhibition brings together many of these early prints as well as later impressions, to tell the story of the workshop that set the standard for the new generation of print publishers.

This special exhibition is on Loan From the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison.


The History of Mystery

October 19, 2019 – January 12, 2020

Today Mystery, Crime and Suspense fiction is one of the most popular entertainment genres in America. Millions read mystery novels and short stories – millions more know the genre only through TV, movies or comics.

Mystery Mini Con

October 19; 11am-4pm
Meet with special guests, presenters, authors and artists featuring David Saunders, Jeff Butler, Hilary Barta, Ti mSeeley, George Hagenauer, Jeff Easley and Jeff Moy. Plus visit the artist alley where vendors will have works for sale.

Learn More About the Exhibit Here

Quite often the genre is seen through one lens – novels, magazines, pulps, comics, movies or television, when many of the writers who created the stories often worked in multiple media. Major novelists also wrote radio scripts, movies and comics – often adaptations of their own characters. The various media and formats interacted in ways that synergistically grew the genre. The children reading the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew grew up to read mystery novels as adults.

The exhibit starts the story with how memoirs and casebooks by Francois Eugene Vidocq and Allan Pinkerton in 19th century inspired fiction writers to invent the genre in many forms. The exhibit details its growth from there to its current status as a major force in American culture. The story is told through original art from novels, magazines, comic books, comic strips, newspaper serials, pulps and paperbacks by major artists who illustrated the various types of mystery fiction created from 1820 to about 1970. The art is linked to major authors from Poe to Agatha Christie to Elmore Leonard and others from the first 150 years of the American mystery. The artists range from Saturday Evening Post Illustrators to pulp and paper back artists to major names in comic strips and books like Chester Gould, Alex Raymond and Jack Kirby.

Each of the over 50 displays include detailed text linking the art and writer to the larger context of the development of the mystery genre. In some cases, they spotlight largely ignored aspects of the field like newspaper serialization of novels which brought mysteries to a far larger audience than did their more visible book and magazine publication. It also explores how the graphics changed over time – and varied in how they promoted or augmented the stories- and sometimes misrepresented them!