Max Kade Institute

for German-American Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

NEW MKI TRAVELING EXHIBIT: “Neighbors Past and Present: The Wisconsin German Experience”

The Max Kade Institute is delighted to introduce a new community project, a traveling exhibit called “Neighbors Past and Present: the Wisconsin German Experience.” On fourteen panels that draw largely on images and resources from our Library and Archives, the exhibit covers German migration and settlement in Wisconsin, questions of ethnicity and identity in newly forged communities, and the cohesiveness of these communities over the decades, especially in times of economic crisis or war. Specific topics include language; print culture; religion; Amish and Mennonites; traditions and social clubs, education; rural and urban life; business; political and civic engagement; times of war; and immigrants and their descendants in the global world, past and present.

Our long-term goal is to show the exhibit in almost all Wisconsin counties. In each location, local collaborators will augment the exhibit with displays or programming of their own. The grand kick-off will be on July 14 at the Berlin Center in Athens, Wisconsin, for the “Picknick im Busch,” the annual summer event of the Pommerscher Verein Central Wisconsin. Afterward, the exhibit will be shown from July 16 until August 22 at the Marathon County History Society in Wausau. Future venues that have already been scheduled include Spring Valley Public Library, Kiel Public Library, Milwaukee Public Library–Central Branch, Oshkosh Public Library, and the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire. For a detailed schedule and more information, including additional programming go to the MKI events page.

 We are grateful to the Wisconsin Humanities Council for a Major Grant that has made this project possible.