Art Preserve: Museum of Visionaries

Field review by the editors.

Sheboygan, Wisconsin

If you're an outsider who builds art in your yard, you at least have a chance that it will be recognized, rescued, and preserved. But if your art-vision only fills an indoor space, it almost certainly will be dispersed or destroyed after you die.

Art Preserve, which opened in June 2021, tries to change that dismal outcome. It saves all of an outsider's indoor work and displays it as it once was, when it cocooned its creator.

For example, the thousands of chicken bone thrones built by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein are displayed in a structure matching the footprint of his tiny home. The "Healing Machine" of Emery Blagdon -- which supposedly channeled the Earth's electromagnetic field -- is exhibited as it was in his house: hundreds of mobiles built out of Christmas lights and wire. Loy Bowlin's "Beautiful Holy Jewel Home" is here in its entirety, its walls entirely covered with paint, construction paper, and glitter.

The museum says that it has enough space to keep adding outsider art-collections until 2040. It also has a working beer bar in honor of Wisconsinite Fred Smith, who often used beer bottles from his bar in his Concrete Park sculptures. Fortunately for his posterity, they were built outdoors.

Art Preserve: Museum of Visionaries

3636 Lower Falls Rd, Sheboygan, WI
I-43 exit 126A. Drive east, take first exit onto TA Taylor Drive. Turn south and drive one mile. At the stoplight turn right onto Indiana Ave. Drive a half-mile. You'll see the museum entrance on the right.
W-Su, by appt. only (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

America's Tallest FlagpoleAmerica's Tallest Flagpole, Sheboygan, WI - < 1 mi.
World's Most Artistic BathroomsWorld's Most Artistic Bathrooms, Sheboygan, WI - 2 mi.
Wreck of the Lottie CooperWreck of the Lottie Cooper, Sheboygan, WI - 3 mi.
In the region:
Giant Steer, Milwaukee, WI - 55 mi.

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