About the Trout Museum of Art

The Trout Museum of Art (TMA) hosts a wide range of exhibitions, educational programs, and events to energize the love of art in our community.  Located in Downtown Appleton, WI, TMA works with countless individuals and organizations across the region in year-round programming for youth, teens, and adults. TMA also hosts exciting events throughout the year including Art at the Park, exhibition receptions, TMA Talks, Community Art Projects, and more. Each season new exhibits open across the Museum’s three floors of gallery space.

In addition to the Trout Museum of Art, five other local art organizations hold offices in our building: newVoices, the Makaroff Youth Ballet, the Appleton Boychoir, Wisconsin Public Television, and Wisconsin Public Radio.

Read our Annual Impact Report: 2019, 2020, 2021


To energize the LOVE of ART.


To inspire and connect all people through creative experiences and the visual arts.


Inclusive, creative, and authentic. We passionately believe that art opens minds and changes people’s lives each ­­and every day.


Building artwork by Carli Ihde

History of the Trout Museum of Art

In the 1960s, the Appleton Artists Guild set out to provide educational opportunities for local artists, create a suitable viewing gallery, and amass a permanent collection. Sharing and critiquing artwork and technique were the first activities pursued by the guild. We established our first gallery on Morrison Street in 1972 as the Appleton Gallery of Art, and moved to our current location on College Avenue as the Appleton Art Center in 2002.

In 2010, Dr. Monroe E. and Sandra Trout gifted their art collection to the Appleton Art Center, along with a $1 million endowment to preserve, protect, and promote the collection. It was at this time our name was changed to the Trout Museum of Art.

Our Building

Our building was built in 1922 as Brettschneider’s Furniture Co. It was owned by the Brettschneiders until 1985 when Lyle Reigel and Paul Heid purchased it and converted it into an office building. Reigel became the sole owner and in 2002, donated it to the Appleton Gallery of Art (now TMA).

The layout of the galleries, railings, columns, and staircase are original to the building. The front vestibule expansion was donated by the Boldt Company in 2010. The iconic LED light display on the outside of our building is called Embargoed, created by Sandy Garnett in 2013. The, also iconic, origami crane on the building was created by Green Bay artist Timm Van Hout in 2017.

Brettschneider’s Furniture Co. Estimated 1927.