$1 million gift from Culver’s and Culver family members supports creation of exhibit focused on Milwaukee’s rich history of frozen custard and relationship to Wisconsin’s dairy industry

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) announced today new details about the custard shop exhibit in the Future Museum’s Milwaukee Revealed gallery, made possible by a $1 million gift from Culver’s and Culver family members.

Among the streetscape of the Milwaukee Revealed gallery, visitors will encounter a custard shop storefront with an exhibit inside that shows how Wisconsin’s natural resources and dairy industry fueled Milwaukee’s love for frozen custard and its iconic custard shops. Visitors will be able to enter the exhibit, where they’ll smell the sweet scent of freshly baked waffle cones and find a mix of vibrant graphics and historic photographs that give an overview of the creation of frozen custard. They’ll even be able to take their turn operating a custard machine that serves an endless loop of faux custard.

“We are grateful for the Culvers’ generous gift to the Future Museum that will support our efforts to share more about the land-based processes used to make frozen custard—from cow to cone,” said MPM President & CEO Dr. Ellen Censky. “Culver’s dedication to the prosperity of the state’s dairy industry and hometown hospitality exemplifies the interconnectedness of nature and culture that we aim to weave throughout all galleries in the Future Museum.”

As previously announced, the Milwaukee Revealed gallery will give visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves wholly into Milwaukee’s industries, neighborhoods and ecologies, and discover something unexpected about the city with each visit. The custard shop will reveal stories about how Wisconsin’s dairy farmers help supply the ingredients for Milwaukee’s frozen custard, how flavors are naturally derived and how local traditions and materials connect to the rest of the world.

“Milwaukee and Wisconsin have such a rich and deep history,” explained Craig Culver, Co-Founder of Culver’s. “It is a pleasure to support the creation of a Future Museum where exhibits will celebrate and share that local history. It’s especially meaningful that part of the Milwaukee Revealed gallery will focus on the history of frozen custard, one of this city and state’s great contributions to the dessert palate.”

Culver’s is the latest organization to contribute to the Wisconsin Wonders public-private capital campaign, joining a group of more than 250 donors, the State of Wisconsin and Milwaukee County in supporting the Future Museum.

More information about the Future Museum, including details about the Wisconsin Wonders capital campaign and the Milwaukee Revealed gallery, is available on the MPM website.

About the Milwaukee Public Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum is Wisconsin’s natural history museum, welcoming over half a million visitors annually. Located in downtown Milwaukee, the Museum was chartered in 1882, opened to the public in 1884, and currently houses more than 4 million objects in its collections. MPM has three floors of exhibits that encompass life-size dioramas, walk-through villages, world cultures, dinosaurs, a rainforest, and a live butterfly garden, as well as the Daniel M. Soref Dome Theater & Planetarium. MPM is operated by Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc., a private, non-profit company, housed in a county-owned facility with collections that are held in trust and supported by Milwaukee County for the benefit of the public.

About the Future Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum, Wisconsin’s natural history museum, will be relocating from its current location on Wells Street in downtown Milwaukee to a newly constructed building due to open in early 2027.

To be located on a 2.4-acre site at the corner of Sixth and McKinley Streets in the Haymarket neighborhood adjacent to the city’s Deer District, the Future Museum will be the largest cultural project in Wisconsin history. Heavily influenced by the ecological histories of Milwaukee and Wisconsin, the design of the new Museum will be reminiscent of the geological formations in Mill Bluff State Park, emblematic of the region’s diversity of landscapes formed by the movements of water through time. The building will be approximately 200,000 square feet, including five stories, with an additional 50,000-square-foot collections storage building.

To learn more about the Future Museum, visit

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