Racine Art Museum on Main Street

Racine Art Museum/Wustum Museum of Fine Arts

The Racine Art Museum (RAM) grew out of the Charles A. Wustum Museum, which was founded in 1941 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (fewer than 5% of the nation’s museums receive this), the Racine Art Museum opened in 2003 and offers 46,000 square feet of galleries, sculptures,

The building’s white acrylic facade is flooded by colored lights each evening and serves as a modernist architectural focal point for Racine’s Main Street (Highway 32, right by the ends of Highways 20 and 38.)

The Wustum Museum section of the RAM features regional and local artists while carrying on the tradition of hosting the museum’s arts education and community outreach programs, which are the largest of their kind in Wisconsin.

The Racine Art Museum offers one of the largest collections of contemporary crafts of any North American museum, including large collections of contemporary teapots, baskets and artist-made jewelry. The permanent collection features more than 4,000 artworks from internationally recognized artists. The museum’s Ceramics collection numbers over 600 objects that include internationally known ceramic sculptors; their largely sculptural Glass collection contains works from artists Harvey Littleton, Dale Chihuly, Joel Philip Meyers, Dan Dailey, Steven Hodder and Judy Jensen.  The museum’s collection of Metals includes one of the largest groupings of contemporary jewelry of any museum. The RAM’s wood collection consists of vessels and furniture, with one of the highlights being a Wendell Castle desk that was in Objects USA.

Handmade Books: The museum owns a large number of handmade books, both hand-printed letterpress examples and larger editioned offset lithography works; it is one of the largest collections of its kind in a Midwestern art museum.

Racine Art Museum

Contemplating an interesting work on the second floor of the Racine Art Museum.

You’ll find the Racine Art Museum right along Main Street in downtown Racine, right near other State Trunk Tour points of interest and attractions like Monument Square, the Kewpee, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Johnson Wax Research Tower and Golden Rondelle, the Racine Zoo, Wind Point Lighthouse, and more. It’s right along Highway 32; Highway 20‘s eastern end is one block south, Highway 38‘s southern end is two blocks north, and Highway 11 is about two miles south.

Racine Art Museum (RAM) Hours:

Closed Monday
Tuesday – Saturday
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, Noon – 5:00 pm

RAM’s Wustum Hours
Closed Sunday and Monday
Tuesday – Saturday
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

441 Main Street (Highway 32)
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 638-8300

Johnson Wax Tower, just south of where Highway 38 begins

Johnson Wax Research Tower

Standing tall – 153 feet tall, to be exact – above the S.C. Johnson & Son World Headquarters campus in Racine is the Johnson Wax Research Tower. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it was completed in 1950. The walls are a mix of glass and brick, and at night the glow from inside the tower provides a unique illumination; basically, the building is translucent.

Every other floor of the 15 floors total is a mezzanine, set back from exterior walls. The building essentially alternates between smaller circular floors and square floors with filleted edges, since the corners of the structure are curved. The windows are made of Pyrex tubes – 17.5 miles of them.

S.C. Johnson used the building as its research headquarters until 1982. A number of products you’ve probably used were developed and tested in this building, including everything from Glade air fresheners to Pledge furniture polish to Off! insect repellent. While most research is conducted in more recently constructed lab space today, the Johnson Wax Research Building continues to be used for office space on several of its floors.

The building is open for public tours, generally from March through December.

You’ll find the Johnson Wax Research Tower along Highway 32, between the junctions of Highways 11 and 20. Highway 38 begins about one mile to the north on the other side of downtown.

1525 Howe Street
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 260-2154