Temporary Exhibitions

Click on the exhibition titles below to learn more about the temporary exhibits that are currently on display or are coming soon at the Grout Museum of History & Science.

Permanent Exhibitions

Black Stories Collective - Update Now Open!

The Grout Museum District, in partnership with the NAACP and Experience Waterloo, has established the community-based Black Stories Collective committee to collect and preserve Black oral histories. The stories will be preserved and shared though this exhibition and online publication.

When history is recorded and shared it enriches a community, but when certain events or people are ignored, society suffers a loss. The small number of Black interviews in the Grout Museums’ Voices of Iowa oral history archive was brought to light as the community held social justice protests during 2020. Recognizing this deficiency, the Black Stories Collective Project evolved and became a priority. This series will explore various events and people in the Cedar Valley whose stories are largely unknown or untold. Please join us in exploring the history that has been overlooked, because when we ignore Black history, we are ignoring American history. 

Project Sponsors: 

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, Veridian Credit Union, Iowa Arts Council/Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Humanities, McCausland Family, Dave and Mary Dutton

This exhibit is a permanent addition to the Grout Museum District. Content will update every 6-12 months.

Engine of the Heartland

View the evolution of Waterloo from a small county seat town into a Midwest industrial center. Machines of transportation and power are featured along with agri-production, food processing, farm implement manufacturing, and printing. Interactive elements and compelling displays allow you to explore the events and people that make up the "engine of the heartland."

Pioneer Hall

Experience what life was like around the time Iowa became a state in 1846. Life-size scenes, a mural of the prairie before the pioneers came, and a computer kiosk help tell the story of pioneer life.

Heritage Hall

Sponsored by The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa

The Cedar Valley was built on the strengths of immigrants and emigrants. These folks came for different reasons; cheap land, jobs, relief from the aftermath of war. Many stayed, bringing their customs and traditions along and incorporating them into the fabric of this richly unique community—among the most diverse in the state of Iowa.

A timeline of photographs and artifacts paint a picture of periods of growth, set-backs, and rebirths of the city of Waterloo since 1840. Over 300 images and dozens of artifacts are incorporated into the storyline. This exhibition provides a place for residents and visitors alike to learn and celebrate the ingenuity, hard work and dedication that made this area a regional economic center.

Exhibitions for Rent

Yours Ever, Your Own: Tales of Love from the Civil War

1954 Korea: After the Korean War

The Show Must Go On: The USO In Korea

Contact Al for more information about traveling exhibitions available for rent.