Weapons: Beyond the Blade

Instruments of destruction.
Tools of defense and survival.
Powerful, awesome, fascinating.

Personal weapons have always been more than objects of hostility. They are symbols of both singular might and national identity, creations to be admired, and essential tools needed for our very survival.

MPM is excited to present our new cutting-edge exhibit, Weapons: Beyond the Blade, coming Fall of 2017. This temporary exhibition will highlight over 180 stunning examples of weapons from over 50 countries throughout history.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the many meanings and incredible variety of weaponry from our vast collection. From the ingenious shark-tooth swords of Micronesia to the rare Apache revolver, discover why weapons are some of the most complicated objects ever created, and what they say about our evolution -- from 10,000 BCE through the 20th century.

At Weapons: Beyond the Blade, you'll see…

  • Rare and unusual weapons
  • One of the earliest bows in existence
  • Weapons used by Wisconsinites
  • Weapons used by women
  • Weapons made from or inspired by animals
  • Life-sized figures of warriors and hunters
  • Renaissance armor
  • 19th century Japanese chainmail you can touch
  • And more!

En garde!


On exhibit October 7, 2017 – January 1, 2018.

Tickets now on sale!

Ivory Sword


Members receive free admission to Weapons: Beyond the Blade and enjoy a sneak peek at the members-only preview event on October 6.  Join today!

Questions or concerns? Curator Dawn Scher Thomae explains our Weapons: Beyond the Blade exhibition >>


For Educators

Planning a field trip? We have handy resources available for when you're exploring our Special Exhibit. Make the most of your time at MPM!
Browse available guides >>