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Mason City - Charles H. MacNider Art Museum

303 Second Street South East

The Charles H. MacNider Museum is a non-profit, municipally owned institution conceived in 1964 and opened by 1966 in Mason City, Iowa.Everything the Museum does is educational or aesthetic in nature centering around working with objects of art.


By entering into a partnership with our regional community, the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum seeks to engage diverse audiences in the visual arts and through them sustain a thriving environment in which American art and exceptional collections are collected, enjoyed, and understood.  Our commitment to professional museum standards is a central part of our public trust and responsibility to current and future generations.


David Miller

Sunday, July 16, 2017
Small but nice museum with free admission. Had the big blue blocks out on the front lawn for kids to play with when we were there on a Saturday. Big hit with my two. Museum had some interesting American pieces, and a large collection of Bill Baird puppets. There's a puppet theater and hand puppets that the kids can use to put on a show for those seated on the pillows in front of the theater. The museum building itself also has some interesting features, including the undulating roof. We parked in the library parking lot and walked down a short path dotted with sculptures to the museum.

Pastor Le Anne

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
This is a wonderful treasure in the heart of Mason City. The building itself is a joy, with bright windows overlooking the river, and the beautiful mansion is itself very enjoyable. There is a small goldfish pond and several interactive activities for children, including drawing stations, Imagination Station blue construction foam blocks, kids' puppet theater, and a dress up station and mirror that teaches about portraiture (the costumes match the ones in the paintings). Exhibits change frequently and the collection is impressive. Also not to be missed are the Bil Baird marionettes (Sound of Music and many programs in the classic age of TV); and the extensive list of classes, lectures, events, and workshops. It is a full-fledged teaching museum.

MM Ries

Friday, Nov. 24, 2017
Great place with Bill Baird puppets from Sound of Music. There are studio rooms for artists, gift shop featuring local artists, a big room to rent for parties. Always actives for all ages!!!!

Taylor Miller

Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017
A wonderful museum with plenty of activities year long. They have art classes for all ages, tours, and a ceramic studio. You can also rent the Salisbury room or lawn for parties, weddings, birthdays, and baby showers.

Christiana Herrmann

Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017
We are always taking a bunch of classes here! I love the variety of classes they have to offer. And it's always nice strolling through and spending an hour or two here checking out the various mediums that are on display.

Charles H. MacNider Art Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media