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Charles H. MacNider Museum

303 2nd Street S E
Mason City, Iowa

Phone: 641-421-3666 --

Statement of Purpose:

The Charles H. MacNider Museum is a non-profit, municipally owned institution conceived in 1964 and opened in 1966 in Mason City, Iowa.

Everything the Museum does is educational or aesthetic in nature and centers around working with objects of art.

Charles H. MacNider Museum

The Museum exhibits and interprets a permanent collection of American art; temporary exhibitions of art; provides art classes for all ages; offers enriching arts programs; and maintains an in-house art library.

Highlights & Collections:

A fine collection of American artwork including paintings, prints, sculpture, pottery, and Bil Baird Puppets.

Exhibits & Special Events:

Throughout the year the Museum hosts puppet shows, concerts, a foreign film series, and lectures that are all offered to the community at no cost.  Guest workshops and classes are also offered for all ages at a minimal cost.


*   Summer


This exhibition is created every other year from works selected from entries submitted by artists above high school age living within a 100-mile radius of Mason City.  It is an all media exhibition that usually features a wide range of works produced in many different materials, styles, and techniques. The work of both professional and amateur artists makes up the show, which offers cash awards.


*    Late Spring, Early Summer


Resulting from a competition open to entrants high school age and above residing in Cerro Gordo County or attending North Iowa Area Community College, this exhibit honors local talent.  All types of photography are included.


*   Second Weekend in June


This weekend-long outdoor art festival is offered free to the community and surrounding North Iowa areas on the lawns of the Museum and the neighboring Mason City Public Library.  The fun begins on Saturday with musical entertainment and activities for the whole family.  Sunday features an outdoor art market with many visual artists along with additional family friendly entertainment and activities.


*   Fall


This exhibition is a statewide competitive show focusing on the fine art of craft produced by individuals residing in Iowa.  It serves as a visual forum for Iowa artists/craftspersons, and encourages public recognition of work done by emerging and established artists. 



Tuesday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm

(with extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursday until 9 pm)

Sundays: 1 – 5 pm


Closed Mondays and Holidays

Admission & Directions: 

Admission is free for everyone all the time.

 The Museum is located in downtown Mason City, 15 minutes east of Highway 35. 


Key Personnel:

Traci Bittner, Interim Director
Linda Willeke, Coordinator of Education
Mara Linskey, Associate Curator/Registrar
Jana Barracks, Coordinator of Development
Audrey Gabel, Financial Secretary
Bill Kammeyer, Superintendent of Building and Grounds
Linda Johnston, Receptionist & Secretary

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