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Essay

Robert Gard visits with farmers on May 9, 1955. Gard traveled across the state (note the Wisconsin Idea Theater logo painted on the side of his truck) to promote and cultivate the theatrical arts in rural communities. Gard was a well-known figure in Wisconsin through his travels as well as his WHA-Radio program, and later WHA-TV program, “Wisconsin Is My Doorstep.”  UW Digital Collections/ID S15183

Imagine a theater whose walls are the boundaries of the State of Wisconsin, whose stage is as large as all the stages in the state put together.

Karl Paul Link (right), the biochemist who discovered warfarin, and Mark A. Stahmann (left) perform a laboratory procedure at the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station in 1949.  UW Digital Collections/ID S05108

The story of warfarin begins on a farm in St. Croix County with a dead cow, a milk can full of blood, and a hundred pounds of sweet clover.

The main building of the Modine-Benstead Observatory houses a 16-inch telescope, observation deck, library, and meeting room. Photo by Justin Kern.

Eight times a year the Racine Astronomical Society invites the public to view the skies through two intricate telescopes housed at the Modine-Benstead Observatory.

A closeup of Randall Berndt's  illustration created for the Academy's anniversary, "A Select Few: Wisconsin Academy Luminaries," 2020. Graphite on paper, 25 by 23 inches.

On a warm fall day in September 1973, James Batt watched as two plaques were affixed to the sandstone entryway of a small office building at 1922 University Avenue in Madison.

Up close, there is a beauty and endurance peculiar to this place—to this soft orange bedrock smelling strangely of five hundred million years gone by.

In the kitchen are an empty egg carton and two packages of seeds, cilantro and basil, my favorite herbs. My plan is to start the seeds in the egg carton and have sweet little shoots to plant when it gets warm.

At first, the music sounded like some kind of Dixie funeral dirge.

Franklin Schmidt, May 3, 1935. Photo courtesy of the Aldo Leopold Foundation  and The University of Wisconsin–Madison Archives (ID S14477).

Schmidt Maple Woods were formative to the life and career of the youngest member of the family, Franklin Schmidt, who grew up to become a pioneer in the field of game management.

The day after I retired, the dominant source of news about Milwaukee and greater Wisconsin vanished.

A revolutionary concept in land use has deep roots in the hills and valleys—and people—of the Driftless Area.

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