Dec 14
May 27
Real Pirates

Real Pirates

Presented by Milwaukee Public Museum at Milwaukee Public Museum

 Ahoy, Mateys! The Jolly Roger will be raised over the Milwaukee Public Museum on December 14, 2012, as Real Pirates takes over the Museum’s special exhibit halls. Experience the Golden Age of Piracy aboard the Whydah, one of the most successful pirate ships of her day, and learn about her roots as a slave ship and subsequent takeover and conversion into a pirate ship in the early 1700s. One of the most technologically advanced vessels of her day, the Whydah was captured on her maiden voyage by legendary pirate Sam Bellamy and his crew. After a few alterations and a quick hoist of the Jolly Roger, the Whydah became the flagship of Bellamy’s flotilla, leading raids throughout Caribbean waters and up the Atlantic coastline. On April 26, 1717, the perfect storm put an end to the Whydah’s sailing days, and she sank with most of her crew aboard—as well as the bounty from more than 50 captured ships. Almost 300 years later, underwater explorer Barry Clifford and his team managed to locate the wreck of the Whydah and painstakingly unearthed her treasures from the ocean floor, making her the first fully authenticated pirate ship ever to be discovered in U.S. waters. Organized by National Geographic and Arts and Exhibitions International, Real Pirates examines the history of rich Caribbean trade routes during the 18th century and the link between the slave trade and piracy. You’ll encounter compelling true stories of those who lived aboard the Whydah and learn about the forces that shaped their world.

Admission Info


Dates & Times

2012/12/14 - 2013/05/27

Location Info

Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W. Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233

Accessibility Info

All exhibits and facilities are wheelchair accessible.


The Milwaukee Public Museum has three entrances for visitors (James Lovell St, Wells St, and MacArthur Square). Visitors may enter via MacArthur Square parking garage eliminating the need to walk outside. School groups can be dropped-off on James Lovell St. located on the east side of the building.


A limited number of handicap spaces are available in MacArthur Square parking garage. The museum provides handicapped drop-off access on James Lovell Street. If you have special access needs, please call 414-278-2728.


Elevators for the general museum are located on the north side of the building. The IMAX®/Planetarium theater also has elevator access.

Wheelchairs and Strollers

Wheelchairs and strollers are available for rent at the ticket windows on a first-come, first-served basis. The wheelchair rental fee is $1 and the stroller rental fee is $2. Strollers are not allowed in the special exhibits gallery.

Rest Rooms

Rest rooms and drinking fountains are located throughout the Museum and are wheelchair accessible. The ground floor rest rooms have baby changing stations.

Service Animals

Service animals are permitted throughout the Museum.


Interpreters are available for school groups who have signed up for docent-guided tours. Interpreters must be reserved four weeks in advance. Reservations can be made by calling 414-278-2714.

Humphrey IMAX® Dome Theater / Daniel M. Soref Planetarium

Listening devices may be requested at the entrance to the theater. Wheelchair spaces are available with a reservation.