Current Exhibits

Heads and Tales

Produced in conjunction with the Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection,  “Heads and Tales” investigates all things worn, styled, and associated with the human head. Looking cross culturally at different topics, including status and religion, the exhibit explores masks to makeup, and mortarboards to motoring veils. The exhibit will be on display through December 16, 2018.

Kids Curate, Kids Create

A collaboration between students in the K-6 classroom at Templeton Elementary School and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, this project explored the ways in which objects could generate interest in learning about other people and their cultures. The exhibit is open through December 16, 2018.

Playing with Animals: Musical Instruments

Drawing from the museum’s vast collections of musical instruments from around the globe, this exhibit features instruments crafted to replicate animals, such as horses, hens, and crocodiles, and sheds lights on how animal hides, skins, bones, shells, and horns have been used to create music. The exhibit will open on August 28 and will be on display through December 16, 2018.

Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art, and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins

Curated by Kristin Otto, a MMWC Research Associate and Ph.D student (Anthropology), this research-based exhibit will explore the historical development and contemporary usage of Ghanaian figurative coffins, focusing specifically on those carved by master carver Paa Joe. The exhibit explores the ways in which these forms, which are quite often in the shape of animals, communicate familial and personal attributes, values, or identity.The exhibit and related programs will be sponsored by Robert E. and Alice A. Schloss; Themester 2018, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences; IU Cinema’s Creative Collaborations Program; and IU’s African Studies Program. "Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art, and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins" will be on display through December 16, 2018.

A Snapshot of Pakistan, 1965: The Madge Minton Collection

On her 1965 trip to Pakistan, WASP pilot and herpetologist Madge Minton arrived with funding from the IU Museum (today the Mathers Museum of World Cultures) and a mission to collect objects used in everyday life. "A Snapshot of Pakistan, 1965: The Madge Minton Collection" uses the items she collected and the information she recorded about them, to explore the common needs all people share. The exhibit will close January 27, 2019.

Thoughts, Things, and Theories...What Is Culture?

"Thoughts, Things, and Theories...What Is Culture?" explores the nature of culture. The exhibit will be ongoing.

Transformations: The Isthmus Zapotec of Juchitán, 1967-2018

Anya Peterson Royce, Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology and Comparative Literature at IU, took her first photographs of the Isthmus Zapotec of Juchitán, Oaxaca in July of 1967, when a delegation from that city performed at the Guelaguetza in the outdoor performing space on the outskirts of Oaxaca City.  Her long ethnographic involvement with Juchitán, its people and their remarkable stories now spans 51 years; five generations of books, blogs, and articles; and over 16,000 photographs. This exhibit features a selection of some of those images.  The exhibit will be on display through December 16, 2018.