Current Exhibits

800 Seasons: Change and Continuity in Bloomington, 1818-2018

“800 Seasons” tells the story of Bloomington from the ground up.  How do nature and history shape one another in the American Midwest—and how are Bloomington’s possibilities for tomorrow shaped by 200 years of community building in the southern Indiana hill country? The exhibit, sponsored by IU’s Grand Challenges: Prepared for Environmental Change, will be on display through July 31, 2020.

Aboriginal Bark Painting from Northern Australia

Painting on stringybark (any one of a variety of Australian eucalyptus trees) is an iconic art among the Aboriginal people of Australia’s Northern Territory. Drawing on an older tradition of rock-art, bark painting evokes the rich and complex beliefs, rituals, and sacred stories at the heart of Aboriginal cultures. “Aboriginal Bark Painting from Northern Australia” is a small exhibition presenting works drawn from three Mathers Museum of World Cultures collections and will be on display through December 22, 2019.

Echoes of the Rainforest: The Visual Arts of the Shipibo Indians

"Echoes of the Rainforest: The Visual Arts of the Shipibo Indians," features ceramics, textiles, and other works created by people living in the Amazon rainforest of Peru. The artifacts were collected by Frédéric and Bernadette Allamel, who worked with Frédéric's high school students at the International School of Indiana (in Indianapolis) to develop and design the exhibit. View or download a copy of the Echoes of the Rainforest Catalog. The exhibit will be open through December 22, 2019.

México Indígena

"México Indígena” highlights a few of the artistic traditions and innovations practiced by some of Mexico’s indigenous peoples, including the Isthmus Zapotec of Juchitán, Oaxaca; the Wixáritari (Huichol) who live in the Sierra Madres; the Otomi people from the Altiplano region; and the Purépecha (Tarascan) people of Michoacán. The exhibit is sponsored by Mexico Remixed, a program of IU’s Arts and Humanities Council, and will be on display through January 26, 2020

Remembering the Ephemeral: the Ritual Architecture of Sukkot in Contemporary Life

How can an ancient religious ritual convey current social and political needs? This question emerged from eight years (2007-2015) of documentation of Sukkot, the Jewish festival that annually commemorates the Israelites’ Biblical journey through the Sinai Desert to the Promised Land. The photographs in this exhibition depict the holiday’s central rite of building and “dwelling” in temporary structures—makeshift shelters that evoke the physical and metaphoric experience of wandering in the wild. The flexibility of this tradition is revealed by the rich material diversity of constructions. Significantly, in 2010-2011, Sukkot coincided with the global Occupy Movement and the migration of African asylum seekers into Israel, highlighting the contemporary search for “home” in daily as well as ritual life. In secular and orthodox communities, suburban and urban settings, minority and majority Jewish populations, Jews build sukkot to reconcile their dreams with reality. “Remembering the Ephemeral: the Ritual Architecture of Sukkot in Contemporary Life” is sponsored by Themester 2019 – Remembering and Forgetting,” an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences, and will be on display through December 22, 2019.

Sacred Drums, Sacred Trees: Haiti’s Changing Climate

“Sacred Drums, Sacred Trees: Haiti’s Changing Climate,” curated by Rebecca Dirksen, Assistant Professor in IU's Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, explores how humanity, the divine, and the environment intersect through the sacred Vodou drums and the trees from which they are made. The exhibit will be on display through December 22, 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.