Current Exhibits

A Different Look at Syria

Drawing upon the Dee Birnbaum Collection, this exhibit offers a glimpse into the richness and diversity of material culture and deep history of an ancient nation. Syria has served as a crossroads of strategic trade routes and cultural exchange since 10,000 BC. Today, we hear of Syria in the context of its bloody civil war, a conflict that has cost nearly 450,000 lives, and caused the displacement of nearly 12 million of its citizens. While acknowledging the tragedy of Syria's present, the exhibit invites visitors to connect or reconnect with Syrian culture by learning about its jewelry and textiles to honor and preserve the work of its craftsmen, its women, and their stories. The exhibit will close January 21, 2018.

Creative Aging

This exhibition explores the making and use of memory art in the lives of older adults in the U.S. Some elders use their creations to assist in recalling and sharing important life stories. Others use these works to elicit interest, facilitate personal narratives, and share beliefs and values. Whether painting pictures of past events, piecing a quilt with material from family clothing, or woodburning important names onto a walking stick, life-story objects often anticipate social interactions and storytelling events, which is just one aspect of their creative utility and complex role in the lives of elders. The exhibit will close July 27, 2018.

Memories Shared: Photographs of Historic Bloomington

Bloomington has changed significantly in the past 100 years, but many places remain in some shape or form. This photo essay will explore a few of these places through historic photos and you're invited to share your memories of them. “Memories Shared: Photographs of Historic Bloomington” will be on display through July 29, 2018.

Show and Tell--Making Craft at the John C. Campbell Folk School

Curated by Kelley D. Totten, a recent Ph.D. graduate in Folklore at Indiana University, this exhibit looks at contemporary craft through the lens of the John C. Campbell Folk School, located in Brasstown, North Carolina. Each Friday, folk school students gather in the community room to show off their creations from week-long immersion courses in basket making, enameling, blacksmithing, and more. "Show and Tell" highlights the school's approach to craft and individual creativity by featuring a spectrum of makers (from hobbyists to professionals) and demonstrating a diversity of materials, techniques, and interpretations. The exhibit will close July 27, 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 December 16, 2018.

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

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