Current Exhibits

Cameroon Tobacco Pipes: Shared Museum Knowledge

This exhibition presents a collection of carved wood tobacco smoking pipes from the Cameroon Grasslands, produced by the Bamileke peoples and their neighbors, that offer a glimpse into the aesthetics, values, and traditions of the area. The exhibit will close July 27, 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.

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.

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 27, 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.