MMWC Mathers Museum of World Cultures Spring 2017 No. 9
Chinese quilts exhibit opens January 21
Free spring family and community programs
Clowes grant funds museum internships
Researchers to speak at MMWC
From the Director: Your Changing Museum Change can be difficult, but when change is for the better, we all certainly welcome it. Last year brought a number of improvements to the Mathers Museum of World Cultures buildings, and more is in store for 2017. Some of these changes are ones that every visitor will experience directly while others are crucial—but behind the scenes—enhancements. All of the changes will help the museum to succeed in its mission to foster, steward, and share knowledge about the world’s diverse peoples and ways of life. As I write this note, the public restrooms at the museum are undergoing a dramatic makeover. This will modernize them and, very importantly, make them more accessible to museum visitors. This need for increased accessibility was identified as a top priority in the museum’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, and it is wonderful to be partnering with the university to realize this goal. Plans are being developed now for additional accessibility improvements to be made later in this year. Already scheduled for 2017 is the replacement of a significant portion of the museum’s gallery lighting. Dating to the museum’s opening in 1983, our current lights are expensive to maintain, energy inefficient, and no longer state-of-the-art from a museum exhibition or conservation perspective. Our new LED lights will greatly enhance the quality and impact of our future exhibitions. In order to pursue the installation of this new gallery lighting, the museum will be closed to the public from May 8 to August 14, 2017. While we regret needing to close, we are thrilled by the prospect of sharing new exhibitions with new lighting this fall. Close observers of the museum and its neighborhood may have noticed a major exterior project that ran for many months last year. The building that houses the museum’s public and collections storage spaces, as well as the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, received a new roof in 2016. This was a major improvement that will help both organizations preserve their priceless collections. Like the other building changes, it was also a major investment in the museum on the part of the university. Changes to the Mathers Museum of World Cultures buildings are not the only changes underway. As discussed elsewhere in this issue, the museum will launch a new paid internship program during 2017. This is being done with very generous financial support from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation. The new year is also providing a chance to publicly share the first fruits of our ongoing work in China. In partnership (continued on page 3)
MMWC Staff and Affiliates Staff Kristin Brand, Fiscal Officer Geoffrey Conrad, Director Emeritus Theresa Harley-Wilson, Registrar Sarah Hatcher, Head of Programs and Education Jason Baird Jackson, Director Jon Kay, Director of Traditional Arts Indiana and Curator of Folklife and Cultural Heritage Judith A. Kirk, Assistant Director Mark Price, Preparator Ellen Sieber, Chief Curator Matthew Sieber, Manager of Exhibitions Kelly Wherley, Facilities Manager Consulting Curators Jennifer Goodlander (Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance) Pravina Shukla (Folklore and Ethnomusicology) Graduate Assistants Amy Burgar (Arts Administration) Emily Burke (Folklore and Ethnomusiology) Joanna Burke (Arts Administration) Connor Martin (Arts Administration) Carole Pouzar (School of Music) Emily Buhrow Rogers (Anthropology Bret Syrek (Arts Administration) Amy Tompkins (Arts Administration) Kelley Totten (Folklore and Ethnomusicology) Maria Zeringue (Foklore and Ethnomusicology) Research Associates Sara Clark (Educational Leadership and Policy) Gloria Colom (Folklore and Ethnomusicology) Elizabeth Faier (Mathers Museum of World Cultures) Janice Frisch (Indiana University Press) Matthew Hale (Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Communication and Culture) Page 2—Spring 2017
Research Associates (cont,) Carrie Hertz (Museum of International Folk Art) Teri Klassen (Mathers Museum of World Cultures) Victoria Luksha (Mathers Museum of World Cultures) Kristin Otto (Anthropology) Jodine Perkins (The University of British Columbia) Hannah Rawcliffe (Informatics) Emily Buhrow Rogers (Mathers Museum of World Cultures) Daniel Swan (Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History) Kelley Totten (Folklore and Ethnomusicology) Lijun Zhang (Guangxi Museum of Nationalities)
Policy Committee Eric Sandweiss, Chair (History) Heather Akou (Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design) Gabrielle A. Berlinger (University of North Carolina) Diane Dallis (IU Libraries) Candace Greene (Smithsonian Institution) Vivian Halloran (English and American Studies) Rowland Ricketts (Textiles) Susan Seizer (Anthropology) Michael Wilkerson (Arts Administration)
A research center of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures is an American Alliance of Museums-accredited institution offering research and training opportunities for IU students, educational support and services for IU faculty and elementary/secondary school teachers, and family-friendly exhibits and programs.
On the cover
Ex officio Ed Comentale (Office of the Vice Provost for Research) Theresa Harley-Wilson (Mathers Museum of World Cultures) Jason Baird Jackson (Mathers Museum of World Cultures) Detail from Zuang bedcover featured in Quilts of Southwest China.
Quilts of Southwest China opens January 21 at MMWC A groundbreaking international exhibition at Indiana University’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures explores the cultural heritage of China through traditional quilts and other textiles. Quilts of Southwest China, organized by a binational consortium of Chinese and American museums including the Mathers Museum, opens Saturday, January 21. “Quilts of Southwest China is a beautiful exhibition,” notes Jason Jackson, Director of the Mathers Museum. “It is visually rich, but also rich in culture and rich in significance for our museum. The textiles on exhibition are eye-popping expressions of culture and creativity, and the diversity of peoples in southwest China is also a surprise to many American exhibition goers. Additionally, it is exciting for our museum to publicly share some of the ongoing work that we have been pursuing with our Chinese and American museum partners.” The exhibit includes 24 quilts or “bedcovers” as they are often referred to, depending on the function and number of layers of cloth quilted together. Some ethnic groups in southwest China have a longstanding practice of creating bedcovers and other household items made of patchwork and applique, and the works displayed in the exhibition reflect this tradition. While ceremonial and aristocratic Chinese textiles have a long history of being collected and documented, researchers have only recently turned their focus to everyday objects, like patchwork bedcoverings. The bi-national consortium worked together to document and research the textiles. The art forms date back over 3,000 years, but are little known outside certain ethnic minority communities in China. Quilts of Southwest China brings awareness about ethnic groups and textile traditions of southwest China. The research and collecting done for this exhibition provides some of the first documentation of the making and use of these textiles, and highlights the importance of documenting and studying traditional arts. The exhibit is sponsored by The Henry Luce Foundation. Additional support comes from the IUB Arts and Humanities Council in conjunction with “China Remixed: Arts and Humanities in Contemporary Chinese Culture.” Project partners include Yunnan Nationalities Museum (Kunming, Yunnan, China); Guangxi Museum of Nationalities (Nanning,
Two of the works that will be featured in Quilts of Southwest China
Guangxi, China); Guizhou Nationalities Museum (Guiyang, Guizhou, China); Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan, USA); Museum of International Folk Art (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA); the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA); the American Folklore Society; and the Chinese Folklore Society. Quilts of Southwest China will be on exhibit at the Mathers Museum through May 7, 2017, and a catalogue of the exhibition is available in the Mathers Museum’s gift shop. The Mathers Museum of World Cultures is located at 416 North Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana. The Mathers Museum exhibition hall and Museum Store are open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Free visitor parking is available by the Indiana Avenue lobby entrance. Metered parking is available at the McCalla School parking lot on the corner of Ninth Street and Indiana Avenue. The parking lot also has spaces designated for Indiana University EM-P, EM-S, and ST permits. During the weekends free parking is available on the surrounding streets.
Your changing museum (cont.) with the American Folklore Society and the China Folklore Society, as well as our five museum partners (Yunnan Nationalities Museum, Guizhou Nationalities Museums, Guangxi Museum of Nationalities, Museum of International Folk Art, and Michigan State University Museum), we are presenting Quilts of Southwest China. A beautiful exhibition, with an accompanying catalogue, Quilts of Southwest China is one of many MMWC endeavors being generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. I hope that you will join us throughout the spring for a season of museum programs and activities focused on China. In 2017, we will also begin a new chapter in this collaboration when museum staff and students begin traveling to villages in Northern Guangxi province for joint research and collecting activities. Their work will focus on a diversity of textile arts— indigo dying, silk production, embroidery, basketry, and more. Our new internship program and our research work in China, Indiana, and elsewhere in the world—like the building changes we are pursuing—are efforts aimed at advancing our museum mission and meeting the goals set out in both our strategic plan and in the Indiana University strategic plan. They are all changes with a purpose. Reflecting on them gives me a chance to thank the funders, partners, supporters, and enthusiasts, as well as the faculty, staff, students, and university leaders, who are making these positive changes happen. See you at the museum.
Jason Baird Jackson, Director Page 3—Spring 2017
Spring programs focus on China A wide variety of programs and events will be held in conjunction with the exhibition Quilts of Southwest China, with a special focus on family and community programming. For more information, visit our calendar of events at www.mathers.indiana.edu/museumevent.html. Curating Quilts of Southwest China Friday, January 20; 12 to 1 p.m. Lijun Zhang, an alumna of IU (Ph.D. in Folklore, 2014) and Research Curator at the Guangxi Museum of Nationalities, co-curated the exhibit Quilts of Southwest China. During this brownbag discussion, she’ll discuss the challenges and joys of a bi-national and bilingual project, as well as the state of Chinese museums today. The event will be free and open to the public, and will be co-sponsored by IU’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology 2017 Colloquium Series. Exhibition Opening: Quilts of Southwest China Saturday, January 21; 2 to 4 p.m. Join us for a family-friendly opening celebration of a groundbreaking international exhibition. The event will feature music and food, and will be free and open to the public. Family Craft Day: Chinese New Year Sunday, January 29; 2 to 3:30 p.m. Help us welcome in the year of the Rooster! Come celebrate the Chinese New Year with cherry blossom painting, noise makers, and other family-friendly crafts. The event will be free and open to the public. Bridges: Children, Languages, World Saturdays, February 4-April 15; 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. This award-winning language program for children provides free instruction in beginnng and intermediate Chinese for Pre-K through 8th grade students. The program is supported by IU’s School of Global and International Studies, the Center for the Study of the Middle East, the Center for the Study of Global Change, the East Asian Page 4—Spring 2017
Studies Center, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, and the Russian and East European Institute. For more information, or to register, please contact Suriati Abas at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://bit.ly/ bridgesIU. Instruments of Culture: The Historical, Social, and Performative Lives of Musical Instruments in China Friday, February 24; 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sue Tuohy, Senior Lecturer in IU’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, will discuss musical instruments of China. The event will be free and open to the public. First Thursdays: Dragon Dance (Fine Arts Plaza) Thursday, April 6; 5 to 7:30 p.m. We’ll be celebrating the opening of the exhibition Beijing’s 798 Art Zone (see page 6) by hosting a dragon dance at April’s First Thursdays event at Fine Arts Plaza. Dancers from the Indianapolis Chinese Community Center will perform the dance, and guests will have a chance to try on a dragon dance costume. The event will be free and open to the public. Film Screening: Peasant Family Happiness Wednesday, April 19; 5 p.m. Directed by Jenny Chio (2013), this film depicts the everyday experiences of “doing tourism” in two rural, ethnic tourism destinations in contemporary China: Ping’an and Upper Jidao villages. By focusing on the perspectives of village residents, the film portrays how they negotiate between the day-to-day consequences of tourist arrivals in their home villages, ideal projections of who they are, and what they can achieve through tourism development. The event will be free and open to the public.
Spring community and family programming at MMWC A variety of community and family programs will be presented this spring at the MMWC--from partnered events with the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival and local artists, to the MMWC’s annual family celebrations. All programs will be free and open to the public. Community Jam Session Sunday, February 12; 4 to 6 p.m. Do you play banjo, fiddle, drum, or another instrument? Interested in jamming with other musicians? This low-pressure, free, fun-filled session will be hosted by IU’s Folklore and Ethnomusicology Student Association, and everyone is welcome to join in the fun. Reimagining Opera for Kids: Rufus and Rita Friday, February 17; 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Rufus and Rita is musical/theatrical work for young audiences featuring the adventures (and sometimes MISadventures) of a silly dog named Rufus and his owner, Rita. Through a “flexible libretto,” the audience votes on what happens next at several points in the story. The 30-minute performance is sung in English, is appropriate for all ages, and will be free and open to the public.
MMWC Graduate Assistant Joanna Burke shares Halloween tales during Halloween Family Fun Fest.
Family Craft Day: Mardi Gras Sunday, February 26; 2 to 3:30 p.m. Get ready for Mardi Gras with some fun, family-friendly crafts! The event will be free and open to the public.
Sones de México Ensemble will present a free performance at MMWC as part of Lotus Blossom celebrations this spring.
First Thursdays: Spring Flowers (Fine Arts Plaza) Thursday, March 2; 5 to 7:30 p.m. Help us welcome spring with flower crafts based on the Dutch Bloemencorso (flower pageant) festival, as well as other hands-on activities during First Thursdays. The event will be free and open to the public.
Beyond the Music: A Musical Geography of Mexico with Sones de México Ensemble Wednesday, April 5; 7 to 8 p.m. Sones de México Ensemble was formed as a quartet in 1994 and through the years grew to a sextet of multi-instrumentalists.
Mystery at the Museum Sunday, March 26: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Oh jinkies, something’s gone missing and we need your help! Come join the gang for a mysteriously good time for the whole family at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. Zoinks! This event will be free and open to the public, but will require registration by emailing museumed@indiana. edu or calling 812-855-0197.
Today, the original founding members, Juan Díes and Gonzalo Cordova, are joined by Lorena Iñiguez, Zacbé Pichardo, Eric Hines, and Rudy Piñón to form the country’s premier folk music organization specializing in Mexican ‘son.’
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Opening Reception Tuesday, March 28; 5 to 6:30 p.m. To kick off the month-long celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Asian Cultural Center and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures are co-sponsoring a reception featuring a special one-time showcase of works--paintings. books, and digital arts, among others--by Asian and Asian American students, staff, and faculty. Special guest Popo Fan will help us learn more about his work as a film director and LGBTQ advocate as we begin to explore the theme of this year: “Belonging.” The event will be free and open to the public, but please RSVP by contacting acc@ indiana.edu or email@example.com. Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar Family Day (Binford Elementary School, 2300 E. 2nd St.) Saturday, April 1; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar Family Day is a free multicultural arts-and-education event for kids and families. The event features hands-on activities, exploration of world cultures, and live performances. It’s appropriate for all ages, but especially fun for kids K-6 (children must be accompanied by parents/guardians).
Whether they are performing for school children or in front of sold-out audiences across the country, their concerts entertain the senses and explore the riches of Mexican music, dance, and culture. This program will be free and open to the public, and will be sponsored by the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Global Dance Workshop Wednesday, April 26; 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Here’s your chance to learn tango, two-step, and other dances from around the globe. Teaching sessions will start at 4:30 p.m., and will be followed by an opportunity to practice what you’ve learned. The event will be free and open to the public. Please don’t wear flip-flops or sandals. Family Craft Day: Papermaking Sunday, April 30; 2 to 3:30 p.m. Get your family together for a fun-filled afternoon of papermaking! Sessions will start at 2, 2:30, and 3 p.m. to ensure time for instruction and allow for time to make paper. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet or messy. Weather permitting, we’ll work on the south lawn of the museum. The event will be free and open to the public. Page 5—Spring 2017
Beijing’s 798 Art Zone explores urban art colony
After the turn of the 21st century, artists and cultural entrepreneurs began colonizing a former military factory complex in northeast Beijing. Taking its name from that numbered factory, the 798 Art Zone is an urban arts colony that now attracts visitors from around China and the world. Offering a glimpse of a compelling place that is both visually saturated and reflective of the state of contemporary arts and society in present-day China, the exhibit Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, co-curated by MMWC Director Jason Baird Jackson and Wenhong Luo (Yunnan Nationalities Museum), introduces the district and its ever-changing artistic landscape through photographs. The exhibition opens April 6 (see below) and will be on exhibit through May 7. Exhibition Opening: Beijing’s 798 Art Zone Thursday, April 6; 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event will be free and open to the public. th Street art in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, Photograph by Jason Baird Jackson
The Middle East: A Photojournalist’s Perspective, 1975-2016 Works of photography spanning more than 40 years of life in the Middle East will be highlighted in the upcoming exhibition The Middle East: A Photojournalist’s Perspective, 1975-2016. The exhibition is curated by the photographer Steve Raymer, Professor Emeritus of IU’s Media School and former photographer for National Geographic Magazine. The exhibit opens February 10 (see below) and will be on exhibit at the MMWC through March 12. Exhibition Opening: The Middle East: A Photojournalist’s Perspective, 1975-2016 Friday, February 10; 4:30 to 6 p.m. Join us for a gallery talk by Steve Raymer, curator of The Middle East: A Photojournalist’s Perspective, 1975-2016. Raymer notes the exhibit “retraces my travels from the Western Sahara on the Atlantic Ocean coast to Afghanistan during a 40-plus-year career that began at National Geographic Magazine and migrated, at midlife, to the Media School at Indiana University.” He’ll speak about his work and observations form the field during the free event. A reception will follow the talk.
Outside Mar’ib, Yemen, Pillars of a Sabaean moon-god temple jut from the desert near Mar’ib in Yemen’s outback, offering clues to a powerful kingdom that may have been ruled by the legendary Queen of Sheba, mentioned in both the Quran and the Bible. © Steve Raymer/National Geographic Creative
Current exhibitions 200 Years of Living and Thriving in the Hoosier State From butter churns and spinning wheels to music and bibles, this exhibit explores the objects that Hoosiers have needed not only to survive, but to thrive throughout the past 200 years. The exhibit will be on display through May 7, 2017. Costume: Beauty, Meaning, and Identity in Dress This photo exhibit examines the transformative power of costumes in the communication of beauty, personal meaning, and social identity, often culminating in a spectacle for public consumption. The exhibit, sponsored by Themester 2016: Beauty, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences, will be on display through January 29, 2017. Hózhó: Navajo Beauty, Navajo Weavings This exhibit introduces the famed wool rugs and blankets woven by the Navajo people of the Southwestern United States. Situating these textiles within regional history and Navajo culture, the exhibition focuses on the theme of beauty in Navajo cosmology as expressed in the artistry of these treasured weavings. The exhibit, sponsored by Themester 2016: Beauty, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences, will be on display through May 7, 2017. Thoughts, Things, and Theories...What Is Culture? Thoughts, Things, and Theories...What Is Culture? explores the nature of culture. Tools of Travel This exhibit features objects that people in different times and places have used to transport themselves and their belongings. The exhibit will be open through December 17, 2017. Page 6—Spring 2017
Clowes Foundation funds new MMWC internships The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation has awarded funding to support the estabishment of a new internship program at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. This new program will be MMWC’s first offering of competitive, paid internship experiences, building on decades of practicum student programming, and significantly increasing the MMWC’s ability to cultivate dedicated museum professionals at the undergraduate level. With a long-term goal of improving Indiana’s professional museum workforce, this program’s primary objective is to increase the quantity, quality, and accessibility of real-world professional development experiences available to IUB upper-level undergraduate and M.A. students seeking museum careers. Beginning in Spring 2017, the museum will initiate planning, promotion, and recruitment activities for an inaugural class of interns to begin in Summer 2017. Internship cohorts of three students per semester will participate in the program over a 10-semester pilot (fall, spring, summer) through Summer 2020. Thus, the project will serve a total of 30 students during this pilot period. As a residential research-intensive university located in a small Indiana city, on-campus internships undertaken during fall and spring semesters enable students to gain valuable work experiences without interrupting their studies by relocating to distant locations or for unrelated part-time work. While supporting the career development of IU undergraduate and M.A. students, the program will also advance a public service mission through funding summer session work in off-campus partner museums. MMWC-organized summer internship placements at museums elsewhere in Indiana will expand the range of professional opportunities available to museum-focused IU students, while strengthening the work of these peer institutions. The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc., a private foundation, was established by Allen W. Clowes, a leading philanthropist in Indianapolis, Indiana, who during his life made major contributions to various charitable organizations that promoted or preserved the fine arts, music, literature, education, science and history. Most of these organizations are located in Central Indiana. The primary mission of the foundation is to support charitable organizations that promote or preserve the Arts and Humanities and to support charitable organizations that were supported by Mr. Clowes during his life or are similar to those supported by Mr. Clowes. Page 7—Spring 2017
Giving to the MMWC
Caring for an outstanding collection of objects and images from around the world, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures fosters research and training in the social sciences and humanities.
Donors to the Mathers Museum of World Cultures Carl and Judith Alfrey Debby Allmayer and James Williams Joelle Bahloul and Marshall Leaffer Holly M. Bethune Edward and Wendy Bernstein Dee Birnbaum Catherine P. Bishop Julianne and Keith Bobay Mimi and Marc Dollinger Marsha Bradford and Harold Dumes Bruce Bradtmiller and Carol Cottom Dorothy A. Bybee Debi Burkhart Jeannette Carter William M. Clements Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc. Geoffrey and Karen Conrad Marjorie S. Counsilman Allen C. Davis Edward Dietrich and Lorna Gentry Betty C. Dillon Hasam and Susan El-Shamy Betty R. Elder Page 8â€”Spring 2017
Elizabeth Faier Andrea Funk Kevin S. Greene Dell R. Hales Heather Hales Peter Harle Randolph L. Harter Cynthia Hogan Svend E. Holsoe Lynn Hooker and David Reingold Aiko Hori Francine and Roger Hurwitz Amy and Jason Jackson Kendall and Barbara Jackson Jerald and Lynette James Hilda L. Jay Tina M. Jernigan Robert Johnson Michael Owen Jones Cheryl A. Johnson Keith C. Johnson Robert N. Johnson Estelle R. Jorgensen B. D. Kane
Flora Edouwaye Siegel Kaplan Jon and Mandy Kay Sharon Koomler Teri Klassen Ann and Michael Knudson Linda and Bret Libeno Barbara Livesey Donna and Howard Lodge Earl Luetzelschwab Nancy and Roderick MacDonald Mary Magoulick Jane and Jerry McIntosh Sidney and Sharon Mishkin Selina Morales and Aaron Spector Theresa L. Morris Betty R. Nagle Elinor and Vincent Ostrom Phyllis and Vernon Paler Anthony and Patricia Pizzo Mark Plew and Sarah Saras Carol A. Porter Barbara J. Restle Amanda and John Rhea Harriet and George Roberts
Mary Rothert and Tom Zellar Louise Russell Thyne S. Rutrough Robert and Alice Schloss Nancy J. Schmidt Ellen Sieber Sophia Sieber William Siegmann Julianna Simmons William Simmons Adam and Karen Sisson Aaron Stalnaker Budd Stalnaker Nancy and Rex Stockton Brent and Kelly Tharp Alice Tischler The Wahl Family Charitable Trust Carolyn and William Walters Kelly C. Wherley Esther N. White Withem Abigail M. Wodock Timothy M. Wright Amy and Stanley Zent Richard J. Zieg
Talks explore masks, queer past, and “museumization” Three lectures at the MMWC this spring will focus on different aspects of museums and their impact on research and historical understanding. Beauty with Hidden Flaws: Maintenance and Transformation of Sowei Identity Through Repair and Alteration Friday, April 14; 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Kristin Otto, a Ph.D. student in IU’s Department of Anthropology, will discuss the aesthetically distinctive, helmet-style sowei masks of West Africa’s Sande (or Bundu) society, which have become fixtures in many Western museum collections, including the Mathers Museum’s holdings. She notes that scholarship has yielded important insights into the beautiful, stylistically standard aesthetic markers of sowei that materialize symbolic and cultural values. Attention to non-standard features, however, reveals practical formation of individualized form and identity. Close examination of the sowei masks in the collections of the Mathers Museum, National Museum of Natural History, and National Museum of African Art reveal instances of intervention on the vast majority of them over time. These interventions include physical alteration of the material form, repair of damage, maintenance or application of aesthetic standards, and transformation of identity. Otto will discuss these points, as well as the notion that the physical evidence of these actions not only indicates the continued process of making sowei, but also illustrates the active and purposeful negotiation of the continuum between beauty and ugliness by both local and global forces. The event will be free and open to the public. Sowei mask, courtesy of National Museum of Natural History, E397489
Susan Ferentinos, public history researcher, writer, and consultant
Interpreting the Queer Past Friday, March 3; 4:30 to 6 p.m. In the United States, mainstream discussion of the history of same-sex love and desire is still relatively uncommon, although that fact is rapidly changing. Spurred on by growing social acceptance of LGBTQ individuals and the federal government’s nationwide LGBTQ Heritage Initiative, more and more museums and historic sites are introducing queer topics into their programming and exhibitions. This presentation by Susan Ferentinos, author of Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites (winner of the 2016 book award from the National Council on Public History), will offer an overview of recent efforts in this area, as well as consider some ongoing challenges for bringing the queer past to a wide audience. Ferentinos is a public history researcher, writer, and consultant, specializing in inclusive interpretation and project management for historical organizations. Her clients include the American Association for State and Local History, the National Council on Public History, and the National Park Service. The lecture will be free and open to the public.
Tom Gieryn, IU’s Rudy Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology
Oracular Tourism: Delphi as Truth-Spot, Then and Now Wednesday, January 25; Noon to 1 p.m. Tom Gieryn, IU’s Rudy Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology, will discuss the opening chapter from his forthcoming book Truth-Spot: How Places Make People Believe. Gierun’s talk will explore how some places lend credibility or legitimacy to beliefs and claims about the natural/social world, identity, justice, history and memory, and the future. Noting that the “oracle at Delphi is like the Mother of All Truth-Spots, both for ancient Greeks and for tourists today,” Gieryn asks: “How do the three ingredients of place (location in geographic space; materialities, both natural and built; narrations that give meaning and value) get combined to persuade Greeks in the archaic period that the Pythia’s prophecies are true, and--in different ways--to persuade contemporary tourists that Delphi is an honest and accurate window on Greek culture and practices long ago?” His hint: “museumization.” The lecture will be free and open to the public. Page 9—Spring 2017
Visiting the Mathers Museum The Mathers Museum of World Cultures is located at 416 N. Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana. Admission to the museum is free. During the spring semester, the MMWC exhibition hall and Mathers Museum Store will be closed Monday, March 13 through Monday, March 20. Durng normal hours of operations the exhibition hall and Museum Store are open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Free visitor parking is available by the Indiana Avenue lobby entrance. Metered parking is available at the McCalla School parking lot on the corner of Ninth Street and Indiana Avenue. The parking lot also has spaces designated for Indiana University EM-P, EM-S, and ST permits. During the weekends free parking is available on the surrounding streets. An access ramp is located at the Fess Avenue entrance to the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology on the corner of Ninth Street and Fess Avenue. Reserved parking spaces are available on Ninth Street, between Fess Avenue and Indiana Avenue. If you have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Please call 812-8556873. For more information, please call 812-855-6873, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.mathers.indiana.edu.
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Published on Jan 19, 2017