Demonstration Pow Wow

What a day when the Potawatomis showed up at the Indiana State Museum to share a bit of their culture with school kids…

L.S. Ayres Holiday Cherub and All

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Here at the museum, traditional L.S. Ayres holiday windows are on display, as well as the original Santa Claus Express train (kids can ride on a replica) and after Thanksgiving the cherub will even appear on the clock in the exhibit!  You can even buy little cherub ornaments in the Museum Store.

If you’re NOT from Indy, you’ll still appreciate the story of the cherub.  As the story goes, the whimsical Cherub mysteriously appeared atop the clock on Thanksgiving Eve,  1947 to keep a watchful eye on the holiday shoppers until Santa came on Christmas Eve. In the 61 years since, thousands have had the pleasure of seeing the Cherub perched atop the famous clock each holiday season. This powerful tradition lives in the hearts and minds and memories of Indianapolis residents.  What would the holiday season be without those great traditions and memories?

LS Ayres Holiday Window at the Indiana State Museum

LS Ayres Holiday Window at the Indiana State Museum

A Mosaic TV


(Joanna Hahn reporting)

When the air begins to cool and the leaves begin to change color it can only mean one thing….planning for the Indiana Art Fair.  2009 will be the sixth year for the art fair and it is shaping up to be a vibrant and colorful show. (see last year’s show info hereArtists have been notified of their acceptance and a final list of artists for the show will be available on the museum’s website after the first of the year.  But here is a little preview of what to expect.  The 2009 Indiana Art Fair Signature Artist is mosaic artist Cappi Phillips of Bloomington, Indiana.  Cappi is a familiar face at art shows around central Indiana and is known for her colorful and humorous take on art.  Cappi likes to work with found objects and reuse them as the base of her art.  Her signature piece for the Indiana Art Fair is no different.  Cappi will be converting a mid-1960s television into a piece of art.  Why a television you may ask?  Cappi is a resident of Bloomington, Indiana which was once home to RCA whose televisions are featured in the museum’s collection.  Below is a “before” picture of the piece.  Use your imagination to envision what Cappi will do.




Land of the Free and Home of the Brave

Veterans and their families were treated to a special concert of the Indianapolis Municipal Band on Sunday, as part of a Veteran’s Day remembrance at the museum.  Very impressive, in that the guest conductor was Colonel L. Bryan Shelburne, Jr. commander of The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own”.  He was only the sixth appointee to serve as leader and commander of that band since the band’s formation in 1922.  So, as the band played the familiar military and patriotic songs we all know so well, you got such a sense of history, that he was part of so many performances to so many important heads of state over the past 18 years.

Another very special part of the museum’s remembrance, is a huge community board of donated photos of veterans from across the state.  Many folks stopped by to see their loved ones and remember.

Hollywood on the Canal

Hollywood paid us a little visit recently, as our Indiana State Museum played host to a Master Card commercial starring our favorite Indiana boy…Peyton Manning!  It was somewhat of an eye-opener to those unaccustomed to video production, as 65 crew members and numerous truckloads of equipment and wardrobe bore down on the museum in the wee hours of the morning for what turned into a 5-hour commercial shoot on our administration building balcony.  The final footage amounted to about 8 seconds, where the museum masqueraded as a fine San Diego hotel, but what fun we had gawking at the NFL’s favorite quarterback.  The rest of the commercial was filmed at Indy’s Westin Hotel.

We were all so impressed with Peyton’s obvious talent at, well….at being the Talent!  He showed up prepared and ready to work (sound familiar…since that’s his secret to success at football), had cute ad libs, was easy to work with, worked hard without complaining, joked around with the crew, etc.  

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos, and you can also go here to find more footage, the actual commercial (check out the great “canal” view off our balcony…brought to you by “blue screen” technology), and other fun applications, courtesy our new friends at Master Card.