Of restaurants and museum artifacts

A theory about people and taste led me to see if I could find a connection between the kinds of activities or artifacts people enjoy at the museum and their favorite foods. After a bit of investigation, I don’t know that my theory necessarily holds any water, but I still think it’s fun to note their favorites and pass along a few Indiana State Museum staff picks.

  Gail Brown: Manager, Science Content Delivery
~ Indiana connection: Born and raised in Monon, Ind.
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: The atlatl in the Native American Gallery
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: Native American Dance Circle
~ Favorite restaurant: Bruno’s Pizza, West Lafayette
  Joanna Hahn: Manager of Arts and Culture Programs
~ Indiana connection: Born and raised in Madison County, Ind.
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: Kiddish Cup in Hoosier Way Gallery
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: Fall when we are the busiest with programs and there are a lot of fun things to do.
~ Favorite restaurant: Right now my favorite restaurant is Iozzo’s Italian on South Meridian.
~ Favorite homemade food: macaroni and cheese
  Michele Greenan: Curator of Prehistoric Archaeology
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: Native American Gallery and the beautifully incised archaic bone pins
~ My favorite time at the museum is late at night working in the clean lab against the lights of the canal.
~ My favorite restaurant in Indy is any Starbucks!
  Eric Todd: Science and Technology Program Specialist
~ Indiana connection: Graduated from Butler University in 2006
~ Favorite artifact: Bobby Plump’s Milan High School basketball jacket
~ Favorite program: Summer Camps
~ Favorite local restaurant: Yats
  Carrie M. Miller: Science & Technology Program Developer
~ Indiana connection: Born in Rush county, Ind.
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: The natural history galleries including the R.B. Annis Naturalist’s Lab
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: GeoFest
~ Favorite restaurant or favorite homemade food: Pretty much anything prepared by my mom.
  Katherine Gould: Associate Curator of Cultural History
~ Indiana connection: Moved here to attend graduate school. Got a job and stayed.
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: 1970s popular culture wall in Global Indiana (bongs and bell bottoms!)
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: I’m a sucker for anything Christmas.
~ Favorite restaurant: Any Thai or Indian restaurant is my favorite. Spicy, spicy, spicy!
  Rachel Perry: Fine Arts Curator
~ Indiana connection: Raised in Bloomington, attended University High School and earned a bachelor’s degree at Indiana University
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: NiSource Gallery (where most of our art exhibitions are displayed), of course! Favorite painting is “Dairy Barn” by Robert Selby
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: Great Outdoor Contest at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site
~ Favorite restaurant: College Avenue Yats
  Katy Creagh: Museum Program Specialist
~ Indiana connection: Graduated from high school in Munster and went to Ball State University
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: The Bride & Groom fleas in Odd Indiana
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: The Indiana Art Fair and Arbor Day
~ Favorite restaurant: Cafe Patachou
  Mary Jane Teeters-Eichacker: Curator of Social History
~ Indiana connection: I was born on a farm west of Greenwood in Johnson County.
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: A pair of dolls given by a Civil War soldier to his daughters before he went off to camp, where he died a month later.
~ Favorite event at the museum: The Indiana Art Fair in February is always a wonderful blast of color and beauty in a cold, gloomy time of year.
~ Favorite restaurant: El Sol de Tala on East Washington Street serves the best Mexican food in Indiana!
  Kerry Baugh: Arts & Culture Program Developer
~ Indiana connection: Born and raised in Terre Haute, Ind. (Vigo County)
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: The entire Odd Indiana exhibit, limestone quarry and the handwritten John Mellencamp lyrics for “Jack & Diane”
~ Favorite event at the museum: Hard to choose, but Family New Year’s Eve is one great party!
~ Favorite restaurant: Market Bella Rosa in Terre Haute; Taste Café and the Donut Shop in Indy.
~ Favorite homemade food: Depends on the season, but right now – chili.
  Christa Petra Barleben: Arts and Culture Program Specialist
~ Indiana connection: Fort Wayne is my hometown
~ Favorite Artifact: Julia Graydon Sharpe’s Silk Ball Gown in the Crossroads of America Gallery.
~ Favorite Event: Pinewood Derby
~ Favorite Restaurant: Creation Café

We’d love to hear about your favorite event or exhibit at the museum. Comment below and let us know some of your Indiana favorites.

The Other Side of Archaeology

By Katie Barbour, Archaeology Laboratory Analyst

It starts in a field. A hiker notices ancient pot fragments sticking out of a river bank. A road crew uncovers a forgotten homestead. An archaeologist discovers a disturbed area under ground using ground penetrating radar. Then the work crews come in with their shovels, trowels, buckets, screens, Munsell books and journals. Out of the ground and into bags go ceramic, glass, metal, stone, animal bones. Then it’s off to the lab to clean off the dirt and get things ready to catalog. That’s where I come in.

The "clean lab."

I work in what is called the “clean lab” at the Indiana State Museum. It’s called the clean lab because, once artifacts end up here, they should be as clean of all field dirt as they possibly can be. I take the material and begin the slow and exacting process of sorting, identifying, cataloging, tagging and numbering each item. It takes a special person for this tedious, uncelebrated task and, for better or for worse, I am that person. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Native American Plant Use

dani-tippmanNiila Myaamia! (I am Miami!) If you have been outside, or even looked through a window lately, you can see all the changes that are going on in nature. The rain has encouraged some of the first wildflowers to peek out and the sun enticed them into blooming. There are ephemerals of all types! On a recent walk I saw everything from wild geranium to spring beauty and even a few skunk cabbage! Many folks tend to focus on the beauty of the woodland flowers in Indiana. Although they are beautiful, we shouldn’t forget the many other applications for which the spring wildflowers can be utilized. Many are foods, medicines or used for technology.

Even the lowly skunk cabbage has its place. Did you know that the Miami used skunk cabbage as food? Considering the smell that exudes from the well named skunk cabbage, it is hard to believe that it was used for food. Still, there were times at the end of a long winter that any green food would have been appreciated. I believe that it was a survival food because it is one of the first green plants to come up, it is relatively easy to find and always easy to identify. But, I believe that it was relegated to being only a survival food, and not used regularly because of the smell!

If you live near a pond or ditch you may know the cattail plant. Its little sprouts are above the water and waiting to hold a place of honor on someone’s plate! Last fall we enjoyed roasted cattail roots, but now it is time to harvest a few of the young sprouts and cook them up similarly to asparagus sprouts. I like to add a little butter and salt to my cattail sprouts, but I think that a little butter and salt makes a lot of things taste better! All parts of the cattail are useable, if not for food then for something else just as handy.

Next time you come to the museum, make sure to stop by and see me. We can talk about some of the plant’s other uses or uses of other plants!


Meet Dani at the Indiana State Museum on the following dates:
Friday, April 24
Thursday, May 7
Friday, May 22

Visit the official museum website at www.indianamuseum.org for more information about Dani’s demonstrations.

Dani Tippmann is a Native American demonstrator at the Indiana State Museum.