During the calendar year 2013, the exhibitions crew at
the Indiana Historical Society designed, produced, and opened a record number
of exhibition projects. As many of our members, visitors and colleagues will
be enjoying the holiday season and reflecting on the year, exhibit staff will raise
a glass to toast an incredibly successful and productive year.
In the world of the You Are There program, we said
goodbye to the busy packing and shipping line of Building 314, where Eli Lilly
and Company employees worked to prepare the polio vaccine for public
distribution. We welcomed two new additions to the series with the successful
openings of You Are There 1913: A City Under Water and You Are There 1904:
Picture This. Both projects introduced us to wonderful new partners and gave us
the opportunity to tell stories about Indiana?s history that had not yet been
shared in this way.
The Indiana Experience saw a major expansion in the form
of the dramatically revamped W. Brooks and Wanda Y. Fortune History Lab, our
exhibition space devoted to understanding the art and science of conservation
and preservation. IHS is lucky to have one of the best conservation teams
in the nation, and we were so excited for the opportunity to celebrate the
incredible work they do to preserve our collection and to give visitors tools
to conserve their own collections at home.
In addition, the team was so happy to have the chance to
breathe new life into our traveling exhibits program. We always want to be sure
our products represent the latest trends in scholarship and design, and our
traveling exhibits have needed a little love after spending several years on
the road. This year, we gave a proud send-off to the new and improved Auto
Indiana and the latest addition, Hoosiers and Their Hooch.
Both exhibits are on the road, visiting sites across the state, celebrating
some of Indiana?s most engaging stories.
One of our most ambitious projects of 2013 was the re-launch
of the Indiana Bicentennial Train, complete with its exhibition component, The
Next Indiana. Getting an early jump on the state?s bicentennial celebration
allowed us to travel the state, talking with Hoosiers about what gets them
excited about their past and what they are thinking about as we head into the
future. We look forward to the role that history can have in the conversations
about what will define the next chapter of our state?s story.
And lastly, we have maintained a busy schedule in the
Lanham Family Exhibition Gallery on the fourth floor of the History
Center. Between changing exhibitions commemorating key anniversaries of the
Civil War, the amazing artists involved in the Hoosier Salon, and the magic of
our collection with our holiday exhibition, Winter Fancies, this gallery has
showcased some true beauty over the past year.
The Indiana Historical Society exhibition team has been
honored to be a part of these projects and many more. We feel so lucky to be a
part of Indianapolis as a city and the wider state and region that we
celebrate. We look forward to a wonderful 2014 and all of the upcoming projects
we will tackle and new friends we will meet along the way. As we head out to
enjoy the holidays with our families, we can look back with pride at a job well
done. See you next year!