Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS’s) newest exhibit celebrates one of Indiana’s favorite pastimes—basketball. The six-week exhibit, The Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project: A Journey to Indiana’s Historic High School Gyms, officially opens on Saturday, Oct. 1.
The goal of the project, featuring photographs by Michael E. Keating and Chris Smith, is to document some of the places where Indiana high school basketball has lived.
“By the summer of 2016 we had traveled more than 10,000 miles in all kinds of weather, visited 130 gyms, watched countless hours of basketball and shot more than 150,000 digital frames,” said Smith. “In the process, we have become true believers that this game holds an important place in the history of the Hoosier state.”
The photographers chose 42 of their photographs to be included in The Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project. Visitors will see some of the country’s largest gyms, as well as those that are little more than a hoop attached to a tree.
The images also reveal a wide range of Hoosier basketball moments, from the thrill of victory to the bitterness of defeat. Visitors will see exhilarating instances of communities coming together to cheer on local teams and tranquil moments as older players reflect on their glory days.
The Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project, presented by Roberts Camera, runs Saturday, Oct. 1 through Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St., downtown along the canal. Guests can also hear stories from the road when IHS holds a special behind-the-scenes event with Keating and Smith from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 8. The program is presented by Franciscan Health Indianapolis.
Those interested in following along with Keating and Smith’s travels can do so online at www.hoosierhardwood.blogspot.com.
For more information about The Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project and other IHS offerings, call (317) 232-1882 or visit IHS online at www.indianahistory.org.
About the Photographers
Michael E. Keating
Michael E. Keating and his wife, Sarah, live near Cincinnati and have two grown children. Keating, a former newspaper photojournalist, retired from The Cincinnati Enquirer in 2012. In his career as a photojournalist that began in Evansville, Indiana, at the Sunday Courier and Press, Keating was named Indiana Photographer of the Year in 1977. Keating won numerous National Press Photographers Association Awards during his Enquirer years and an Emmy for his photography in 2010. Publication of a book, Cincinnati Shadow & Light, highlights Keating’s career as a photojournalist. Keating began work on The Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project after a suggestion by his friend and partner in this project, Chris Smith.
For 33 years, Chris Smith has traveled the United States and Caribbean making images for Fortune 500 companies and editorial outlets such as National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. He and his wife, Elise, live on a farm ten miles east of Milan, Indiana, in the long shadow cast by the Mighty Men of 1954.
About the Indiana Historical Society
Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor experiences called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.