Archive for June 11th, 2009


Who says nothing is ever free?

June 11, 2009

Looking for affordable (re: FREE) fun this summer? Head to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which continues to offer free admission to its galleries, historic Lilly House, and gardens and grounds, as well as a variety of art experiences at no cost.

Visitors can enjoy a range of cultural experiences at no cost, including:

  • Exhibitions: The numerous free exhibitions taking place at the IMA in summer 2009 showcase contemporary video installations by artists such as Eve Sussman; women’s fashions throughout two centuries by designers such as Norman Norell and Givenchy; photography by Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, among others; Japanese woodblock prints; and 18th-century furniture designs. The summer 2009 exhibition schedule follows:
    • Adaptation: Video Installations by Ben-Ner, Herrera, Sullivan and Sussman & The Rufus Corporation (May 8–August 16, 2009)
    • Eighteenth-Century Furniture Design (May 23, 2009–February 21, 2010)
    • Tajima Hiroyuki (April 11–October 11, 2009)
    • Fashion in Bloom (April 4, 20099–January 31, 2010)
    • Judith G. Levy: Memory Cloud (July 10, 2009–January 17, 2010)
    • Paired Photographs (July 18, 2009–March 21, 2010
    • Julie Dash: Smuggling Daydreams into Reality August 8, 2009–January 18, 2010)
  • Gallery tours: The IMA offers free, regularly scheduled tours of its permanent collections for all visitors Tuesdays through Sundays at 1 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. The Museum also offers free, 30-minute Family Tours designed for visitors of all ages, available on the second and fourth Saturday of each month at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Tours meet at the entrance of Pulliam Great Hall. Tour size is limited. Special tours highlighting exhibitions and events are also offered. For a schedule of upcoming tours, visit
  • Garden tours: Free guided walks through the IMA’s gardens are offered April through September on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. Tours meet at the main visitor entrance to Lilly House.
  • Art-making activities: The IMA offers free, drop-in art-making activities each Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. in Pulliam Great Hall. Activities change monthly and are designed to be enjoyable and accessible for visitors of all ages and levels of experience with making art.
  • Artist talks, films and performances: The IMA engages visitors with talks by visiting artists, films and performances throughout the year, many of which are offered at no cost, including a free opening reception for Judy Levy: Memory Cloud on July 9, 2009, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. For details about other upcoming free events, visit

Hoosier Cabinets “freed the housewife”

June 11, 2009

 By Molly Armstrong Head, producer and development director of Hoosier History Live!

Hoosier Cabinet

An example of a Hoosier Cabinet. Photo courtest of Wikipedia.

I never knew people could get in such a tizzy about Hoosier Cabinets. After I heard Nancy Hiller, author of The Hoosier Cabinet in Kitchen History (IU Press) and a Bloomington cabinetmaker, talk about the social history of the Hoosier Cabinet with Nelson Price on Hoosier History Live! radio show this week, I called my friend Glynis, who has a “Sellers” in her 1920s era kitchen. Her kitchen is so crammed with stuff that you can hardly realize that there is a valuable antique in there. Glynis had listened to the show sticking her radio out the back window; she lives in the country about 50 miles from WICR’s radio tower. (Modern humans can hear the show online anywhere it airs, but Glynis is no-tech.)

As I learned on the show, these marvelous inventions were marketed in the early part of the 20th century as “a boon to women.” And they sold like hot cakes. They had spice racks, storage bins, a built-in flour sifter, a pull-out counter. And you could sit down in front of them to do your work. They centralized the food storage and preparation area, saving many steps.

More than two million Hoosier cabinets had been sold by 1920, meaning that they could be found in one in ten American homes. One old ad exclaimed, “Lincoln had freed the slaves, and now the Hoosier has freed the housewife from unnecessary drudgery!” 

Now, I reflect that, for the last fifteen years or so, designer kitchens, food prep, gardening, kitchen gadgets, and haute cuisine seem to be absolutely the yuppie, upscale thing. 

Although the Hoosier kitchen sure has changed, I think our society will always believe that having all the right stuff in your kitchen tells people that you have “arrived.” (Where, exactly, I’m not quite sure.)  

Next week (June 13), join Hoosier History Live! at 11:30 a.m. on WICR FM (88.7) to hear 90-year-old P.E. MacAllister reflect on civic history.