I am late posting on them, but I want to celebrate two new exhibitions at the Mathers Museum that were curated by IU doctoral students, both of whom are minoring in Folklore. Jim Seaver (an alum of my Curatorship and Theories of Material Culture courses and a history doctoral student) curated “A World of His Own: The Uncommon Artisty of Chester Cornett.” The exhibition looks at the work of a Kentucky chairmaker whose life and art were originaly documented in the dissertation and later books produced by folklorist Michael Owen Jones. The Mathers staff really outdid itself in helping Jim realize his vision. The exhibition includes a number of innovate custom display elements, incuding a shotgun house with a front poarch on which to display Cornett’s chairs.
The second new exhibition is “Clothes, Collections and Culture… What is a Curator? Undertaken by Lori Hall-Araujo, a doctoral student in the Department of Communication and Cuture, the exhibition utilizes the Royce Collection of Isthmus Zapotec Textiles and Clothing to examine the behind the scenes work of museum curators.
Both exhibitions are visiually and intellectually compelling and both were vigorously celebrated at a joint exhibition openning last Friday evening. Congratulations to Lori and to Jim and to the entire Mathers Museum staff. Wonderful! Learn more here and here.