Digital Exhibit

The MMWC online exhibition site has launched with a digital version of Ojibwe Public Life, Ostrom Private Lives, an exhibition that features works by late 20th-century Ojibwe artists of Manitoulin Island, Canada, collected by Elinor and Vincent Ostrom.

As with the gallery exhibition that preceded it, a team of IU graduate students curated the digital exhibit with partial project support from the IU College of Arts and Sciences Ostrom Grants Program and the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries. The MMWC's digital exhibitions site is available at




The MMWC exhibition hall and Museum Store are open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Current Exhibits

Cherokee Craft, 1973 offers a snapshot of craft production among the Eastern Band Cherokee at a key moment in both an ongoing Appalachian craft revival and the specific cultural and economic life of the Cherokee people in western North Carolina. The exhibition showcases woodcarvings, masks, ceramics, finger woven textiles, basketry, and dolls. The works presented are all rooted in Cherokee cultural tradition but all also bear the imprint of the specific individuals who crafted them and the particular circumstances in which these craftspeople made and circulated their handwork. Closes June 12, 2016.

The Collector's Eye: Photographs from the Mathers Museum Archive features selections from the MMWC photography collections documenting the people and places of the world. Closes December 20,2015.

Photography from the Forest: Images by William Siegmann features photographs, taken by an IU alumnus and leading scholar, of Liberia and its people. Closes December 20, 2015.

Putting Baskets to Work in Southwestern China explores the use of basketry in urban and rural labor in contemporary China, and draws upon a newly-acquired collection of bamboo baskets documented as tools of labor in Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi provinces. The exhibit was co-curated by Jason Baird Jackson, director of the MMWC, and Lijun Zhang, Research Curator at the Guangxi Museum of Nationalities in Guangxi, China. Sponsored by Fall 2015 Themester @Work: The Nature of Labor on a Changing Planet, the exhibit will be on display through February 7, 2016.

Thoughts, Things, and Theories...What Is Culture? explores the nature of culture. Read more »

Willow Work: Viki Graber, Basketmaker presents a weaver of willow baskets from the Mennonite community of Goshen, Indiana, where she has lived for 25 years. Graber learned willow basket weaving at the age of twelve from her father, who was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a 2009 National Heritage Fellow. Where once her family plied their talents to make utilitarian workbaskets, today she works fulltime weaving baskets for collectors and to sell at art shows and galleries. While using the same tools and methods as her great-grandfather, Graber's keen sense of color and innovative designs have elevated her family's craft to a new aesthetic level. Sponsored by Fall 2015 Themester @Work: The Nature of Labor on a Changing Planet, the exhibit will be on display at the museum through December 20, 2015.

Work Exposed: Photographs from the Early 20th Century shows images of people at work and workplaces photographed by Joseph K. Dixon during his travels across the U.S., Europe, and China during the past century. Closes December 20, 2015.

Working Wood: Oak-Rod Baskets in Indiana presents the work of the Hovis and Bohall families of Brown County, Indiana, who made distinctive white-oak baskets for their neighbors to carry everyday items and to gather corn. However, by the 1930s, the interest of urban tourists transformed these sturdy workbaskets into desirable souvenirs and art objects. In recent years, these baskets have come to be called "Brown County" and "Bohall" baskets, perhaps because of the great number of baskets made by the Bohall family in Brown county during the 1920s and 1930s. Nevertheless, the history of this craft is more complex these names reveal. Using artifacts and historic photographs, this exhibit explores the shifts in the uses and meanings of these baskets as they changed from obsolete, agricultural implements, into a tourist commodity. Using the lens of work, this exhibition tells the story of these oak-rod baskets and the people who made and used them, and how local makers strived to find a new audience for their old craft, and how ultimately the lure of steady work in the city contributed to the end of this tradition. Sponsored by Fall 2015 Themester @Work: The Nature of Labor on a Changing Planet, the exhibit will be on display at the museum through February 7, 2016.

Upcoming Exhibits

MONSTERS! are extraordinary or unnatural beings that challenge the predictable fabric of everyday life. This exhibition looks at monsters from around the world, discovering who they are and what purposes they serve in various cultures, as different images of monstrousness emerge from the dark recesses of human imagination. The exhibit will be on display at the museum October 27, 2015 through December 18, 2016.