Editor’s note: A virtual tour of Wylie House Museum is available here.
by JANA WILSON
The written records and visual art we share as historical representations of our collective past depict, more often than not, only one point of view. Those who weren’t in positions of power—who didn’t have a voice—are frequently forgotten or simply overlooked.
That’s why Carey Champion, director of Wylie House Museum, 307 E. 2nd St., put out a call for artists to portray people who might have been “marginalized and silenced in Indiana history, yet whose lives were meaningful and integral to our understanding of Wylie.”
The result is the exhibit “Call and Response: Creative Interpretations of Wylie House.” Champion says 20 artists were invited to visit the museum, which is part of Indiana University Libraries. Each artist was invited to submit a portfolio and proposal, and eight artists were chosen to participate in the exhibit.
“Art can tell stories in very different ways than words,” Champion says. “Especially when there are such gaps in the narratives.”
She says the artists’ topics have a wide and diverse range. They include Elizabeth Breckenridge, an African American woman who worked as a domestic servant; a female poet who identified as lesbian; a Wylie daughter who aspired to be—but never became—a professional artist; and the Native American history of the time.
The exhibit was funded in part by IU’s Indiana Remixed program that took place on campus in the spring 2020 semester.
The exhibit runs through mid-November and is free and open to the public.
For more information, visit libraries.indiana.edu/wylie-house-museum.