Mathers Museum ranked in Top 5 of Public-Friendly University Anthropology Museums

Indiana University's Mathers Museum of World Cultures has been ranked as one of the top five public-friendly university anthropology museums in the United States. Reviewers, describing the museum as "small but lively," gave special attention to the museum's "dynamic public outreach program."

The rankings also noted the museum's special focus on Indiana regional folk arts, best exemplified by events and exhibits presented by the museum's Traditional Arts Indiana program. This year, TAI has hosted numerous Indiana folk artists (limestone carvers, quilters, basket makers, woodcarvers, blacksmiths, and others) for demonstrations and residencies at the museum and special programs throughout the state. Additionally, TAI exhibits on Indiana folk arts traveled to over 45 cities in Indiana, and have been a feature of numerous statewide Bicentennial events.

Beyond folk arts events, the museum presents a number of changing exhibits, free films, hands-on workshops, academic lectures, school tours, and family programs throughout the year, focusing on a range of cultural topics and themes. Altogether, the Mathers Museum has served a local and statewide audience of over 400,000 during 2016.

"Rankings of anthropology and world cultures museums are rare," noted Jason Jackson, director of the Mathers Museum. "It is especially exciting that our museum's public facing work in the humanities and social sciences has been specifically acknowledged. We have been working hard to make our strong collections and the campus' research work accessible to the widest possible audiences. Situating our museum among some of the best university museums in the country, this unexpected news is quite validating."

All of the museum's programs are free and open to the public, with the support of university partners such as Themester 2016: Beauty, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Madhusudan and Kiran C. Dhar India Studies Program, and the School of Public Health. Other funding for the free programming comes from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Indiana Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

College Values Online, an independent organization that profiles schools and programs to help students assess the long-term implications of a college choice, published the rankings. Other museums ranked in the top five list include the Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona, and Harvard University's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

A research center of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures is an American Alliance of Museums-accredited institution offering research and training opportunities for IU students, educational support and services for IU faculty and elementary/secondary school teachers, and family-friendly exhibits and programs.

The Mathers Museum of World Cultures is located at 416 North Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana, and admission to the museum and its programs is free. During normal hours of operation, 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.

Free visitor parking is available by the Indiana Avenue lobby entrance. Metered parking is available at the McCalla School parking lot on the corner of Ninth Street and Indiana Avenue. The parking lot also has spaces designated for Indiana University EM-P, EM-S, and ST permits. During the weekends free parking is available on the surrounding streets. An access ramp is located at the Fess Avenue entrance, on the corner of Ninth Street and Fess Avenue. Reserved parking spaces are available on Ninth Street, between Fess Avenue and Indiana Avenue. If you have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Please call 812-855-6873.