In 2011, Indiana University’s main campus in Bloomington was named one of America’s Most Beautiful College Campuses by Travel + Leisure. And on April 1 the cream and crimson campus will release a stunning picture book covering the entire university that continues that testament. Indiana University: Portraits of the Bloomington Campus will make a great coffee-table piece for any lover of good photography, illustrious landscapes, and rich history. More than anything, it’s an excellent keepsake for alumni and the current student body.
Peppered throughout the 128-page book are words from alumni reflecting on the memories the particular landmark photo brings them. Perhaps the sweetest one recalls the day when a freshman couple talked for hours on a wooden bench in the Dunn’s Woods midway through campus—a couple that has now been married 45 years. Mandy Hussey, trade marketing and publicity manager at IU Press, intends for the book to resonate: “We hope that the publication of this book will give others the chance to reminisce and smile as well.”
The majority of the photos are shot with wide-angle lenses, capturing the timeless architecture along with the sweeping beauty each season brings the Midwest campus. And tight shots capture the elegant landscaping and limestone carvings that stay true to the character of a virtually two-centuries-old school.
Freelance photographer Chris Robb took several of the portraits throughout the book, including those of the Herman B Wells sculpture and Showalter Fountain pictured on the front cover, and he praises its layout and loyal-to-local ties.
“The university is very careful about maintaining a consistent aesthetic in their architecture,” he tells IM. “Limestone has a rich cultural heritage in this area of the state, and there’s a deep affection for buildings that are crafted with local materials. In addition to the architecture, the campus is spread out in a way that allows nature to blend well with the buildings.”