Local History Website
Ah, the guilty pleasure of WTH Wednesdays. This weekly sendup of unfortunate architecture around town is just one feature on Historic Indianapolis, but it’s characteristic of the blog’s discernment, sass, and oddball humor. Who says history is a thing of the past? >> historicindianapolis.com.
Book of 2012
Local author John Green made good on a promise to sign every copy of the initial printing of his new novel, The Fault in Our Stars. Some 150,000 signatures later, the book catapulted to No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list. The story follows two cancer-stricken teens who fall in love on an overseas adventure, and Wyck Godfrey, producer of the Twilight movies, has optioned it for a film.
When the Indiana State Museum staff sent off T.C. Steele’s An Old Garden for restoration early this year, they got more than they expected: Conservator Barry Bauman uncovered an entire Steele painting underneath. Dated 1890, Untitled depicts a woman in a red bonnet walking through a field with stately architecture in the distance. But who is the figure in the foreground? Where is the scene located? Scholars are so vexed that they are inviting the public to help solve the mysteries of the painting, which is on view at the museum until April. >> indianamuseum.org.
The IMA celebrates the arrival of every season with an unpredictable and delightful concert. Next up: Winter Solstice on December 20, when visitors can play light-up drums as a harpist performs in the Lilly House and ice-carvers chainsaw in the season. >> 4000 N. Michigan Rd., 923-1331, imamuseum.org.
Kurt Vonnegut owned a Vonnegut belt buckle, designed by his cousin William in 1976 for family members, and now you can, too. The buckle was reproduced last year by the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, where it sells for $29.99. >> 340 N. Senate Ave., 652-1954, vonnegutlibrary.org.
Even before the launch of Pattern Paper this year, Polina Osherov enjoyed a fair amount of acclaim for her narrative fashion photography. But the stylish magazine she founded and edits has brought the Russian-born, Carmel-based photographer’s work into sharp focus. Her dark, moody scenes evoke the romance of film noir, even when it’s nothing more than a self-portrait (left). And yes, she’s happy to do more-conventional headshots. >> polinaosherov.com.
Can we be honest? iMOCA had a few rough years. Not just financially, but creatively. Executive director Shauta Marsh, hired on an interim basis in 2011, changed that. Over the past 12 months, the Fountain Square location has exhibited work by former MTV personality Tabitha Soren and the creators of the popular website Post Secret, shows that drew praise from Vanity Fair and Slate. This month’s exhibit tackles globalization. >> 1043 Virginia Ave., 634-6622, indymoca.org.
New Concert Venue
As anyone who has ever rummaged through boxes in the basement knows, sometimes you find the best stuff down there. That’s certainly the case at Old National Centre, where the diminutive concert venue Deluxe and an attached bar, Deco, recently opened in the cellar. Hosting great up-and-coming acts such as St. Vincent and Mayer Hawthorne, the underground hall with a capacity of about 700 features a stage so low that the audience can almost look performers in the eye. Call it the next small thing. >> 502 N. New Jersey St., 231-0000, oldnationalcentre.com.
Eli Lilly and Company produced about half of the nation’s supply of the polio vaccine during the historic outbreak in the 1950s, a bit of trivia brought to life through You Are There 1955: Ending Polio at the Indiana History Center. The exhibit re-creates a photo of workers shipping out the vaccine, and two women who worked there at the time prepped the actors to answer questions about Lilly worklife in the era, like seeing Eli himself at the office. >> 450 W. Ohio St., 232-1882, indianahistory.org.
Super Bowl Leftover
The celebrities may be long gone, but Wes Montgomery and Martin Luther King Jr. are here for good. Murals created through the Arts Council’s 46 for XLVI initiative left images of these legends and other large-scale works throughout downtown—in all, dozens of good reasons to do it again. >> artscouncilofindianapolis.org/murals.
Photo of Polina Osherov by Tony Valainis. Mural photos courtesy Arts Council of Indianapolis.
This article appeared in the December 2012 issue.