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Mathers Museum of World Cultures in Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana University is home to some of the coolest Indiana attractions, like the Wylie House Museum, the IU Art Museum, the Kinsey Institute and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. At this unique anthropological museum, Hoosiers can examine the diversity of world cultures and compare them to Indianapolis culture and society.

Exhibits at this Indiana museum rotate throughout the year and the entire collection includes more than 20,000 artifacts and 10,000 photographs. The Mathers Museum of World Cultures has been enhancing education in Indiana since 1963.
Looking for an international adventure in your own backyard? Bloomington, Indiana is the perfect destination for your next day trip from Indianapolis. It’s only an hour south of Indianapolis, and admission to the Mathers Museum of World Cultures is absolutely free.
Visitors to the Mathers Museum often relate similarities and differences between the cultures displayed. For example, one exhibit explores what it’s like to live in an average ranch style home in the U.S. in the 1960s compared to a home in Nigeria. This particular display looks at the same aspects of several different cultures in the same time period.
One of the main attractions at the Mathers Museum of World Culture is the ongoing exhibit called thoughts, things and theories…What is culture? This particular exhibit explores the way culture takes hold in all of human life, regardless of where, from the stages of birth to afterlife.
Nearly 8,000 artifacts from native North America are on display at the museum. Most of the objects in this collection represent the mid-twentieth century time period in American Indian history. Native American history in Indiana runs deep, and several related day trip destinations are spread throughout the Crossrads of America. Tippecanoe Battlefield Park in West Lafayette, Pigeon Roast Massacre State Historic Site in Scottsburg and Prophetstown State Park in Battle Ground are just a few of the Native American historic sites to see outside the Circle City.
While you’re down south of Indy, be sure to check out nearby day trip destinations the Academy of Hoosier Heritage in Mooresville, Mallow Run Winery in Bargersville, The Grave in the Middle of the Road in Amity and the Edinburgh Premium Outlet Mall in Edinburgh are a few of the sites to see close to Bloomington. Drive farther south of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, and visit another cool museum. The John Hay Center in Salem features a railroad museum, the birthplace of John Hay and a pioneer village.Other attractions south of Bloomington include the Hoosier National Forest, French Lick Winery and the Culbertson Mansion State Historic site.
The Mathers Museum of World Cultures is open Tuesday through Sunday, and hours
vary. As with any Indiana college, parking at Indiana University is often a struggle. Remember, metered parking can be found near the museum, and street parking is free during weekends. Several events are held at the Mathers Museum throughout the year, so be sure to plan ahead.
Mathers Museum of World Cultures
416 North Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47408
812.855.6873