A Special Opening Reception to Meet the Artist on Thursday, July 18, 5 – 7pm

The Midwest Museum Will Present a unique exhibition by artist Sue Johnson, Professor of Art at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, opening on Friday, July 19, and continuing trough Sunday, September 1. Johnson has been working on an onging project entitled, “The Aleterneate Encyclopdia” for nearly five years. This mixed media installation features her own watercolor paintings, copper plate etchings and 3-dimensional objects she has collected and/or altered to change their meaning slightly. Johnson’s work mixes reality and fantasy in the natural world bringing them together in a pseudo-scientific installation which is both humorous and disturbing.

As the artist has stated, “I would say that at the heart of the project’s conceptual framework is an investigation into the history and paractice of collecting and cataloguing nature as represented in the illustrations and artifacts from explorations of the New World by both Europeans and Americnas. With the intention of transforming relationships between natural and cultural objects, installations of “The Alternate Encyclopedia” adopt the motif of a late eighteenth or nineteenth century private natural history museum, as exemplified by Charles Wilson Peale’s (18th Century) museum in Philadelphia. The project also shifts attention forward in time to address issues of nature and culture that concern our own contemporay lives, such as genetic engineering.”

The strange flora and fauna of Sue Johnson’s “Alternate Encyclopedia” would be right at home with Dr. Suess’s playful incarnations. Johnson, however, creates her carefully rendered draings and watercolors with such an eye for detail and understanding of the real science behind it, that her work becomes at first glance totally believable. It is only after careful examination on the part of the viewer that one realizes her parody and humor as she mixxes armadillos and coffepots, pheasants with water plants for legs, and a rhinoceroses in medieval armor. Like late 19th cenury Vicotrians, Johnson has a penchant for her own “cabinet of curiosities“. The Alternate Encyclopedia will have you both laughing and wondering if this may not be a premonition of things to come. In any case, it will certainly demand a second or third look to appease your natural curiosity.

“Seeing is Believing”

A Special Thank You for Support of Museum Restoration Project

The Midwest Museum wishes to hank the Indiana State Questers for their persistent campaign in helping raise funs for the restoration of the second floor windows. Pictured below are representative members from local chapters. They are seated from left to right: John Van Dyke, HSK & Amy Bartholomew #440 (and past State Questers President) and Patricia Van Dyke, Christiana #75; Standing are Nancy Hutchings, LasSalle Rosseau #441; President, Bess Mochamer, Reminiscers #1303 and, Deb Beck, Christiana #765and (past State Questers President). These individuals and their respective chapter members have helped secure the integrity of the museum buildig for generations to come.

Bus Trip to Chicago – July 30 Architectural River Cruise

The Midwest Museum will offer its second educational bus trip of the year to Chicago on Tuesday, July 30. We will travel first to the Art Institute of Chicago then in the afternoon to the North Pier for the popular Chicago Arcitectural River Cruise. Lunch will be on your own in between stops.

FEE: $40 per person; fees are due by July 15. This is a limited capacity trip; call for reservations at (574) 293-6660 today.

  • Departure: 8:30am (Marion Street side of museum)
  • Arrive Back: 6:00pm (Midwest Museum)

Noon Time Talks

A variety of Gallery Talks featuring topical issues, biographical sketches, or films – FREEEvery Thursday at 12:20

Our July and August series of talks and films examines subjects in American and European painting utilizing slide lecture programs provided by the National Gallery of Art Educational Extension Programs. Throughout July and August the talks and films will be devoted to the roots of Modernism drawing comparisons with works in the permanent collection and temporary exhibits.

Art Camp for Children

The leader for the 5-day Art Camp will be Mr. Tom Grove, Art Educator from Elkhart Centeral High School. Art Camp is held at the Midwest Museum beginning Monday, July 29, through Friday, August 2. Students will be involved in drawing, watercolor, and printmaking. Times for specific age groups are as follows:

  • Ages 5-7 years meet from 10:30am to 12:00 noon
  • Ages 8-12 years meet from 1:00pm to 2:30pm

FEES: $30/student for a week. Call (574) 293-6660 today!

NEW Art Camp for Teenagers!!!

The leader for the 5-day Art Camp will be Patrice Bovo, award winning Artist and Art Educator from South Bend. This Art Camp is held at the Midwest Museum beginning Monday, August 5, through Friday, August 9. Students will be involved in drawing, watercolor, and creative mixed media projects.

  • Ages 13-17 yrs. meet from 2:30pm to 4:30pm

FEES: $30/student for the week. Call (574) 293-6660 Today!

New on the Shelves of the Midwest Museum Library & Archives

There are two ways which help the Midwest Museum Library & Archives continue to grow – direct contributions of books or catalogues on topics of art and monetary gifts to the John & Janet Von der Heide Library Fund which enables the museum to purchase new books, periodicals, or materials for the maintenance of the collection. The MML&A is available for members to use anytime during regular museum hours as a membership benefit. It is a non-lending library but can be used by members for personal research or pleasure. Weekends are a great time to spend in the reading room overlooking Main Street.

Jeanne Batten and Sheila Cook, volunteer Museum Librarians, maintain the weekly accessioning of books catalogues sent to the museum from other institutions across the country. They can help members locate specific materials for research purposes. To date more than 2,500 volumes of books, over 5,000 exhibition catalogues, and several thousand new and vintage copies of art magazines are maintained on the second floor.

Recent books and the donors include:

  • The American Century: Art & Culture, 1950-2000, Whitney Museum
    donated by John & Janet Von der Heide
  • Women Artists: 1550-1950
    donated by Pat Beitelshees
  • The Pistner House: A Master in Miniature, Naples Museum of Art
    donated by Peggy Weed
  • (8) books on Drawing & Watercolor Painting
    donated by the Bettie East Estate and Cynthia East
  • Women Artists in the 20th & 21st Century
    donated by Jane Burns
  • Olive Rush: An Indiana Artist in New Mexico
    donated by Brian & Lisa Byrn


The Midwest Museum of American Art gratefully acknowledges gifts in honor or in membory of special friends. Notes of acknowledgment are sent by the Museum to those honored or to the families of those memorialized. Recent memorials include:

Josephine Byron
by Jane Burns

Elizabeth “Lib” Curtis
by Jane Burns
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Thomas

Rober Ray Debaets
by Ann & Dick Trekelo

Caroline Delbridge
by Jacqueline Greenhoe

Bettie East
by Dorothy Bedell
Dr. & Mrs. A.C. Dufour

Richard Oswald
by Mr. & Mrs. Paul Thomas

Martha Rieth
by Mr. & Mrs. Tom Corson

S. Betty Sorenson
by Mr. & Mrs. Ken Koppin

Acquisition Fund

by Brian & Lisa Fahey

Window Restoration

by Ann Trainor

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