Indiana State Museum
White River State Park, 650 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, 46204
The Indiana State Museum houses exhibits on the science, art, culture, and history of Indiana from prehistoric times up to the present day.
The original collection of the Indiana State Museum was started in 1862, during the Civil War. The museum’s collection was displayed in a spacious room on the third floor of the State Capitol building in 1888. It was frequently moved from room to room until 1919, when the collection was sent to a most inhospitable place, the basement of the Statehouse.
In 1962 Governor Matthew E. Welsh approved the resumption of the planning for a new state museum. The Indianapolis City Hall had become available in 1961 due to city government offices moving to the new Indianapolis City–County Building. The state and the city worked out an agreement for the museum to use the old building. In 1967, the Indiana State Museum opened its doors in its first real home.
The museum’s board voted to move to White River State Park in 1984. However, it was not until the late 1990s that the Indiana General Assembly appropriated funds that led to the August 1999 groundbreaking of the current Indiana State Museum. The Indiana State Museum closed its doors in the old City Hall on Dec. 31, 2001.
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