Lincoln’s Mallet

Located in the Core Galleries on Level 2

The Indiana State Museum has unveiled a previously unknown artifact from Abraham Lincoln’s life in Indiana. Lincoln’s bench mallet (circa 1829) will be on public display for the first time in 188 years, on his birthday, February 12 and remain on view through 2016 at the museum. This artifact was originally a splitting maul used by Lincoln to drive iron wedges into logs creating split-rails for fencing. The maul head, made from a tree root-ball, eventually split in half. Rather than discard the tool, Lincoln repurposed it into a bench mallet he used to drive pegs into furniture and other fixtures. Lincoln discarded the original long handle and relocated a shorter grip into the remaining portion of the maul to create a mallet.

Indiana in 200 Objects: A Bicentennial Celebration

Now through Jan. 29, 2017

Located in the Changing Galleries on Level 3

From the literal bedrock of Indiana to a pair of Chuck Taylor’s Chuck Taylors, Indiana in 200 Objects: A Bicentennial Celebration explores and celebrates the history, science and culture of the Hoosier state through 200 iconic and interesting objects. Featuring artifacts from the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites’ own extensive collection, as well as objects from partner organizations and institutions like the National Archives and Records Administration, seeing this exhibition is a fantastic way to celebrate 200 years of statehood.


Nikon's Small World

Now through March 19, 2017

Located on Level 3

Discover the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light of a microscope. The world’s best photo-micrographers have captured dynamic images that showcase a wide variety of advanced scientific disciplines.

Level 1 Core Galleries

Featuring the natural history that made Indiana what it is today, the core galleries on level one feature artifacts and interactive experiences that allow visitors to connect with Indiana's geology, geography, paleontology and archaeology.

Level 2 Core Galleries

The second level of the museum is dedicated primarily to the culture and cultural history of Indiana. From Abraham Lincoln to RCA televisions, Stutz automobiles to Civil War artifacts, this is the place to explore the cultural history of Hoosiers.

History IN Progress:

We're currently working on some exciting updates to our core galleries. We've just unveiled all-new Natural Regions, Contested Territory and 19th State galleries. These spaces are more immersive, more interactive and offer fantastic new experiences to explore. As we move through our plan to create the same sort of exiting changes in all of our core galleries, you may notice areas that are closed while we make these improvements. If you have questions about specific areas or artifacts, please call us at 317.232.1637 or email museumcommunication@indianamuseum.org prior to your visit, and we'll be happy to help.