Sep. 19, 2014 - Feb. 15, 2015

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Opening for members: September 19
Opening for public: September 20


On January 17, 1920, a new day dawned. As the 18th Amendment went into effect, Americans could no longer manufacture, sell, or transport intoxicating beverages. Prohibition was now part of the Constitution, holding the same status as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the abolition of slavery.

What did those who wanted America “dry” hope to achieve? And how did the “wets” fight back? American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, a world exhibition created by the National Constitution Center, explores those tumultuous years of 1920 to 1933, and why the country went dry in the first place. Prohibition’s advocates said that they wanted to improve the nation’s moral and physical health, and in some ways they succeeded. But the nation also endured a radical rise in crime, corruption, and cynicism. By the time it ended with the ratification of the 21st Amendment in 1933, America had become a very different country.


American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition was created by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.


Supporting Partner:


Contributing Partners:

Oct. 23

Rise Of Craft Beer In Indiana

Join Rita Kohn, author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beers in Indiana; Doug Wissing, author of One Pint at a Time: A Traveler's Guide to Indiana Breweries; Anita Johnson, owner of Great Fermentations; and Bob Ostrander and Derrick Morris authors of Hoosier Beer: Tapping into Indiana Brewing History to discuss Indiana brewing history and the rise of home brewing and craft beers in Indiana.


This events is 21 & over. 
Reservations strongly recommended. Call 317.232.1637 for reservations. 


$35 per non-member.
$25 per member. 

Price includes admission to the talk, a snack and an admission voucher for the American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibit. 


This event will take place at Tow Yard Brewing Co. 



Rise of Craft Beer in Indiana

Oct. 3

Indiana Spirits

Hosted by the Indiana State Museum in conjunction with the 1816 Associate Board, Indiana Spirits is a chance for guests to celebrate both this new exhibition and also Indiana Spirits in all senses of the word – from our nationally-recognized breweries to our budding bourbon industry, and also the Hoosier pride that makes Indiana the great state that it is. Music, food, drinks and entertainment in a gorgeous museum setting will make this event a night to remember.


Event Highlights:

› VIP Speakeasy to feature bourbon bar and canal terrace with city views
› VIP guests will indulge in tastings with the world's first female Bourbon Master Taster Peggy Noe Stevens, formerly with Woodford Reserve
› Signature, prohibition-era themed cocktails to be enjoyed by all guests
› Fantastic photo opportunities, including a vintage photo booth
› Music by renowned DJ Helicon
› A chance to see American Spirits in cocktail attire

To help plan this event, consider joining the museum’s young professionals’ group the 1816 Associate Board.

The Exhibition:

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition The exhibition, curated by Pulitzer Prize-nominatedhistorian Daniel Okrent, author of the bestselling bookLast Call, is the first to deal with Prohibitioncomprehensively, including both the legal processesand the social climate.

Corporate Partnership Opportunities:

For corporate partnership opportunities, please contact Natalie Clayton, Director of Corporate Relations at 317.233.9984 or at NClayton@IndianaMuseum.org

Indiana Spirits

Dec. 5

Celebrate The Return Of The Cocktail Party

The Indiana State Museum invites you to celebrate the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition and our newest exhibition,  American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, with a cocktail party at the 1933 Lounge above St. Elmo. 

Tickets Include: 
> Drink Tickets 
> St. Elmo appetizers 
> World Famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail gift card 
> Ticket to see American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition on exhibition at the Indiana State Museum now through February 15, 2015. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites to develop high quality exhibition and dynamic programming for visitors and schoolchildren across the state of Indiana. 

Tickets can be purchased here

This event takes place in the 1933 Lounge above St. Elmo in downtown Indianapolis.

Thank you to our event partners: 




Celebrate the Return of the Cocktail Party

Jan. 22

Hoosier Blues: A Look At Indiana's Blue Liquor Laws

What is the history behind Indiana’s ban on the sale of alcohol on Sundays and other liquor laws? How do they coincide with temperance history in Indiana? Learn the answers to these questions from our spirited panel.

This program will be hosted in the Dean & Barbara White Auditorium on the first floor of the museum. 

$8 per member 
$12 per non-member 

Price includes admission to the talk and a discounted admission voucher for American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Hoosier Blues: A Look at Indiana's Blue Liquor Laws

Sep. 20

Celebrating The 1920's

Find out if you are the bee's knees or the big cheese at the opening of American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Join us for a day of music, politics and popular culture at this family-friendly event. Guests will learn steps to popular '20's dances, play popular games and meet characters from the era. 


Included with museum admission.