Released February 19, 2018

Three redesigned permanent galleries to be unveiled at Indiana State Museum


Hannah Kiefer
Director of Communication
[email protected]
(317) 431-5448

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 20, 2018) – When guests visit the Indiana State Museum beginning March 24, they’ll have the opportunity to experience three of the museum’s permanent galleries in a whole new way.

One of the museum’s permanent galleries, “Frozen Reign: A State of Change,” explores the Ice Age. It will re-open with a reimagined design, creating an immersive experience that begins with a trip through an ice tunnel beneath a glacier – complete with chilled air and glacial sounds.

Visitors will wind their way through replicas of caves where museum staff still conduct digs today, discovering remains from jaguars, dire wolves, saber tooth cats and other prehistoric creatures. The redesigned gallery brings the now-extinct animals to life by placing them in realistic environments. Families can see how their own weight measures up to a mastodon on an interactive weight scale, hear how mastodon calls may have sounded millions of years ago, and touch the tooth of a saber tooth cat, among other interactives.

Visitors will also learn how environmental change plays a role in extinction, both thousands of years ago as well as today, and discover what they can do to help slow the changes.

“While these exhibits engage visitors in the past, we want their experience at the museum to inform their present and future,” said Cathy Ferree, president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. “That means addressing questions and providing facts on relevant current events like environmental change.”

After experiencing “Frozen Reign,” guests will enter another redesigned permanent gallery, “First Nations: The Story of Indiana’s Founding People.” Here, interactive elements will show guests how these nations built vibrant communities focused around many aspects that still cement cultures today: Games, food and traditions passed down through generations.

The third permanent gallery reopening is “The R.B. Annis Naturalist’s Lab,” where visitors can explore Indiana’s natural history through their senses.  They’ll be able to touch artifacts and specimens like rocks and minerals, animals and plants. Visitors can use the tools of a naturalist to discover the world around them, and learn from our on-staff scientists and historical Hoosiers. The Naturalist’s Lab is a place for hands-on exploration of different sciences, including paleobiology, archaeology, geology and more.

“At the museum, we anticipate that every visitor who visits us learns differently,” Ferree said. “With the focus on creating a visitor-centered experience in our galleries, we’re confident there’s something for every type of learner to enjoy and explore.”

A member preview of the event will take place on March 24 at 9 a.m. The experiences will open to all visitors at 10 a.m. on March 24.

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The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is Indiana’s museum for science, art and culture, offering a place where you can celebrate, investigate, remember, learn and take pride in Indiana’s story in the context of the broader world. Even the building is a showcase of the best Indiana has to offer in architecture, materials and sculpture. Easy and convenient parking is available in the attached underground garage.