MWTC Partners with IUPUI Museum Studies Class

Posted February 15, 2012 by Mali Jeffers | 1 comment
MWTC Partners with IUPUI Museum Studies Class

 Thirteen Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) students will participate in a semester-long graduate-level class at the Madame Walker Theatre Center this spring. This course, offered through the IUPUI Museum Studies Program ( is designed to document, preserve, and research the historic and artistic materials contained within this National Historic Landmark ( . Led by IUPUI adjunct instructor, Richard McCoy(, who is an art conservator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and assisted by graduate student Deanna Cundiff, students in the class will be creating a database that holds information about items of historic significance at the Walker and providing long-term preservation recommendations.

Students will survey and research the material kept in the museum, the business offices, the theatre, the exterior of the building, and some of the storage spaces. Students will be sharing what they learn about the artifacts and artworks on the Walker’s blog, and other online venues, including Wikipedia and Flickr.

Mali Jeffers, Director of Marketing and Programs at the Walker, said “This is a special opportunity for us to look at our materials and re-consider them in the 21st century. We are proud to be able to offer the Museum Studies students an opportunity to have a first-hand experience working with materials at the Madame Walker Theatre Center.”

The database that the students create for the Walker will contain descriptions of the items, condition assessments, recommendations for future care, and high-quality digital photographs so current and future generations can learn more about and appreciate the cultural heritage at the Walker. Where possible, students will be conducting historical research about objects in order to better understand their significance within the context of the building.

"Having the opportunity to work with the collection at the Walker is really a highlight of my IUPUI studies because the theater holds a special place in the city both emotionally and historically. It's filled with important materials and stories which I'm excited to learn more about this semester,” said graduate student Megan Geurts.
Plans are being developed to invite the community to be a part of this project, through visits to the building or through a special spring event, “Indiana Avenue Collects,” which will invite members of the community to bring their personal items to the Walker for assessment and a preservation consultation.


Liz Kryder-Reid
February 15th, 2012 9:02pm
Very cool project!

Leave a comment