Wylie House Exhibits

Browse Exhibits (9 total)

Andrew and Theophilus Wylie: Leadership at Indiana University, 1820-1890

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This collection highlights the leadership of Andrew Wylie, Theophilus A. Wylie, and, by extension, Indiana University Bloomington between 1829 (Andrew Wylie’s first year as president of Indiana University) and 1895 (Theophilus Wylie’s death). It explores primary materials related to nineteenth-century publication, education, presidential addresses, public science, scholarly libraries, science and religion, student experiences, and the Civil War.

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Artists in the Museum: Call and Response

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Eight professional Indiana artists created new pieces for “Call and Response: Creative Interpretations of Wylie House,” an artistic extension of the Wylie House Museum’s commitment to share the lesser-known histories of people associated with the home. Sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Council at Indiana University, “Call and Response” is part of Indiana Remixed, the Council's program celebrating the arts and ideas that shape Indiana today.

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Elizabeth Bishop Letters, 1925-1950

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One of the Wylie House’s more notable and surprising archival collections consists of letters to Louise Bradley, great-granddaughter of Theophilus A. Wylie, from Elizabeth Bishop, Pulitzer Prize winner and one-time Poet Laureate. These letters, which span 25 years, paint a unique picture of Bishop’s development from precocious adolescent to accomplished writer and preserve a friendship that played an important role in both women’s lives.

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Elizabeth Breckenridge, 1843-1910

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What was life like for Elizabeth “Lizzie” Breckenridge (1843-1910), an African-American woman who spent most of her life living with and working as a domestic servant for the Theophilus Wylie family? Pulling from a variety of primary sources, this exhibit pieces together her life experience in the second half of the 19th century in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Family Tree: Theophilus & Rebecca Wylie

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The family of Andrew Wylie’s younger cousin, Theophilus, occupied the Wylie House from 1859 until 1913, and most of the museum’s archival collections contain materials that he and his descendants created or collected. In 1912, the family gathered at the Wylie House for one final visit to celebrate the 100th birthday of Theophilus’ wife, Rebecca. Click on the photographs in this exhibit to learn more about Theophilus and Rebecca’s family members and their connections to the Wylie House.

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Heritage Archaeology: Agriculture to Floriculture

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Theophilus and Rebecca Wylie moved into the Wylie House in the mid-nineteenth century, when households were transitioning from large-scale agriculture to small-scale leisure gardening, or floriculture. This exhibit showcases the June 2018 field school run by a team of Indiana University students and Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology staff to learn more about the Wylies’ garden “pits,” subterranean cold-frame greenhouses that insulated their flowers from harsh weather.

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Louise Bradley, 1908-1979

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If anyone recognizes Louise Bradley’s name today, it is probably due not to her own talent as a writer, but to her connection with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Elizabeth Bishop. This great-granddaughter of Theophilus and Rebecca Wylie had a creative life of her own, however, and the diary she kept in the early 1930s sheds light on her writing, her time in college and after graduation, and her career as a research worker during the Great Depression and World War II.

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Spring Art Installation: Wishing Tree Project

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In the spring of 2020, Indiana University MFA student Christine Wang recieved an IU-Bloomington Public Arts Grant funded by the office of the Vice Provost of Research and the Arts and Humanities Council and planned to conduct several paper-making workshops and install artwork at the Wylie House Museum. Unfortunately, her work was cut short due to COVID-19. This exhibit displays the artwork she installed in the Wylie gardens and explains her message of environmental consiousness and the connection between art and the earth.

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Three Wylie Women: A Generation of Late Nineteenth-Century Mothers

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The Wylie Women reflect contradictions between the maternal ideal, represented in women’s advice literature, and the complex realities of Midwestern, middle-class childrearing in the late nineteenth-century. This generational study of Elizabeth Louisa Wylie Boisen, Margaret Wylie Mellette, and Sarah Seabrook Mitchell Wylie examines the effect of social and economic factors on mothering experiences, revealing a shared struggle to uphold the expectations of nineteenth-century women. 

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