INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) invites guests to celebrate the contributions and legacy of an Indianapolis icon with the opening of its latest exhibit, You Are There 1915: Madam C.J. Walker, Empowering Women. Through the new exhibit, visitors will learn about this self-made millionaire and the successes and struggles she and her beauty product empire endured.
The exhibit will take guests inside a recreation of Madam Walker’s factory, once located at 640 N. West St. in Indianapolis, where they will meet actors portraying Walker and her daughter Lelia (later known as A’Lelia). Other characters will include Walker’s attorney Freeman Ransom, acclaimed artist John Wesley Hardrick and Walker company employees, such as secretary Violet Reynolds and sales agent Candace Pinkston.
Another section of the exhibit will feature IHS collection items, such as original tins of Walker’s products, her car registration and a Christmas card she sent to employees. In addition, guests can take a digital tour of important sites relating to Walker’s impact across the city. Those interested in further research can visit the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center’s William H. Smith Memorial Library, where additional collection materials detail Madam Walker’s life, work and legacy.
You Are There 1915: Madam C.J. Walker, Empowering Women will debut Sept. 21 and remain open until Jan. 23, 2021, at the History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis. Onsite parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. More information about the exhibit, and other IHS offerings, is available at www.indianahistory.org.
You Are There 1915: Madam C.J. Walker, Empowering Women is supported by Marianne Williams Tobias, with contributing support from Nancy Ayres, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and YMCA of Greater Indianapolis; exhibit support from Alpha Home Foundation, Inc., Bob and Terry Bowen, Indiana Iconic Cluster of The Links, Inc., NCAA, RCR Technology Corporation and USA Track & Field; digital marketing support from Bedel Financial; program support from A’Lelia Bundles and Junior League of Indianapolis; and museum theater support from Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis. This project is made possible by the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
About the Indiana Historical Society
Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor experiences called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.