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Joanna Davis
IU Art Museum

Last modified: Wednesday, August 5, 2009

IU Art Museum extends conservation lab visits for Benton murals

Aug. 5, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Art Museum will extend public visiting hours for the conservation of two panels of the famed Thomas Hart Benton murals.

The IU Art Museum's conservation lab will be open to the public from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, from now through the end of September. The public viewings have been extended by a month because of the tremendous public interest in the project said Joanna Davis, manager of external relations for the IU Art Museum.

Benton Conservation

Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975), "Indiana Puts Her Trust in Thought," 1933. From the Indiana Murals (Cultural Panel 11).Tempera on canvas on panel.

Print-Quality Photo

The murals were originally created for the Indiana Hall at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 22 panels that stretched 250 feet. When the Century of Progress Exposition closed, Benton's panels were stored in a horse barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Herman B Wells, early in his tenure as IU president, arranged for the state to give the murals to IU in 1940, and the murals remain at IU Bloomington today, spread out between IU Auditorium, the old University Theatre building and Woodburn Hall.

The conservation lab is located on the second floor of the IU Art Museum near the elevator. A sign is located on the door and visitors are encouraged to knock upon arrival. Groups of four or more must call 812-855-1926 to make special arrangements.

For more information about the IU Art Museum, see To read more about the Benton mural conservation project, see