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IU Art Museum hosts short story contest based on work of Thomas Chambers

The Indiana University Art Museum is hosting a free, open-to-the-public short story contest in conjunction with the special exhibition "Thomas Chambers (1808 --1869): American Marine and Landscape Painter." The contest began May 1 and submissions will be accepted through May 30.

Capture of H.B.M. Frigate

Thomas Chambers, "Capture of H.B.M. Frigate Macedonian by U.S. Frigate United States, October 25, 1812, 1852 or 1853."

Many of Chambers' paintings were based upon popular novels or well-known historical events, while others portray scenes lacking a readily identifiable storyline.

A 19th-century viewer would likely have imagined a narrative for these paintings or would have imagined themselves within the scene. The contest encourages today's viewers to interact creatively with Thomas Chambers' paintings, just as the Victorians would have. Short stories of 300 words or less, based on a painting from the Chambers exhibition, will be accepted. The winning stories (one from each of three age groups--elementary school, middle/high school and adult) will be posted on the museum's website, and winners will receive a prize from Angles Café & Gift Shop. For submission guidelines, see:

The first museum exhibition devoted to the 19th-century American painter, the Chambers exhibit provides a comprehensive introduction to Thomas Chambers and his role in the development of popular American landscape and maritime painting. The exhibition will remain on view through May 30.

This exhibition was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its Center for American Art, in association with the Indiana University Art Museum. The exhibition was supported by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. William C. Buck. Additional support was provided by the Morton C. Bradley, Jr., Fund at Indiana University. The presentation of the exhibition in Bloomington is supported by gifts from Gayl W. and Beverly Doster, Lucie and Larry Glaubinger, Bill and Nancy Hunt and Sara and Bob LeBien, with additional support from Del and Letty Newkirk and Richard Ford.

This story was originally published May 6, 2010.