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Special Exhibits and Programs


Coming this summer to the Havilah Beardsley House from June 22 - September 30 is Roaring Indiana in the Jazz Age - a new special exhibit! 

In Roaring Indiana in the Jazz Age, Ruthmere will be exploring the prominent themes of the Jazz Age in Elkhart and Indiana as a whole. Our state played an important part in the rise of jazz, cultivating the careers of big names like Hoagy Carmichael and Louis Armstrong at Gennett Records in Richmond, Indiana and composer/songwriter Cole Porter. Elkhart helped to fuel the flames of the movement - several band instrument companies thrived here in the 1920s, including those of Conn, Martin, and Buescher.

But the Jazz Age isn't all about jazz. While jazz is certainly indiciative of the shifting attitudes of the time, it was underlain by complex social issues. Roaring Indiana will discuss the ties between prohibition and the KKK's rise to power in Indiana, as well as the hot-blooded criminal mindset of local gangsters, bank robbers, and the vigilantes who sought to bring these men to justice. We will also cover the positive outcomes of the era - the powerful literature, the inspired artists, and the strong-willed public figures who brought about important changes in our community.

Roaring Indiana will be composed of pieces from our own collection as well as loans from the Wayne County Historical Museum in Richmond, the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana State Museum, and the Elkhart County Historical Museum. Stop by the Havilah Beardsley House between June 22 and September 30, 2023 to transport back in time and learn about the part Indiana played in the age of jazz.

Thank you to our exhibit sponsors, Steve and Julie Bachman!

Related Events:

Gallery Talk: American Jazz

with Larry Dwyer, Notre Dame Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Jazz Studies   

August 1, 2023

Register Here



302 E. Beardsley Ave.

Elkhart, IN 46514

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