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IUPUI Museum Studies program offers "roadshow" on caring for family heirlooms


INDIANAPOLIS -- Few people have treasures in the attic that could command top dollar at the “Antique Roadshow.”

But almost everyone has family heirlooms with personal value making them worthy of preservation for future generations.

Why not fold your great-great grandparents’ marriage certificate four times and stuff it into a shoe box? Or how bad is it to hang a 1910 christening gown in the closet inside a plastic dry cleaning bag?

The museum studies program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University, in partnership with the IUPUI Museum Studies Club, is sponsoring a roadshow-type event to offer guidance on such issues.

The IUPUI Museum Studies Collections Care Fair will take place from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 6 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, 500 W. Washington St.

The public is invited to bring in beloved heirlooms and meet with a professional conservator for one-on-one conversations on how to better store, care for, and preserve family treasures. Participants should be able to carry objects into the fair safely. Over-sized objects will be discussed by appointment only. No guns or weapons are permitted.

“This really is a unique opportunity to get one-on-one advice from highly trained museum conservators,” said Holly Cusack-McVeigh, assistant professor of anthropology and museum studies at IUPUI.

IUPUI museum studies students will work alongside the professionals, Cusack-McVeigh said. The fair will allow the students as emerging museum professionals to share the specialized knowledge they have learned in class.

“This project embodies the museum studies program’s core values by encouraging civic engagement, applied learning, integration, collaboration, inclusion, and leadership,” Cusack-McVeigh said. “Objects carry the experience of meaning for all people everywhere. Through community-wide events such as this comes a new understanding of this shared legacy and the responsibility that we all have in seeing our history into the future.”

Admission to the fair is free to all. Free parking is also available in the White River State Parking Garage. Museum admission, required for entrance to museum galleries, is free to IUPUI staff, students and faculty with a Jag Tag.

For appointments, or additional information, contact Holly Cusack-McVeigh at


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