TERRE HAUTE —
Brian Mundell has taken his passion for collecting war memorabilia and created a museum that honors all American veterans.
Just as Mundell had hoped, the Veterans Memorial Museum of Terre Haute will have its grand opening at noon Sunday, which is Veterans Day. Mayor Duke Bennett will be a guest speaker.
The museum, located at 1129 Wabash Ave., will be open for tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. There is no admission fee.
Mundell expects a large turnout. The Veterans Day parade at 10:15 a.m. will go past the museum, and the Vigo County Veterans Council will host a memorial service at VFW Post 972 at 12th and Mulberry, also near the museum.
“I hope everyone doesn’t show up at once because this place is only so big,” he said, estimating the museum’s size at about 1,100 square feet.
A collector of war items over the years — items that he’s bought or that veterans have given to him — Mundell has uniforms, helmets, practice shells, maps, radio equipment, pictures flags and even World War II cigarettes.
The east section of the museum focuses on World War I and II, and the west section on Korea, Vietnam and modern-day wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Collecting war memorabilia is his passion, Mundell said. He and his family have visited Normandy, site of the D-Day invasion during World War II, and he’s taken his son to Iwo Jima. He’s also interviewed veterans as part of the Veterans History Project.
Mundell decided to take his large collection and create a museum, located next door to his business, which is Superior Kitchen and Bath.
“It’s my way of preserving these things for future generations so that hopefully, no one will ever forget about our veterans,” he said.
People in the United States sometimes take their freedoms for granted, freedoms they wouldn’t have without veterans willing to fight — and die — for their country, Mundell said.
After Sunday, the museum will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturdays and also by appointment.
Mundell plans to staff it himself, as much as possible. “I know where the items came from, who gave it to me and a little of the history behind it,” he said. When he knows the history, he places the information on a card and attaches it to the items on display.
Since publicity began about the museum, he’s received additional donations of items and funds, with $5,000 from the Marine Corps League and $5,001 from the American Legion Post 104. “They wanted to outdo the Marine Corps League. I told them I liked their competition,” Mundell said.
Still, he’s funded most of the project himself.
As visitors enter, the displays are in chronological order, starting with World War I. Mundell and his son used donated, 100-year-old barn wood and barbed wire to re-create a World War I trench.
Another donation was a suit a man wore when he was inducted into the army during World War II. “To me, this is really cool. Look at how dressed up he was when he went,” Mundell said.
He also has a display case full of items from the German and Japanese “enemy” during World War II — three Japanese flags, two Nazi flags, a German helmet and binoculars, and a German propaganda book about Adolph Hitler.
One veteran, George Graesch, brought back a Japanese military cap from Iwo Jima.
Earl Van Scoyk, who spent time in a German prison camp, brought back an architectural site plan of the prison camp, Stalag 9. Van Scoyk also had a picture of a 65-year-old German prison guard who befriended several Americans. Both items are at the museum.
Van Scoyk died several months ago, Mundell said.
Another display features photos by veteran Richard Martin, who was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. The museum has original pictures taken by Martin, who was in one of the barracks when the attack occurred. One of the Japanese planes “crashed into his barracks,” and Martin, who has passed way, took a photo of the aftermath, Mundell said.
After Mundell’s effort to start a museum was publicized, he receive a collection of uniforms and other items from the Vietnam War era.
As people leave the museum, they will see a World War II casket container. On that, Mundell will place pictures of more recent fallen warriors: U.S. Army Sgt. Dale Griffin, who was killed in October 2009 while serving in Afghanistan, and U.S. Army Sgt. Kyle Childress, who was killed while serving in Iraq in January 2005.
“On their way out, I want people to see that this is the cost of war,” Mundell said.
In front of the museum and to the east, a lighted, outdoor mural depicts iconic images from World War I, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts and modern-day wars in the Middle East. The mural is on a building owned by Mundell, who hired artist Jim Shepard to paint it.
Images include the famous World War II flag-raising on Iwo Jima, the World War I Uncle Sam “I Want You” poster and a 38th parallel sign, symbolic of the Korean War.
The mural “will bring attention to the museum, which will hopefully bring attention to veterans,” he said previously.
He continues to accept donations of items and funds, and he already is thinking about how he can expand his museum. He would like more items from women and minority veterans.
Mundell can be reached at 812-208-1396.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TERRE HAUTE —
Brian Mundell has taken his passion for collecting war memorabilia and created a museum that honors all American veterans.
Sullivan Area Art Guild to celebrate anniversary March 14
Residents are invited to join the members of the Sullivan Area Art Guild on Friday as it celebrates the one-year anniversary of its new gallery.
Activities are scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. in the gallery at 16 S. Court St. on the square in Sullivan. Refreshments will be provided.
Gallery presents ‘Halcyon Days’ exhibit
Halcyon Art Gallery is presenting the regional juried exhibition, “Halcyon Days 2014,” on view from Friday until March 28. The opening reception will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday. This is the ninth in a series of juried exhibitions showcasing the best of contemporary art in all media.
See dinosaurs, Dr. Seuss characters at Children's Museum
On Sunday, March 9, Terre Haute Children’s Museum guests will be in for a special treat. Prehistoric creatures from Erth’s “Dinosaur Zoo” will be roving the museum, and Dr. Seuss characters will come to life when the Children’s Theatre of Terre Haute presents “Seussical Jr.”
March library exhibit inspired by ‘Magnificent Ambersons’
Artists from River City Art Association and the Wabash Valley Art Guild in Terre Haute will feature works inspired by the 2014 Wabash Valley Big Read selection, “The Magnificent Ambersons.”
- Museums/Exhibitions: March 6, 2014
VIDEO: Mardi Gras at the Swope
Teresa Shaffer was handing out beads and masks at the Swope Art Museum's Mardi Gras celebration Saturday night. The event is an annual fundraiser for the downtown museum.
Paint ‘Spring Rain’ March 4 at Gaslight Colony
For over a year, Gaslight Art Colony has introduced painting to many groups of adults and children with a class called Canvas at the Colony. The next session, “Spring Rain,” will take place at 6 p.m. CST on Tuesday at the gallery, 516 Archer Ave., Marshall, Ill. The fee is $35 if paid in advance, or $45 at the door.
Be part of on-the-spot portrait exhibit March 14-16 at Indiana Historical Society
The Indiana Historical Society will offer its guests the opportunity to have their portraits both taken and incorporated into an on-the-spot exhibition with #300in3. The free event will take place March 14 through 16, from noon to 4 p.m. each day.
The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, home of the IHS, is at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.
- Museums/Exhibitions: Feb. 27, 2014
Children’s Museum to host birthday party for Dr. Seuss
Visit the Terre Haute Children’s Museum from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, for a birthday celebration for Dr. Seuss.
Tonight’s film at CANDLES postponed
“Nicky’s Family,” tonight’s film at the CANDLES Holocaust Musem and Education Center, has been postponed.
- Museums/Exhibitions: Feb. 20, 2014
Lightwire Theater today at Children’s Museum cancelled
Due to weather conditions, the Lightwire Theater/DiNO-Light presentation at the Terre Haute Children's Museum has been canceled. For the most current information on the status of the Lightwire Theater show at 7 p.m. today in Hatfield Hall at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, call Hatfield Hall at 812-877-8544.
MARK BENNETT: ‘Notes on a River’ exhibition brings Wabash scenes to gallery
The best views of the Wabash come with wet, muddy feet.
‘Convergence: Two Groups, One Vision’ at the Halcyon
Halcyon Art Gallery is presenting a compelling overview of visually arresting art movements of Terre Haute area artists. The exhibition, “Convergence: Two Groups, One Vision,” on display through Feb. 28, features more than 36 vivid paintings, prints, watercolors, drawings, glass, photography, wood, encaustic and sculpture by members of River City Art Association and Wabash Valley Art Guild.
Photography exhibit to highlight aging in February
Dr. Jeffrey M. Levine’s “Aging Across America,” a photography exhibition that portrays images of adults 60 and older — the fastest growing segment of the population, but also the least pictured in the media, is on display throughout February in the Vigo County Public Library.
‘Rewritten by Machine’ through March 21 at ISU gallery
“Rewritten by Machine and New Technology,” an introduction to the history of video art and its contemporary tendencies, will be on exhibit Feb. 17 through March 21 in University Art Gallery in the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts at Indiana State University.
- Museums/Exhibitions:Feb. 13, 2014
CANDLES to show film on ‘British Schindler’
The film, “Nicky’s Family,” will be shown at 5:30 pm. on Feb. 20 in the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center at 1532 S. Third St. Admission is free. Pizza will be served at 5 p.m.
VIDEO: Traveling Lincoln exhibit at ISU
A traveling exhibit that takes a closer look at Abraham Lincoln’s presidency during the Civil War has arrived in Terre Haute. “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” opened Thursday in Cunningham Memorial Library at Indiana State University. It will be on display through March 21.
Museum exhibit features history of local churches
The Vigo County Historical Museum’s opening exhibit for 2014 will be “That Old Time Religion: A Retrospective of Early Churches in Vigo County.”
It will highlight the history of area churches, past and present. This is a multi-denominational display which includes artifacts, photographs and sketches. The museum’s collection of plates commemorating church anniversaries will also be included.
River City, library feature well-known painter/illustrator in February
River City Art Association and the Vigo County Public Library will feature art by Don Turner throughout February in the library at Seventh and Poplar streets.
Turner was born and raised in Terre Haute. He has shown artistic skills from his days at McClean Junior and Garfield High schools. During those years he was taught the basic fundamentals of art by Frida Terhorst and Jessie Martin.
After high school he attended Butler University and the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis where he studied with renowned Indiana artist Harry Davis.
Exhibit ‘Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War’ visits ISU through March 21
An exhibit examining President Abraham Lincoln’s Constitutional crisis during the Civil War will open today at Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library.
“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibit based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center, examines how President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War — the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties.
Swope presents three new exhibits through March
The Swope Art Museum, at 25 S. Seventh St., will present “First Friday: Readings and Drawings” from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday.
The event will include a raffle drawing, treats and the opening of three exhibitions sponsored by the Alliance of the Swope. “The Inward Eye: Richard Anuzkiewics and William Blake” and “The Story of E and Other Love Letters” run from Friday through March 8 in the Haslem and Hodge galleries.
- MUSEUMS/EXHIBITIONS: Feb. 6, 2014
VIDEO: Historical sites
“We’re moving into the second life … of the historical museum,” said Marylee Hagan, executive director of the Vigo County Historical Society and Museum.
Gallery seeking children’s art entries by Feb. 10
Gaslight Art Colony in Marshall, Ill., will host a Children’s Art Show Feb. 15 through March 8.
All children in kindergarten through high school can enter, and prizes will be awarded.
Registration and waiver forms are available from local art teachers or from the gallery at 516 Archer Ave.
ISU, Arts Illiana present photo competition on aging through Feb. 13
Indiana State University and Arts Illiana are seeking entries for an “Aging in the Wabash Valley” photo competition, designed to encourage the community to think about aging in a new way.
Contestants should submit images around the theme of aging in the Wabash Valley. Winning entries will be framed for display in the Arena Building on the ISU campus and at other local venues upon request.
Burroughs paintings on display through Feb. 5
The Grunwald Gallery of Art in Bloomington is exhibiting “William S. Burroughs: Paintings” through Wednesday.
Burroughs is an American author, essayist, painter and spoken-word performer. He wrote 18 novels and six short story collections.
- Museums/Exhibitions: Jan. 30, 2014
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- Sullivan Area Art Guild to celebrate anniversary March 14