Fit to Breed? The History and Legacy of Indiana Eugenics, 1907-2007

An Exhibit on the History and Legacy of Indiana Eugenics, 1907 – 2007
Indiana State Library, Opening April 12, 2007, open weekdays 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

An exhibit tracing the historical significance and lasting effects of eugenics in Indiana will be held at the Indiana State Library. Fit to Breed? The History and Legacy of Indiana Eugenics, 1907-2007 is the product of the conscientious planning and meticulous design of a faculty member and students from the Herron School of Art and Design; the dedicated research of faculty and students from the History Department and the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program of IUPUI; and two eugenics scholars from the University of Michigan and Georgia State University. The public opening will be on April 12, 2007 and the exhibit will continue to be open on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The exhibit utilizes the unique architecture of the Indiana State Library to provide a visual experience that is both informative and aesthetically pleasing. The exhibit is comprised of three key facets that provide a historical journey of Indiana eugenics and a glimpse into Indiana’s genetic future. The entrance that leads to the body of the exhibit allows viewers to reflect on their current notions of eugenics and to identify with the way eugenics impacted individual lives. The body itself will consist of numerous primary documents including books, medical logs, photographs and historical artifacts aimed at contextualizing Indiana’s eugenic history. The viewer can expect to gain a greater understanding of the personalities and activities of key figures, the duties and operations of significant institutions, and the philosophies of influential organizations. The exhibit concludes by recontextualizing Indiana eugenics in a contemporary frame. Questions to contemporary issues about genetics, bioethics, and human nature will be posed, leaving the answers up to the viewers' own reflections.

"History is a continuous process that we all ultimately shape. The purpose of Fit to Breed? The History and Legacy of Indiana Eugenics, 1907-2007 is to denote and contextualize a significant slice of history in an effort to cultivate mindfulness of the past, awareness of the present, and knowledge for the future."

Matthew Groshek
Public Scholar - Exhibition Planning and Design
Herron School of Art and Design | School of Liberal Arts - IUPUI