At the Bend in the River: Our Place on the Ohio

The Ohio River was important to Evansville’s early history and it is still important today. Was it always here? Why did people choose to live here? What plants and animals live in the river? How was the river utilized in the past and how do we use it today?

This exhibition looks at how the Ohio River has been a constant feature to Evansville, Indiana. The river has flooded, been altered by dams, carelessly polluted, fished, and used as a source of drinking water, power, transportation and recreation for centuries. The contemporary art included in the exhibition was selected from entries submitted by artists residing in the six states bordering the Ohio River. The artists were asked to respond visually to the broad themes of the exhibition: Settling on the River, Harnessing the River or Living with the River. Historic photographs, artifacts and documents highlight Evansville’s evolving riverfront and transportation from the steamboat era through today’s modern barges. Hands-on components include a model lock and dam and puppets of the river’s abundant animal life.

At 981 miles, the Ohio River is the largest tributary of the Mississippi-Missouri River System, the third longest waterway in the world.

The river derived its name from the Native American word, Ohi:yó, meaning “the great river.” One of the first Europeans to see the Ohio was French explorer and trader Rene-Robert de La Salle who, in 1669, named the river La belle riviere or “the beautiful river.”

This multi-disciplinary exhibition has been made possible by the generous gifts of:


Create Con

Create Con brings together those interested in promoting a brighter tomorrow. This includes local business owners, non-profit organizaitons and innovators who wish to collaborate, network and inspire one another.

Hosting exhibitors and demostrations, Create Con will feature speakers and topics related to creative thinking. This can range from DIY experts to those who have built a business spurred from a creative idea.

Special guests Matt Williams, Dete Meserve and Dave McFadzean, Evansville natives who have created shows such as Roseanne and Home Improvement, will be present with a special presentation on their latest children’s production, Ready Jet Go!

Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in the Moon Festival.

The Lincolns, Indiana, and the Ohio River

Talk, The Lincolns, Indiana, and the Ohio River, part of Evansville Museum’s State Bicentennial Offerings
On Sunday, July 24 at 2 p.m., William Bartelt will discuss how the Thomas Lincoln family’s arrival to Indiana in 1816 is representative of the men and women who formed the state in its early years. The Lincoln family, including seven-year-old Abraham, came across the Ohio River from Kentucky about the time Indiana became a state.
Bartelt, author of There I Grew Up: Remembering Abraham Lincoln’s Indiana Youth, taught social studies for 37 years and has spent decades immersed in learning and teaching about the life of the 16th president. He was employed as a ranger and historian at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial for over 15 summers. He is currently a member of the Indiana Library and Historical Board, a Director of the Abraham Lincoln Association, a member of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana board of directors, a trustee of the Indiana Historical Society; and is a past President of the Newburgh Museum Foundation.

2nd Annual Moon Festival

Celebrate the anniversary of when human’s first set foot on the moon with space activities that pay tribute to the Moon at the Museum’s 2nd annual Moon Festival! On July 22 our community festival gets underway with observing the planets using powerful telescopes.

Activities will continue on Saturday, July 23 include remote controlled robots, space edibles, a rocket launch, poster display, and hands-on activities for all ages. We will also be showing Apollo 13 in the Koch Immersive Theater.  Master storyteller Susan Fowler will be back to present a new participatory story for children. See our website for details about this event, which continues in 2017, 2018 and culminates with the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing in 2019!

Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in the Create Con.

Paper Airplane Day

Join us for a very Special FREE Friday titled Paper Airplane Day! This day will include a fun-filled time of making paper airplanes, decorating paper airplanes, throwing paper airplanes, and so much more! This family-friendly day will have you experiencing the science of flight and the properties of aerodynamics.

Also on this date, you can sign up to learn more about the future National Paper Airplane Contest date at the Evansville Museum. Can’t make it to Paper Airplane Day? E-mail education curator Karen Malone at to express your interest in the future contest.

Footage of Historic WW II Parade to Premiere in Koch Immersive Theater

The Evansville Museum and the Vanderburgh County Historical Society (VCHS) will host a FREE viewing of never publicly viewed home movie of the World War II Evansville Day Parade on Thursday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m.  Attended by a record 150,000 people on June 23, 1945, the Evansville Day Parade celebrated the City’s contribution to the war effort.  This digitally remastered footage will show military hardware and personnel, the Central High School and Lincoln High School marching bands, floats from major manufacturers in the Evansville area — Republic Aviation,

This footage is part of a collection of 16mms film donated to the VCHS by the family of Janet Noelting Robinson. 

The Better Angels

Film Reflects Lincoln’s Boyhood in Indiana

The 2014 movie The Better Angels will be shown in a special screening.  Directed by A. J. Edwards and starring Jason Clarke, this art film looks at Lincoln’s boyhood in the wilderness of a young Hoosier State.  An experience that included events that helped shape his character.  As part of the June 9 screening, Lincoln historian and historical consultant to the film William Bartelt will provide introductory remarks.

Legos Movie

“Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary LEGO figurine who always follows the rules, is mistakenly identified as the Special — an extraordinary being and the key to saving the world. He finds himself drafted into a fellowship of strangers who are on a mission to stop an evil tyrant’s (Will Ferrell) plans to conquer the world. Unfortunately for Emmet, he is hopelessly — and hilariously — unprepared for such a task, but he’ll give it his all nonetheless.” 


Life Below the Waterline

The Evansville Museum is proud to host Life Below the Waterline during the August 27th weekend. This traveling freshwater aquarium holds 2,200 gallons of water and an array of Ohio River aquatic life. With two 5′ X 10′ viewing areas, this exhibition is designed to demonstrate the diversity of life sustained by the Ohio and the improvements that have been made in our Ohio River’s water quality.

WW2 in Legos®

From Friday, June 17-Sunday, June 19, the Museum’s Old Gallery will feature the ever popular and intriguing WW2 in Legos® from Brickmania. This year’s presentation will include:

· The USS Missouri
· The USS Nicholas
· Brandenburg Gate 1945
· Battle of the Bulge
· Three LEGO Mosaic Portraits of important World War 2 personages

ADMISSION*: $5 Members | $10 Non-members 

 FREE when you Sign up or Renew your Membership!

*Admission includes a FREE Koch Immersive Theater voucher good for entry to our a special showing of the LEGO Movie or any of our regularly scheduled KIT movies.