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Red Skelton Museum Foundation, Indiana Historical Society Form Partnership

Sept. 9, 2010

For Immediate Release    

Contacts: Amy Lamb, Media Relations Manager, Indiana Historical Society

(317) 232-1878 or alamb@indianahistory.org             

OR

Duane Chattin, Director of University Relations, Vincennes University

(812) 888-4164 or dchattin@vinu.edu

 

Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society and Red Skelton Museum Foundation are pleased to announce the formation of a partnership in order to create a permanent archive for archival material documenting the life and career of actor, comedian and notable Hoosier Red Skelton. The Red Skelton Research Archive will be housed in the IHS’s William Henry Smith Memorial Library at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Richard “Red” Bernard Skelton was born July 18, 1913, at 111 W. Lyndale Ave. in Vincennes, Ind. He received his formal education in Vincennes and always verbalized the pride he took in his Hoosier roots. Skelton’s birth home, located diagonally across the parking lot from The Red Skelton Museum and Education Center at 20 Portland Ave., is now owned by Vincennes University.

The Red Skelton Museum Foundation owns a substantial quantity of items documenting Skelton’s life and career, including material donated by Mrs. Lothian Skelton, Skelton’s widow. The archival portion of that includes photographs, letters, manuscripts, printed materials, scrap books, audio recordings, video and other visual items.

The Red Skelton Museum Foundation found the perfect complement to its desire to create a permanent archive in the Indiana Historical Society, which has extensive archives management expertise as well as facilities to preserve and make accessible large amounts of archival material to the public.

“Our goal is to make accessible to the public this material and to help them appreciate the struggles and triumphs of Red Skelton’s life,” said Dr. Phillip Summers, chair of the Red Skelton Museum Foundation and president emeritus of Vincennes University. "We have selected to enter into this partnership with the Indiana Historical Society because of its commitment to excellence in both preserving and interpreting our heritage." 

The IHS Red Skelton Research Archive will initially include all archival material donated by Mrs. Skelton and other designated archival material now owned by the Red Skelton Museum Foundation. The Foundation will retain all related artifacts, including Red Skelton’s extensive original artwork as well as his television costumes, props and other important memorabilia.

The IHS will provide comprehensive archival collections management for the IHS Red Skelton Research Archive, including processing, conservation and preservation activities, and make the Archive accessible for research at the History Center. It will also facilitate the use of select materials for exhibition at the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center and Museum, located on the campus of Vincennes University.

“We are so pleased to enter into this partnership with the Red Skelton Museum Foundation to help preserve and make accessible the legacy of one of Indiana’s favorite sons,” said John A. Herbst, president and CEO of the Indiana Historical Society. “Red Skelton’s talent and determination, as well as his genuine love and caring for others, will continue to inspire Hoosiers for generations to come.”

For more information about the Indiana Historical Society and its collections, call (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org. The Red Skelton Museum Foundation can be reached at (812) 888-4850.

About the Red Skelton Museum Foundation

The Red Skelton Museum Foundation is dedicated to both preserving and sharing the legacy of Vincennes native Red Skelton, an internationally recognized entertainer whose talents included comedy, pantomime, painting, composing, and writing. Rising to the heights of popularity in television, radio, and motion pictures, Skelton earned the admiration of millions of fans, including the Indiana Legislature that backed the construction of the $17 million Red Skelton Performing Arts Center at Vincennes University. Adjoining the Center is the planned Red Skelton Museum that, when completed, will showcase Red Skelton’s costumes, props, awards, and other artifacts, that were generously donated by Mrs. Lothian Skelton. Donations may be sent to the Red Skelton Museum Foundation, Dayson Center, Vincennes University, 1002 N. First St, Vincennes, IN 47591.   

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state's history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation's premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; and provides youth, adult and family programming.

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For more information, images or to schedule an interview, contact Amy Lamb, IHS Media Relations Manager, at (317) 232-1878 or alamb@indianahistory.org, or Duane Chattin, Director of University Relations at Vincennes University, at (812) 888-4164 or dchattin@vinu.edu.