John Mellencamp donates archives to Indiana University

singer-songwriter John Mellencampthe proudest Hoosier in Rock, plans to donate his archives to Indiana University, the institution announced Friday during a Mellencamp symposium being held on campus.

Mellencamp’s association with the university continues to grow. The future archive was just one of several developments discussed at Friday’s symposium, which included a live interview with the musician, as well as lectures and roundtables “that brought academic scholars, music industry leaders, journalists and more to campus to… Dive deep into the cultural and social implications of Mellencamp’s extensive body of work,” said IU.

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A sculpture will be commissioned for the Bloomington campus to be placed near the Fine Arts Plaza “and will symbolize the strong connection Mellencamp has to his southern Indiana roots.”

Mellencamp’s work as a painter will be celebrated in an exhibition at the University’s Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art in the 2023-24 academic year.

His connection to the university goes beyond honors and symposiums, as he recently demonstrated on campus at the start of his 2023 tour.

“John’s impact on music and American culture is immense,” IU President Pamela Whitten said in a statement. “On behalf of Hoosiers everywhere, I am extremely proud of John’s lifelong association with IU and deeply grateful to him for choosing the university as the permanent home for his archives. His collection will be an incredible resource for art scholars and a definite source of inspiration for our students. We are very excited to honor him and celebrate his many contributions to music, art and IU.”

Mellencamp began painting in 1980, not very long into his musical career. Approximately 170 of his pieces were recently assembled in an illustrated book entitled John Mellencamp: American Paintings and Assemblages.

The final album of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee album Strictly a One-Eyed Jack was released last year.

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