The Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library

Originally Published January 31st, 2019

Hey gang!

As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of the late Author—Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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Vonnegut was a hoosier native—born & raised in Indianapolis. During his literary career which spanned over 50 years, Vonnegut published 14 novels & became known for his dark satirical wit.

Always have a point * —Vonnegut

The novel that made him famous—Slaughterhouse-Five—recounts his time as a soldier during WWII surviving the fire bombing of Dresden. Part Documentary/Part Science Fiction—Slaughterhouse-Five oozes black satirical spite while taking the reader on a sci-fi ride through time & space.

I don’t remember where I came across this book, but once I read it I was hooked.

Since then I’ve made my way through several of his books and studied his life and career.

Several months ago, Ashley and I had the opportunity to travel to Indianapolis and visit the Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library.

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This awesome little museum houses a vast collection of Vonnegut family memorabilia (Kurt’s family owned a hardware store & Kurt Sr. was an architect in Indy), historical artifacts, books, art pieces, & even Kurt’s original typewriter.

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“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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A Relic from the war.
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Vonnegut kept his rejection letters in a Chocolate Box

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

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Kurt wrote hunched over on a coffee table much like this one. The pain from this uncomfortable position helped him stay focused.

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“I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.” —Vonnegut

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You can even have a seat & type on a replica of Kurt’s original typewriter.

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“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano

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Among the books on display are some of Vonnegut’s first editions circa 1960’s.

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“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
Kurt Vonnegut

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Some rejection letters are framed & on display.

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Vonnegut was also a bit of a “doodler”—the museum has plenty of his original art pieces on display.
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Vonnegut’s original Smith-Corona typewriter is encased in glass at the front of the museum.

Ashley and I fell in love with this museum. It was such an awesome experience to see everything in person—from his original typewriter, to his doodles & sketches, family photos & first edition books. There was even a tour given which was very insightful & entertaining.

We spent a couple hours at the museum and still weren’t able to take in everything—the space is full of information & history regarding this legendary Author.

If you find yourself in Indy—definitely make this one of your stops. I look forward to going there again!

Also be sure to stop by the Kurt Vonnegut Mural—painted by artist Pamela Bliss in 2011.

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Address: 339 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46204
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., A Man Without A Country

 

Thanks for reading gang!

-Tim

 

 

 

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