Seymour, Indiana’s favorite son, John Mellencamp, has donated “the archived collection of his life and work to Indiana University (IU).” According to his official website, JohnMellencamp.com, “The collection will include items related to his iconic artistry, social activism and philanthropy, and it holds original creative works, photographs, instruments and other significant memorabilia.”
IU President Pamela Whitten said, “John’s impact on music and American culture is immense. On behalf of Hoosiers everywhere, I am exceptionally proud of John’s lifelong association with IU and deeply grateful to him for selecting the university as the permanent home for his archives. His collection will be an incredible resource for arts scholars and a clear source of inspiration to our students. We are thrilled to honor him and celebrate his many contributions to music, art and IU.”
It was also announced that the university has commissioned a new sculpture of Mellencamp to sit near the Fine Arts Plaza on the college’s Bloomington Campus. Additionally, a new Mellencamp art exhibition will take place during the 2023-24 academic year at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University.
John Mellencamp, who’s been writing, recording and releasing albums for over 45 years, told us that he fears that due to technology and the public’s lack of respect towards creativity, the commercial artist’s days are sadly numbered: “As a society and what we gathered as entertainment (and) as important has definitely taken a turn for the worst and it’s just going to get worse because who with any sense would go, ‘Y’know, I wanna be a book writer.’ Why? So that you can put it up on the Internet and not sell a book. You can’t make a living doing that. Everybody thinks music should be free, everybody thinks books should be free, and all the entertainment things that you and I grew up with are going to go the way of the drive-in theater. By the time we die, they’re just not going to exist in the form that we even recognize.”