INDIANAPOLIS — Aug. 22 marks the 95th anniversary of visionary science fiction and fantasy writer Ray Bradbury’s birth. The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will hold three special events in August to celebrate the Midwestern-born author who went on to become one of the best-known storytellers of our time.
From Aug. 3 to 28, the center will present a free exhibit, “Miracles of Rare Device: Treasures of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies,” in the Cultural Arts Gallery on the first floor of the IUPUI Campus Center. Summer hours for the exhibition are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday until Aug. 19, when gallery hours extend from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
The exhibit will feature art, artifacts, books and rare magazines from Bradbury’s own collection, gifted to the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI in 2013 by the Bradbury Estate and by Donn Albright, Bradbury’s close friend and bibliographer.
“These new collections include the author’s papers, his working library, 40 years of his correspondence, his entire office, and a lifetime of awards and mementos,” said Jonathan R. Eller, Chancellor’s Professor of English and director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies.
“The August gallery show allows us to exhibit examples of these one-of-a-kind gifts for students and the broader Indianapolis community in ways that reflect Bradbury’s abiding international legacy as a champion of literacy, libraries, freedom of the imagination and the exploration of outer space.”
Eller and the IU School of Liberal Arts are working to expand the Bradbury archives and artifacts into a permanent public display, teaching and research resource on the IUPUI campus.
Two related public events will coincide with the exhibition’s run. At 6 p.m. Aug. 19, Eller will deliver the Second Annual Ray Bradbury Memorial Lecture in the Riley Meeting Room at Indianapolis Public Library’s Central Library. The lecture, “Ray Bradbury’s October Country,” reveals the timeless creativity and somewhat controversial publishing history of one of Bradbury’s most popular story collections on the 60th anniversary of its original publication.
At 5 p.m. Aug. 27, the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies will host a reception in the Campus Center Atrium outside the Cultural Arts Gallery, followed by Eller’s lecture on the collection’s amazing journey from California to IUPUI and the importance of Bradbury’s legacy in the 21st century. Both the lecture and reception are free and open to the public.
The Campus Center is at 420 University Blvd., between Michigan and New York streets. Visitor parking is available for a fee in the adjacent Vermont Street Garage and in the Sports Garage on New York Street.
Eller first met Ray Bradbury in 1989, developing a working friendship that lasted until Bradbury’s death in June 2012. Eller has authored several books, including “Becoming Ray Bradbury” and “Ray Bradbury Unbound” (University of Illinois Press). He also edits the Bradbury Center’s multivolume “Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury” (Kent State University Press).
A number of organizations are providing planning and resource support for the “Miracles of Rare Device” gallery exhibition, including the IU School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI’s Museum Studies Program, IUPUI’s Center for Digital Scholarship, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, and the Indiana Historical Society.