Indiana University

The mural takes inspiration from the primitive style popularized by Rufus Porter, a well-known muralist of the period.

Jo Burgess, Director of the Wylie House Museum, helped to identify scenes for the mural.

Addtional photos of the finished mural

Check out photos of the mural as it was being created

Mural adds a finishing touch to Wylie House Museum

For the background local artist John Thom used milk paint, a treatment made from milk protein, lime, earth pigments, and clay fillers that produces historically accurate colors.

A remarkable new view of Bloomington can be seen only from the Wylie House Museum. On its walls.

Local decorative painter John Thom has transformed the interior entryway of the museum, painting on its walls depictions of the house, its neighborhood, early campus buildings, and the Bloomington courthouse as they may have looked in the mid-nineteenth century.

Constructed in 1835 for Indiana University's first president, Andrew Wylie, the house is all that remains of what was once a 20-acre homestead. Andrew’s cousin, Theophilus Wylie, purchased the property in 1859. His sketch of a nearby farm served as one of several references for the mural.

“It’s a way for us to help a visitor step back in time,” says Jo Burgess, director of the museum. “

“We know the Wylies would not have depicted their own neighborhood on their walls, but this is a wonderful teaching tool.” 

Burgess has been furnishing and transforming the museum for nearly 10 years. “I feel so proud and pleased about the house and the impression it will leave on visitors,” she says.

Wylie House Museum, 307 E. Second Street, is operated by the Indiana University Libraries. Open March through November, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.