The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library officially opened its doors on Saturday in Indianapolis. A previous smaller museum opened in 2011, but closed 10 months ago when the building’s lease was up. The museum immediately began hunting for a “forever home” – a home museum staff hopes they’ve found in the new building on Indiana Avenue.
The grand opening coincided with “VonnegutFest,” an annual celebration of the beloved author. Both the 2019 festival and museum opening were especially significant given that this year marked the 50th anniversary of Slaughterhouse-Five.
Attendees can view the author’s typewriter, Purple Heart, rejection notes from editors, and “mysterious letter,” a missive written by Vonnegut’s father while the author was serving in World War II that Vonnegut famously never opened (Vonnegut’s son Mark donated it to the museum on the condition that it never be read.) The staff also runs a literary journal called So It Goes; more than 50 percent of each issue’s contents come from veteran artists and writers.
Although the museum already hosts several exhibits, it’s seeking fundraising support for future exhibits: Currently, it’s about $20,000 short of a $40,000 Kickstarter campaign for a new exhibit devoted solely to Slaughterhouse-Five.