Conner Prairie earns national award for new William Conner House experiences

The American Alliance of Museums has awarded Conner Prairie with a 2017 Excellence in Exhibition award for the reimagination of William Conner House.

Staff Report
Chalk up another national honor for Conner Prairie.

Monday, the American Alliance of Museums awarded Conner Prairie an Excellence in Exhibition award, honoring the work done last year to transform William Conner House with the installation of new interactive and media experiences.

New interactive and media experiences were installed inside William Conner House in late 2015-early 2016.

William Conner House is the museum’s longest-running exhibit. The historic home was built nearly 200 years ago, is one of the oldest homes in Indiana, is one of the first brick homes in the state and first opened as an exhibit to the public in 1934 by pharmaceutical company founder Eli Lilly.

The award is the latest of national honors and accolades Conner Prairie has received in recent years. The museum has received the national medal from Institute for Museum and Library Services, the top honor a museum can receive. The National Science Foundation awarded a $2.3 million grant to Conner Prairie to create a STEM-based exhibit with interpretive programming that debuted in 2014.

Also, Conner Prairie, which is Indiana’s first Smithsonian-affiliated museum, was named a magnetic museum in the book, “Magnetic: The Art and Science of Engagement,” and has been cited as as one of most-visited outdoor museums in the nation by the Outdoor History Museum Forum.

In judges’ comments, they noted that the museum’s team “made great use of interactive media throughout William Conner House for reinterpretation, which encourages visitors to be part of the experience of a historic house through multiple engagement strategies.”