The James Dean Museum and Garfield Museum – Fairmount, Indiana - Atlas Obscura

The James Dean Museum and Garfield Museum

Fairmount, Indiana

Two Indiana icons are honored at this tiny museum, which features the world's largest collection of James Dean memorabilia. 

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Garfield the cat, one of the world’s most recognizable and merchandisable comic strip characters, was brought to life by a rural Indiana cartoonist. From those humble origins, Garfield has grown into the world’s most syndicated comic strip, running in thousands of newspapers for the last several decades. The comic strip’s author, Jim Davis, also happens to come from the same part of Indiana as another pop culture phenomenon: James Dean. Together, these two are commemorated in one single small museum in Fairmount.

The world’s largest collection of James Dean memorabilia occupies most of the tiny building, though one section is dedicated purely to Garfield and other cartoons by the same author.  

This combination museum also honors Garfield in another way: it hosts one of the stops on the Grant County Garfield Trail. The Garfield Trail is a collection of larger-than-life statues of the character himself dressed in a variety of costumes in and around the city of Marion. The Garfield Trail statue at this museum has the cat dressed as James Dean, perfectly representing the confluence of the town’s two most famous residents. 

Know Before You Go

The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Wednesday and Thursday. 

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