Celebrities who live in or are from Indiana are nothing new. We all know about the Jackson 5, Hoagy Carmichael, Steve McQueen, James Dean, David Letterman, Kurt Vonnegut, Carole Lombard, Tony Bennett, John Mellencamp . . . . the list goes on and on.
Let’s not forget about Don Gummer.
Don Gummer is a well-known sculptor who was born in Louisville, Ky., but grew up in Indiana. He attended Ben Davis High School and the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, then later at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He completed his studies at the Yale School of Art where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). He is embraced in local art circles and has several large-standing sculptors throughout Indianapolis.
What you might not know, unless you’re a big fan, is that he has been married to award-winning actress Meryl Streep since 1978.
It’s been a long and happy marriage with a rough beginning. When the actress was mourning the death of her boyfriend, actor John Cazale in 1978, her brother Harry introduced her to his friend, Don Gummer. She was thrown out of the apartment she shared with Cazale and Gummer invited Meryl to stay in his Soho loft while he was traveling. They started writing letters and eventually ended up in a relationship.
The Gummers are parents to three children: Henry Wolfe, Mamie Gummer, Grace Gummer and Louisa Jacobson. All of them are talented and have careers in the entertainment industry.
Don is renowned for abstract, large-scale sculptures that seem to reach, swirl or expand upward. He debuted his first solo exhibition in 1973 in New York City, then began to design free-standing sculptures that integrated various metals and stained glass in the 1980s and 1990s.
While Don has his own career and lives away from the limelight, he does make personal appearances with Meryl at award ceremonies and other red carpet events.
So the next time you see one of Don’s towering sculptures in downtown Indy, you’ll know he got much of his early art training here and considers Indiana home.