. . . Calumet is a town in Indiana in relation to Chicago and I was struck by that coincidence . . . then I went into heroics and The Calumet is a heroic painting. It isn’t about geography, it’s about Longfellow and the Hiawatha and the continent’s first citizens and again a great tragedy.
— Robert Indiana
Excerpt from Susan Elizabeth Ryan, interview with Robert Indiana, November 14, 1991, Robert Indiana: Figures of Speech Archive, 1987–2005.