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Eiteljorg Museum Awarded Three National Grants

by User Not Found | Dec 16, 2015

December 15, 2015

For Immediate Release

For more information:

Tamara Winfrey Harris
Vice President of Communications and Marketing
(317) 275-1315

Funds totaling $133,000 will support art conservation efforts and Indian Market and Festival

INDIANAPOLIS—The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is the recipient of three major funding awards from The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grants will support the museum’s annual Indian Market and Festival, detailed art conservation surveys and conservation treatments of artworks.

On December 8, the NEA announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award of $10,000 for the Eiteljorg’s Indian Market and Festival, a weekend-long celebration of Native American cultures through art, music, dance, demonstrations and food.

“Each year, Indian Market and Festival brings together more than 150 Native American artists, presenters and performers representing more than 60 tribes to share their cultures and stories,” John Vanausdall, Eiteljorg president and CEO, said. “Support from the NEA directly benefits this one-of-a kind cultural experience and we are grateful for this funding.”

Now in its 24th year, Indian Market and Festival has a growing reputation as one of the nation's premiere markets for Native American traditional and contemporary art. It has become a Midwestern destination for families and collectors, attracting about 7,000 visitors from across the Midwest annually. The market is known for high-quality, unique Native American artwork, its festive atmosphere, entertainment and cultural diversity. In 2016, for the first time in more than a decade, the Indian Market and Festival will take place on the Eiteljorg grounds in White River State Park, Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26. 

In its first 50 years, the NEA awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The arts are part of our everyday lives – no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from the Eiteljorg offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

To join the Twitter conversation about the NEA Art Works grants, please use #NEAFall15. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit

On September 15, the Eiteljorg received a grant totaling $117,069 from the IMLS to support a major three-year conservation project to treat 22 paintings and nine works of art on paper in its Western collection, all identified as treatment priorities in a previous survey of the collection. In addition to receiving the highest priority in the survey, these works have been selected for their interpretive importance in a planned reinstallation of two of the museum’s galleries and for the works’ historic and artistic importance.

The IMLS grant funds will also be used to survey 100 paintings and 25 works of art on paper, part of an historic collection of Western paintings and Native American artifacts bequeathed to the Eiteljorg in late 2013 by late businessman, Kenneth S. “Bud” Adams, owner of the Tennessee Titans. The Adams collection is one of the largest and most important gifts of art the Eiteljorg has received in its 26-year history.

“We recognize the importance of conducting a detailed object survey of significant works such as the Adams collection. We appreciate this generous gift from the IMLS as it provides resources to appropriately manage these works,” Amy McKune, the Eiteljorg’s director of museum collections, said. “The survey will bring the new collection in line with the Eiteljorg’s current collection, allowing staff to proceed with implementing appropriate conservation treatments, storage and care.”

On Friday, Jan. 8, and Saturday, Jan. 9, visitors to the museum can see conservators in action as they work to restore a museum icon—Wilson Hurley’s majestic three-panel painting – October Suite: Grand Canyon, 1991. The conserved work, which previously hung inside the museum’s entrance, will re-debut as part of the Eiteljorg’s 2016 exhibit, The Grand Canyon, which opens Saturday, March 26.

Maura Marx, ILMS’s acting director said, “This year we received 521 applications requesting nearly $54 million. Of these, we selected 202 projects to receive funding totaling more than $20 million. We congratulate the Eiteljorg Museum on their award, and we are pleased to support its work.”

The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement. IMLS provides leadership through research, policy development and grant making. To learn more about IMLS, visit

On December 14, the NEH awarded the Eiteljorg a $6,000 grant through its Preservation Assistance Grant program to fund a detailed condition survey of American Indian art and cultural objects from the Adams collection.

“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our heritage, promote scholarly discoveries and make the best of America’s humanities ideas available to all Americans,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “We are proud to announce this latest group of grantees who, through their projects and research, will bring valuable lessons of history and culture to Americans.”

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the NEH supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

 “Through the generosity of both IMLS and NEH, we will be able to assess the needs of this significant gift from Bud and Nancy Adams, a necessary first step in the delicate and time-intensive process of preserving art,” McKune said. “We thank IMLS and NEH for making this vital work possible.”

About the Eiteljorg
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. The Eiteljorg is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park, at 500 West Washington, Indianapolis, IN  46204. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call 317.636.WEST (9378) or visit


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