Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • Out West™ film screening and discussion: Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine

    by Eiteljorg Staff | Sep 25, 2017

    The Out West™ programming series explores the positive contributions of the LGBTQ community to the history and cultures of the American West. In the next installment of that series, the Eiteljorg Museum on Oct. 21 will host a screening of the documentary Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, followed by a panel discussion with the film’s director, Michele Josue, who also was a close friend of Shepard. The film relates the story of Matt’s life and the larger impact of the tragic and fatal hate crime on Oct. 6, 1998 against Matt, who was a gay freshman at the University of Wyoming.

    Excerpt of statement by director Michele Josue:

    “The murder of Matthew Shepard was a devastating tragedy that made countless headlines around the world. As people denounced the hatred and senseless violence that caused Matthew’s death, a much-needed dialogue about hate crimes and intolerance against the LGBT community began and continues to this day. His tragic story brought the reality of inequality and vicious, irrational contempt into the public consciousness and set the stage for the landmark Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2009.

    “Though framed through a very personal lens, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine tells a universal story that highlights the responsibility we have now to make sure young people around the world are not at risk of falling victim to the same story ending Matt was.”

    Image caption:

    Filmmaker Michele Josue is seen in this personal photograph with her childhood friend, Matthew Shepard. Josue is the director of a documentary film, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine that will be screened at the Eiteljorg on Oct. 21 followed by a discussion with the director


    OCT 21
    Saturday, 1 p.m.
    The event is included with regular museum admission. Eiteljorg members are free. 


  • Contemporary art in the spotlight in months ahead

    by Bryan Corbin, editor, Storyteller Magazine | Sep 12, 2017

    Fall is an exciting time for Native American contem­porary art at the Eiteljorg. Two ongoing exhibitions, In Their Honor and The Geometry of Expression, examine the work of several Native contemporary artists. These are prelude to one of the most important contemporary art shows the Eiteljorg has ever staged: Native Art Now!, opening Veterans Day weekend.

    The current and upcoming exhibitions exemplify the broad continuum of Native expression, often with con­ceptual pieces, upending the notion that Native art is narrow in its mediums and styles.

    In_Their_Honor_043“We in Indianapolis can be proud of the fact that the Eiteljorg has one of the nation’s best collections of contemporary Native art, and visitors over coming months can experience many intriguing examples of works by today’s artists,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said.

    Located in the Hurt and Harvey galleries, In Their Honor pays homage to five influential Native contemporary artists, now deceased, who were past fellows in the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship.

    Visitors will be engaged by the expressive sculptures by Allan Houser, poignant paint­ings and prints from George Morrison and Harry Fonseca, animal-human transformational figures by John Hoover and compelling paintings and sculptures by Rick Bartow. All five artists were groundbreakers whose works were exhibited in numerous museums and universities and who opened doors to the art world for a new generation of contemporary Native artists.

    Produced by Jennifer Complo McNutt, Eiteljorg curator of contemporary art, In Their Honor will be on exhibit through April 1, 2018.

    Kay WalkingStick -- Wallawa Memory

    Nearby in the museum’s Myrta Pulliam Gallery of Photography, prints by three living Eiteljorg Fellows — Kay WalkingStick, Anna Tsouhlarakis and Wendy Red Star — use geometry in thought-provoking ways and undoubtedly will foster discussion. The exhibit, The Geometry of Expression, was produced by Dorene Red Cloud, assistant curator of Native American art, and will be up through Jan. 7, 2018.

    Both exhibits build anticipation for the Nov. 11 public opening of Native Art Now!, a retro­spective of some of the archetypal work of Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship artists over the past 20 years. The 39 works, some of them newly purchased and not shown before, will include paintings, photography, sculpture and three large installations in the special exhibit gallery.

    Native Art Now! will be accompanied Nov. 11-12 by a convening of scholars, curators and many of the living Eiteljorg Fellows who will participate in a discussion about challenges facing contemporary Native artists today, as well as a preview of an upcoming TV documentary about the artists.

    Once it closes Jan. 28, Native Art Now! will go on tour as a traveling exhibition to other cities to present the work of these artists to broader audiences. In conjunction with Native Art Now!, the Eiteljorg is publishing a major survey book that reviews several decades of contemporary Native art and is authored by many of the most prominent authors in the field.


    In Their Honor, an ongoing exhibit of the work of Rick Bartow (Wiyot), Harry Fonseca (Nisenan Maidu/Hawaiian/Portuguese), John Hoover (Aleut), Allan Houser (Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache) and George Morrison (Ojibwe), in the Hurt and Harvey galleries, through April 1.

    The Geometry of Expression, an ongoing exhibit featuring the work of Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee), Wendy Red Star (Crow), and Anna Tsouhlarakis (Navajo/Creek/Greek), in the Myrta Pulliam Gallery of Photography through Jan. 7.

    Native Art Now!, a traveling exhibit of iconic contemporary Native art from the permanent collection of the Eiteljorg Museum, in the special exhibit gallery Nov. 11-Jan 28.

    Image Captions:

    Top two images: 
    Works by five artists who participated in the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship are now part of the In Their Honor exhibition in the Hurt and Harvey galleries.

    Lower image:
    Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee)
    Wallowa Memory, 2003
    Gift: Courtesy of the artist


    This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Storyteller magazine. 


  • Gund Lecture examines early 19th century depictions of Native Americans in art

    by Eiteljorg Staff | Aug 30, 2017

    'Snake Indians', 1840, by Alfred Jacob Miller
    Mary Peterson Zundo is a Ph.D. candidate in American Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. On Oct. 14, she will present the Eiteljorg’s annual Gund Lecture in Western art in an exciting program titled Fantasia on the Prairie: Plains Warriors, Arabic Equestrians, and Art on the American Frontier, 1800-1850.

    Fantasia on the Prairie will examine depictions of Native American equestrianism within the sociopolitical and multicul­tural contexts of colonial encounter in the American West, and American artistic exchange in post-Napoleonic France. Including art from the Eiteljorg collection, the lecture will explore the artistic, cultural and political contexts that informed paintings of the American West in the first half of the 19th century and their lasting impact on the ways in which artists depicted Native peoples.

    A focal point for the lecture will be Snake Indians, an 1840 oil painting by American artist Alfred Jacob Miller (1810-1874), displayed in the Eiteljorg’s Gund Gallery of Western Art. “Snake Indians,” referenced in Miller’s title, was a term used by white travelers to describe members of the Shoshone, Bannock and Northern Paiute tribes of the Great Basin. This program has been made possible through a matching grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.


    Gund Lecture Series Speaker:
    Mary Peterson Zundo
    Fantasia on the Prairie: Plains Warriors, Arabic Equestrians, and Art on the American Frontier, 1800-1850
    Saturday, Oct. 14 1–2:30 p.m., Clowes Court
    Lecture is included with museum admission and is free for museum members
    Sponsored by: 


    Image caption: 

    Alfred Jacob Miller (1810-1844), 
    Snake Indians, 1840,
    oil on canvas.
    The Gund Collection of Western Art Gift of the George Gund Family



  • Artists in Residence bring arts to the community

    by Emily Sabens | Aug 29, 2017

    Each fall, a select group of artists from across the country descend upon the museum to provide exciting experiences for the local community. The Eiteljorg is excited to have four amazing artists in the lineup this fall. Artists in Residence work at the museum for three weeks at a time, meeting school groups, teaching workshops, doing demonstrations and sharing their art and culture. Each artist will also spend time doing outreach programs at area schools, libraries, community centers and universities.

    Tim Blueflint Ramel - credit Hadley Fruits PhotographySelf-taught musician and artist Tim Blueflint Ramel (Bad River Chippewa/Comanche) draws his creative and musical influences from the memories and stories told to him by his family, as well as others who have graced his life. Internationally recognized for his hand­crafted fine art, flutes and jewelry, Ramel has traveled to venues across Indian Country to share his improvisational traditional music, art and memories. Meet Ramel and learn about his work during open studio sessions on Sept. 9, 16 and 23, and hear a performance of his flute music on Sept. 17.

    DG HouseDG House (Cherokee of Northeastern Alabama) developed a passion for the environment and wildlife as a child, when she spent large amounts of time camping with her family in her native state of Ohio. Fulfilling a lifelong goal, House traveled to Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1981; it was there that her love of people, landscapes and the wildness converged with her Native heritage. During House’s 20-year career, her art has been featured in museum permanent collections across the country. Meet House, learn about her painting techniques and watch as she works during open studio sessions on Oct. 7 and 21.

    Richard GabrielArtist Richard Gabriel Jr. of Tijeras, New Mexico, is a gifted artist who focuses primarily on creating traditional Spanish Colonial tinwork. He also is a painter and often incorporates his paintings into his tinwork. Serving as an educator as well, Gabriel teaches tinsmithing at the Santa Fe Community College and operates his own studio in Tijeras. Meet Gabriel and try your hand at tinwork during the museum’s annual Day of the Dead Celebration on Oct. 28.

    Karen Ann HoffmanKaren Ann Hoffman (Oneida) is an award-winning artist who creates decorative pieces following the traditions of Iroquois raised beadwork. Hoffman’s beadwork has been displayed across the country and is in the permanent collections of numerous institutions. Meet Hoffman and learn about her art and culture during open studio sessions on Nov. 11, 18 and 25.


    Image Credits:  
    Tim Blueflint Ramel image is courtesy of Hadley Fruits Photography.  Images of the other artists are by Eiteljorg Museum staff. 

  • Savor a delicious southwestern lunch at the Museum Café

    by Eiteljorg Staff | Aug 29, 2017
    Museum Cafe - Valley Verde Salad

    Complete your visit to the Eiteljorg by enjoying a delicious and convenient lunch at the Museum Café. With a beautiful view overlooking the Central Canal, the café offers a wide selection of southwestern cuisine. Pair a savory sandwich with one of the café’s freshly made soups or specialty salads. Or, try the café’s Mexican options, including quesadillas, tacos, nachos and tostadas. And if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, grab a delectable cookie or a Ghirardelli brownie. The café serves a full menu Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and on Sundays from noon until 2:30 p.m. See the fall menu at


    Image Caption: 
    Valley Verde salad at the Museum Café.  Photo by Emily Sabens.


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