Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • Hello, Goodbye: Longtime employees will be missed, new employees welcomed

    by | | Jul 01, 2018

    The Eiteljorg Museum recently said goodbye to some dedicated employees who have moved on and welcomed some new colleagues:

    Jan Eason
    Jan Eason

    Jan Eason
    has been a beloved member of the Eiteljorg team for more than 26 years, almost as long as the museum has existed.  As education services coordinator, Jan worked in scheduling school field trips and adult tours and supported volunteer tour guides with training and schedules. She retired April 16.

    “Jan added much to the happiness of the museum,” Eiteljorg Vice President and Chief Curatorial Officer James Nottage said. “She has an uncanny ability to engage with people. She went out of her way to say hello, to ask how you were doing, and brought warmth and personality to her exchanges with staff, members, and guests alike.”

    Jaq Nigg
    Jaq Nigg

    Jaq Nigg in April wrapped up 17 years at the Eiteljorg as festivals and markets manager. With a background in film production, Jaq developed and refined the annual Indian Market and Festival into one of the top Native art markets in the nation. She also managed the museum’s Winter Market, Spring Market and WestFest events. Jaq cultivated close ties with Native artists and performers, and created a consortium of market planners across the nation that developed into a supportive professional network.  She moved on to a new position as production and operations manager at The Cabaret in Indianapolis.

    Succeeding Jaq is the new public events coordinator, Brandi Crocker. With a background in banking, Brandi previously worked in the Eiteljorg's Guest Services, first as co-coordinator and then as manager of that division. We welcome Brandi to her new role organizing the annual Indian Market and Festival and other Eiteljorg events.

    James Nottage with E.I. Couse painting, The Wedding
    James H. Nottage

    After 17 years at the Eiteljorg – and a total 50 years working in Western museums – James H. Nottage retired in June as the Eiteljorg’s vice president and chief curatorial officer.

    A native of Laramie, Wyoming, who was long interested in the history of the West, James served at historical institutions in Wyoming and Kansas, earning two master’s degrees along the way. In 1985 he became the founding chief curator of the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles.

    In 2001, James joined the Eiteljorg, where he has managed the curatorial and collections departments and also served as the Gund curator of Western art, history and culture. His management and creative vision led to important acquisitions for the Eiteljorg, such as the Helen Cox Kersting and Kenneth “Bud” Adams collections, and to exhibitions such as Guitars and Red/Black. James has authored and edited many Eiteljorg art publications and closely worked with artists, collectors, donors and scholars. He worked on the 2005 expansion of the Eiteljorg that doubled the size of the museum building.

    Retired as chief curator, James has continued to consult with the Eiteljorg on the Western galleries reinstallation and future exhibits. He and his wife Mary Ellen are active in museum events, and James is scheduled to deliver the annual Gund Lecture on Nov. 10, 2018, at the Eiteljorg.

    Jan Eason, Jaq Nigg and James Nottage will be missed by their Eiteljorg co-workers, and the museum wishes them the best.

    Allison Evans
    Allison Evans

    The Eiteljorg’s collections department maintains, cares for and organizes thousands of artworks and cultural objects, both those on exhibit and many more in storage. The department’s new director, Allison H. Evans, came to the Eiteljorg in January with 17 years of experience in the collections field, most recently at the Stark Museum in Orange, Texas. In her opening months at the Eiteljorg, Allison oversaw preparation of objects installed in The Reel West exhibition. Allison succeeds former collections director Amy McKune, who last year moved on to a museum in Missouri.

    Paul Jones
    Paul Jones

    Helping to keep the museum’s computer systems operating smoothly is Paul Jones, who joined the Eiteljorg in January as IT support assistant and AV technician.  Paul worked in computer systems for 29 years at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

    Paul succeeds Tom L. Coble II, who was promoted to the position of Eiteljorg director of technology. Tom succeeded longtime director Dee McConville, who retired in December 2017.

    Kristin Stout
    Kristin Stout

    The new librarian of the museum's Watanabe Family Library is Kristin Stout, who brings long experience in libraries and our content areas. With a bachelor's degree in history from Ball State University and a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University, she worked for eight years as the reference and instruction librarian at Lane Library at Armstrong University in Savannah, Ga., and also at Herron Art Library and Lebanon Public Library.  Kristin succeeded former Eiteljorg librarian Dana Duffy, who moved on to a new position as education manager for the Monroe County History Center in Bloomington.

    Note: This article is a special online feature of Storyteller magazine.  This story included contributions from Eiteljorg marketing interns Samantha Roll and Brittan Semler.  Read more about the museum employees on the Eiteljorg blog:


  • The country’s top Western artists return for another Quest for the West®

    by Bert Beiswanger, director of marketing and communications | Jun 28, 2018

    Jerry Jordan_Traditions_Remembered
    Jerry Jordan
    Traditions Remembered, 2018
    40 x 40 inches

    The Western art world once again will converge on Indianapolis on Sept. 7-8, when one of the top Western art sales in the nation, the annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, returns to the Eiteljorg. 

    Quest’s opening weekend festivities draw Western art enthusiasts from all over the country. Many of the artists and collectors consider Quest to be one of their favorite shows due to its unique format and intimate, engaging setting. And what Quest has meant to the Eiteljorg cannot be overstated, as it has generated more than $12 million in art sales since its inaugural year, 2006. 

    In addition to its prominence nationally, Quest for the West® is simply one of the finest, if not largest, art sales in Indianapolis and the Midwest. Whether you’re an avid Western art collector or just beginning your art-collecting journey, Quest is one of the most intriguing shows you can attend. It all takes place within the beautifully artistic confines of the Eiteljorg Museum in the heart of downtown Indianapolis.

    Buxton, Before There Were None
    John Buxton
    Passenger Pigeons, Before There Were None, 2018
    25 x 21 inches

    Opening weekend attendees will be the first to see and bid on paintings and sculpture by the country’s most prominent Western artists in a “luck-of-the-draw” sale. What makes the Quest show special is that potential buyers have the chance not only to be among the first to see the art in person, but to meet the artists who created it.

    The entire sale is a thrill, start to finish, from the sound of the bugle that opens the sale to the excited looks on the faces of successful buyers at the end of the evening.

    All artwork remains on exhibit at the Eiteljorg until Oct. 7, giving museum visitors the opportunity to see this world-class art. Pieces not sold during opening weekend remain available for purchase until the exhibit closes.

    Sculptor Curt Mattson at the 2017 Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale

    Opening weekend registrants this year will enjoy a Friday lunch and tour at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, a Friday evening reception, and the opening of a special exhibition featuring 2017 Quest Artist of Distinction Howard Post, as well as the return of a Miniature Art Sale. On Saturday evening during the banquet and awards ceremony, many lucky attendees will win a limited edition 2018 Eiteljorg Keepsake.

    To register for opening weekend, contact: Kay Hinds at 317.275.1341 or You also may register as an absentee buyer.

    Preview art and find complete information on Quest at

    2017Quest_Pat Anker views miniatures at sale
    The Miniature Art Sale was a big hit at the 2017 Quest celebration. Eiteljorg board member Pat Anker, center, considered some miniature paintings.

    Miniature Art Sale Returns
    We heard the pleas of many Quest attendees over the years. Some beginning collectors fell in love with the art they saw but couldn’t afford it, while others with the financial means had no room to add large works to their home. Thus, the Eiteljorg last year instituted a Quest Miniature Art Sale. Back by popular demand, the miniature sale is Friday night, Sept. 7, where you can purchase smaller pieces of art and take them with you that evening.

    2017Quest_Howard Post Artist of Distinction
    Artist Howard Post, right, and his wife Marilyn Post attended the 2017 Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale at the Eiteljorg, where Howard Post received the 2017 Artist of Distinction award.

    Howard Post, 2017 Quest for the West® Artist of Distinction
    The Eiteljorg Museum will open a special exhibit featuring the art of Howard Post in conjunction with the 2018 Quest for the West®. Post won the Artist of Distinction Award at the 2017 Quest, and the exhibit celebrates that honor. For more than 30 years, he has captured his distinctive vision of the West in paint, creating what he refers to as “ranchscapes.” The exhibit will feature approximately 20 of these works from the past decade of Post’s career. From rugged mountains to dusty cowboys to resting horses to complex corrals, his paintings highlight the interconnectedness of land, animals and people in the American West. They also explore and delight in more abstract concepts such as light, line and color. The exhibit runs Sept. 8–Nov. 25 in the Gerald and Dorit Paul Gallery.

    Joseph McGurl
    Girl of the Golden West: The Sailing Canoe, 2018
    Oil on panel
    20 x 30 inches

    QUEST FOR THE WEST® 2018 list of artists

    Gerald Balciar*
    John Buxton
    G. Russell Case
    Bruce Cheever
    Tim Cherry*
    Rox Corbett
    Brent Cotton
    Glenn Dean
    Steve Devenyns
    Mikel Donahue
    Michael Dudash
    Barry Eisenach*
    Josh Elliott
    Tony Eubanks
    John Fawcett
    Robert Griffing
    David Grossmann
    Logan Maxwell Hagege
    George Hallmark
    Karin Hollebeke
    Donna Howell-Sickles
    Doug Hyde*
    Terry Isaac
    Jerry Jordan
    Greg Kelsey*
    Mark Kelso
    Mark Maggiori
    Curt Mattson*
    Joseph McGurl
    Krystii Melaine
    Denis Milhomme
    Jay Moore
    John Moyers
    Terri Kelly Moyers
    Brenda Murphy
    Rock Newcomb
    P.A. Nisbet
    Robert Peters
    Howard Post
    Heide Presse
    Scott Rogers*
    Gladys Roldan-de-Moras
    Roseta Santiago
    Sandy Scott*
    Adam Smith
    Daniel Smith
    Nathan Solano
    Tim Solliday
    Andy Thomas
    David Wright

    Bold names are artists new to Quest


    Presented by:
    Cardinal Contracting
    The Western Art Society

    Sponsored by:
    Ice Miller LLP


    This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Storyteller magazine. 


  • Announcing an exciting new acquisition: "The Golden Mountain, Arriving San Francisco, 1865"

    by James H. Nottage, vice president and chief curatorial officer and Gund curator of Western art, history and culture | Jun 20, 2018

    The Golden Mountain Arriving in San Francisco 1865
    The Golden Mountain, Arriving San Francisco, 1865, by Mian Situ, oil on canvas, 2003
    Museum Purchase with funds provided by the Eiteljorg Museum’s Western Art Society

    Covered wagons pulled by oxen and moving the essential belongings of hopeful travelers headed toward the setting sun is the common narrative of the 19th century westward movement. This storyline excludes the immigrant experience of many others who traveled eastward by ship to become undeniable contributors to the building of rail lines, gold mines and elements of commerce from San Francisco to the Black Hills.

    Artist Mian Situ (born in Canton, China, 1953) gained his formal art training in China and immigrated to the United States in 1987. Since then, he has become a highly regarded artist, devoting his work to portrayals of his rural native land and to expressing much of the Chinese experience in the American West. The Eiteljorg Museum is proud to announce it has acquired one of Situ’s best-known works and will feature it in the newly redesigned Western galleries that will reopen in November 2018. The Golden Mountain, Arriving San Francisco, 1865, is six feet high and 60 inches wide. In this 2003 painting, Situ has created a composition embracing a family in the center sunlight, the deck of the ship crowded with tired but hopeful individuals seeking opportunities in a land new to them.

    Artist Mian Situ working at his easel
    Artist Mian Situ, working at his easel

    When first exhibited at the Autry Museum at its annual Masters of the American West show in 2003, the painting received the Thomas Moran Memorial Award for best painting and both the Artists’ Choice and Patrons’ Choice awards recognizing its qualities as a significant accomplishment in the field. Now the eastward-moving work will find its permanent home in Indianapolis. The painting significantly adds to our growing holdings that help visitors understand the diverse nature of the art, history and cultures of the West.

    This article previously appeared in the June 2018 issue of Storyteller magazine. 

  • Native American Art magazine publishes story about Eiteljorg Indian Market & Festival

    by | | Jun 19, 2018
    We were very pleased to see that Native American Art magazine published a preview article about the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival in its June/July 2018 issue. Read the story at this link: 
    Native American Art magazine story

  • Soundz of Santana will electrify the Summer Under The Sails stage on June 27

    by Haley Stevenson – Marketing and Communications Intern | Jun 16, 2018

    Soundz of Santana at Summer Under the Sails 2017

    The piercing, ethereal electric guitar of Carlos Santana over an irresistible Latin conga beat has made the group Santana a hit-making classic-rock favorite, with fans spanning the decades from the late ‘60s up through today.

    Fans who want to hear Santana’s music performed live in a relaxed setting are in for a real treat: Soundz of Santana, a tribute band that plays the songs of the original, will perform June 27 outside the Eiteljorg Museum. Best of all, the concert at 6 p.m. is free, part of the museum’s Summer Under The Sails concert series. (In the case of inclement weather, the show will take place inside.)

    With members originally from East Chicago, Ind., Soundz of Santana has its own devoted listeners who enjoy hearing the striking recreations of Carlos Santana’s unforgettable tunes. Soundz of Santana has performed each year at the Eiteljorg Museum’s Summer Under the Sails since the first season, 2015.

    Band members include Xavier Villarreal on congas, Joe “Baby” Valdez on bass guitar, Joe Bienevedez on keyboard, Dave Sanchez on lead guitar and Jose Juan Manchaca on drums.  Villareal took time to chat with the Eiteljorg Blog and share his thoughts about his band, the music of Carlos Santana that inspires him and his bandmates and what brings them back to the Eiteljorg.

    Your band has been playing at The Sails every summer since it began—what makes you so loyal, and keeps you coming back?

    “It’s the people. They make us feel so welcome… If we see one person smile, it’s all worthwhile. The passion and music make it all feel worthwhile. I think we pleased everybody.”

    What was it like to play for such a big crowd last year?

    “What a great crowd it was, even though it was raining! It was awesome. The crowd was so accepting, and they really, really enjoyed the music. Some were dancing — they had a blast. They fuel a fire in us.”

    Carlos Santana as a guitarist is known for blending Afro-Cuban rhythms with melodies and guitar influenced Latin jazz.  What aspects of Carlos Santana’s music do the musicians of Soundz of Santana work hard to replicate? 

    “Growing up in a predominantly Latin community, it seems fitting to play that out. With Santana, every song is gold. For example, a salsa player in Puerto Rican music does pretty much the same thing in every song, but in Santana’s music, all the guys love playing that uniqueness, and that’s what makes it exciting… Do you ever feel so passionate about something, you can’t get enough of it? That’s what this music is to us.

    Not too many people could walk in our shoes. I don’t care how many times I hear “Black Magic Woman,” I hear it differently every time. I never get bored of it.”

    The Eiteljorg is a museum of Native Americans and the West, with a strong emphasis on the Southwestern U.S.  From the musicians’ perspective, what is it like to play Carlos Santana’s music at this venue with the Eiteljorg building in the background?

    “As far as I could tell from reading his autobiography, . . . .  (Carlos Santana) believes that we are all one, and we all believe that too. I think we have the same values, the same wants. The band wants to make music and . . . spread Santana’s message. If we are a tribute band, we tribute his music and his message. He brought everybody together. Internationally, nationally. . . . . If anybody tells you you’ve got to be Latin to play Latin music, that’s a lie. What it boils down to, is that music is universal.”

    Is there anything you want people to know about the band?

    “We don’t do this for notoriety, to tell you the truth. We don’t do this for money. We just do it for the love of the music. We’ve accepted who we are, we’re all in this together. I recently found out that I’m 49 percent Native American, I took a DNA test. There’s a new meaning for me here now. We keep it true, real — not just the Santana way, but our way.”