Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • New Art 2.0 | Exhibit and sale opens Saturday, Nov. 1

    by Jennifer Complo McNutt and Ashley Holland | Oct 29, 2014
    Bird Hat 

    Rick Bartow (Wiyot of Northern California), Bird Hat, 2013, monoprint, edition 1/1, 30 1/8 x 22 1/2 in. Print courtesy Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts. Photograph by Hadley Fruits.

    Collector. Patron. Donor. These are a few of the words museum insiders like to use. They sound impressive. How can someone become associated with one or all of these words? How do they become more than words that give meaning to people’s lives, both personally and for the public? It is art, but is it good? Who makes those determinations? How? It was these questions and ideas that led to the creation of New Art 2.0.

    Feddersen and Lavadour
    Feddersen (Colville Confederated Tribes) and James Lavadour (Walla Walla), Untitled (Amongst Friends series), 2010, monotype, edition 1/1, 15 x 22 3/8 in. Print courtesy Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts. Photograph by Hadley Fruits.

    The New Art of the West series is not a new concept. It is the exhibition that helped to establish the Eiteljorg contemporary collection and in particular planted the seed of interest in Native American contemporary work that has become the hallmark of the contemporary collection. The series promoted cultural variety and diverse traditions as well as time-honored practices in landscape, portraiture, and still life. New Art 2.0 takes its cue from the exhibition that produced nine shows and catalogues and highlighted the best emerging and established contemporary artists working in the West today.

    Eva Lake, Golden
    Eva Lake (American, born 1956), Golden no. 2, 2012, lithograph, edition 14/14, 30 x 30 in. Print courtesy Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts. Photograph by Hadley Fruits.
    We are grateful to the patrons and collectors who supported our initial efforts at collecting during the museum’s 25 years. As the museum looks to the next 25, it also ushers in a new generation of patrons and collectors with New Art 2.0. This next exhibition is a fitting complement to the collecting opportunities found in Quest for the West and our annual Indian Market and Festival.

    Working in partnership with Crow’s Shadow Institute of Art , with a little help from Todd Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Art 2.0 includes prints by Native and non-Native contemporary artists and features many artists whose work is already in the Eiteljorg permanent contemporary collection. Native artists Joe Feddersen, Marie Watt, Jim Denomie, Truman Lowe, and Kay WalkingStick, to name a few, are coupled with non-Native artists such as Dale Chihuly and Storm Tharp.

    Damien Gilley, Everything Incorporated
    Damien Gilley, Everything Incorporated, 2014, lithograph, edition 1/12, 22 x 30 in. Print courtesy Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts. Photograph by Hadley Fruits.

    So to answer a few questions new patrons and collectors may have, owning artwork creates an affinity and affiliation with artists and organizations, and a curiosity and empathy for broadening world views. Patronage at any level indicates a responsibility and embodies idealism toward humanity and the musing of mere mortals.

    Can one piece of art really incite so much? We have seen it happen again and again. Let it happen to you.

     New Art 2.0 is an exhibition of prints, many created by Eiteljorg Fellows and contemporary Native and Non Native artists. It is a blend of “op art,” landscape, political and environmental statements as well as portraiture. Approximately 90 limited edition prints will be on exhibit and available for sale with prices ranging between about $500 - $4000. 


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  • Day of the Dead | The Exhibition (Through Nov. 6)

    by Daniel Del Real, Nopal Cultural Center | Oct 23, 2014
    Now through Nov. 6, Eiteljorg visitors will have the opportunity to experience a remarkable Day of the Dead exhibit curated by a small multicultural arts organization called Nopal. Inside of the museum's Lilly Theatre, guests will see several ofrendas (altars honoring the dead) adorned with pictures, paintings and items that belonged to deceased loved ones as well as paintings and photographs for sale by local artists.
    Nopal has also partnered with the museum to host a celebration event for the exhibition to be held from 10 am. - 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25.  It is through partnerships like this that the Eiteljorg expands its reach into the community. The following blog post was written by Nopal Cultural Center's Daniel Del Real.

    ofrenda 3
    In my world, the letter "A" has always stood for Art.
    The letter "B" has stood for Bird.
    The letter "C" has stood for Color.
    Lately, I've had to change my meaning of "C" - from "Color" to "Community."

    On Jan. 16, 2014, Nopal Cultural Center (a multicultural arts organization seeking to enhance Latino-American arts) started planning Day of the Dead: A Contemporary Exhibition and Celebration Honoring the Lives of our Dead, at the Eiteljorg.

    ofrenda 2

    When word got out about having our event at the Eiteljorg, our arts community's ofrenda - Frieda 1excitement was instantly renewed. More and more volunteers and movers and shakers joined our team to cover all the corners that Nopal could not. Some of the outrageous ideas we had, turned out to be not so outrageous. And, every week, new people started to come to our meetings to bring different things to the table like models for our Catrina runway show, musicians, templates for paper banners, paper flowers and elements for our altars.

    It started to become not just about making something happen, but also something to look forward to. And, our many volunteers felt a sense of belonging.

    In fact, Mechelle Henderson, one of our volunteer models, said that she has felt welcomed into our community, even though she is not Latina.

    Valdora White Water and her husband DJ Payne of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Indiana Apache & Cherokee Nations were invited to create an altar in representation of American Indians. Valdora says she has felt welcomed by Nopal where in other avenues she experienced rejection. 
    daniel dod community
    "C" is for community.

    The community we formed has created a beautiful event but has also inspired the individuals within it in different ways. Some have learned new traditions, some have discovered ancient ones. Others have learned new skills and new appreciation for old techniques. One thing is certain, we all have come out of it with a sense of pride to be a part of something bigger and better that each can call theirs.

    This is why C is for Community. 

    Day of the Dead: The Exhibition runs through November 6, 2014. The celebration event is on October 25, 2014 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

      ofrenda - daniel and friedaDaniel Del Real
    Nopal Cultural Center
    1043 Virginia Ave. Suite 205
    Indianapolis, IN 46203
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  • Exciting New Objects in the Native American Galleries

    by James H. Nottage, Eiteljorg vice president and chief curatorial officer | Oct 03, 2014


    Delicate pendants by Kevin Cranmer in the Northwest Coast section of the Native American galleries. (pictures 1 and 2)
     Change, as the saying goes, is inevitable at the Eiteljorg Museum. If you have not visited the Native American Galleries for a while, there are wonderful new acquisitions that you should see.  Changes themselves come about for two primary reasons. Some objects are taken off of exhibit so that they are not overexposed to damaging light. Some objects are placed on exhibit because they are new acquisitions that allow us to tell stories more effectively. Some changes are subtle while others are more dramatic.

                While it is not obvious, there are new prints and fiber art on exhibit in the gallery that explores the art of Alaskan and Inuit peoples. By contrast, the Northwest Coast section is featuring two splendid carved masks and a panel by  Kwakwaka’wakw artists  Ryan Cranmer and Richard Patterson along with a carved and painted panel by David Boxley, Tsimshian. One new case features seven beautiful carved and painting miniature pendants by Kevin Cranmer. The biggest changes are in the Southwest and California sections.  An open platform featuring California baskets has been replaced with a huge exhibit case with many examples of Apache and California baskets.  These splendid objects are from many different donors, but highlights are from the Mel and Joan Perelman, Helen Cox Kersting, and Brook and Margaret Berger collections. They range from miniatures to examples over three feet high. Finally, the open panel that features Navajo and Apache weavings and garments has been completely re-done to feature important historical and contemporary weavings from the Kersting Collection. A number of these have never been shown before and are now available for your enjoyment for the first time.
    The rug on the left by Rose Benally (Navajo), was commissioned by donor Helen Cox Kersting through the Heard Museum Shop in Phoenix, Arizona. It was presented to the Eiteljorg in 2005 to commemorate Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure. If you look very closely, you'll see trains running across tracks.

               These changes are a collaboration between several of our curators and the exhibitions and collections departments.  They give new vitality to the galleries, especially as we move toward a new season of school group visitors.

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  • Mink Coat, Coach Bags, McAfee Football, and more | Place Your Bid Oct. 18 at Buckaroo Bash

    by Sarah Farthing, Eiteljorg individual and event coordinator | Oct 03, 2014

    On Oct. 18, we invite you to don your finest cowboy attire, leather, lace and saloon wear as you step back into the wild West at the 17th annual Buckaroo Bash. By attending, not only do you get to dance the night away to the Flying Toasters and watch talented chefs face off in a scrumptious dessert battle, you also get the chance to bid on high-end items and unforgettable experiences such as:

    • A stay at the Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch situated on 15,000 acres of Rocky Mountain wilderness in Saratoga, WY.

    • Two pieces of fine accessories from Windsor Jewelry

    • A one-week stay for a group at Palace by the Sea on the majestic Mexican Riviera Coast

    • Four one-day Park Hopper passes good for the Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney's Hollywood Studios®, or Disney's Animal Kingdom®

    • A behind the scenes tour of the Indianapolis Zoo

    Here are just a few of the hundreds of silent auction items up for bid at this year's Buckaroo Bash! 

    Natural Long Mink Coat Stay warm and stylish in this full-length Natural Ranch Mink coat by Indianapolis-based company L. Strauss, in pristine condition. Value: $4,000 

    Coach Black Madison Phoebe Shoulder Bag

    Crafted in hand-worked Italian leather by Coach, this popular Phoebe shoulder bag is styled in black with gold fixtures and a center metallic clasp. Value: $358


    Coach Vermillion Satchel

    Own this Coach vermillion satchel crafted of genuine soft leather with silver hardware. This purse has two zip compartments and one main large compartment with magnetic button. Value: $225 

    Colts' Football Autographed by Pat McAfee

    Own an autographed NFL football by punter Pat McAfee #1 of the Indianapolis Colts. Value: $100 


    Four Walt Disney World Park Hoppers

    Live the magic with four one-day Park Hopper passes valid for admission at the Walt Disney World Resort including the Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Value: $536


    Coach Signature Design Dog Collar

    Make your pooch the talk of the dog park with this signature "C" grey and black Coach collar complete with a fire hydrant tag and leather backing. Value: $68


    Silver Inlay Multi-color Bracelet

    This cuff bracelet created by Indian Market & Festival artist Frank Chee (Navajo, Dine) is crafted in sterling silver and a variety of inlaid stones. Value: $245


    Original Oil Painting by Charles Sultan

    Add to your personal art collection with this original oil painting by renowned artist Charles Sultan entitled Old Mojave. Value: $1,500 


    Large Pendleton Tote Bag

    Own this large brown leather base Pendleton bag; perfect for a trip out West or a short weekend away. Value: $298


    Songs of Summer Sculpture

    Own this one-of-a-kind stone sculpture, Songs of Summer, created by

    Eiteljorg Indian Market & Festival artist Walter Torres (Acoma Pueblo) from the Pueblo of Acoma. Torres' style of carving has been influenced by the teachings of grid systems he learned at the Poeh Arts Center in Pojoqaque. Value: $1,500


    Wonder Stone Salmon Sculpture

    Take home this three wonder stone salmon sculpture on a stone base. This beautiful piece was hand crafted by Indian Market & Festival artist Sam Dimmick (Inupiat Eskimo). Value: $325

     Proceeds from the Buckaroo Bash support educational programming for more than 24,000 school-age children that visit the museum annually. The price is $200 a head. Secure your time traveler’s pass, by calling, 317.275.1333.

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  • The Kersting Collection of Southwestern Cultural Arts

    by James H. Nottage, Eiteljorg vice president and chief curatorial officer | Oct 03, 2014

    Weavings in the Eiteljorg's Southwest gallery.

    Have you visited the Eiteljorg’s Native American galleries lately? Changes began taking place in July and the major reason for this is that we have taken the opportunity to feature donations from Helen Cox Kersting in the Southwest and California sections.  Helen has continued to actively support the museum, joining us with her companion Donald DeWitt at the 25th anniversary gala in late May. Just a few months ago, collections and curatorial staff visited their home in Arizona to pack and move the last of Helen’s collection to Indianapolis. To date, Helen Kersting has donated an astonishing collection of jewelry, pottery, weavings, Katsina carvings, baskets, paintings and other objects numbering over 1,000 items!

              NA GALLERY CHANGES1 
    Eva Salazar (Kumeyaay), snake basket, 1990-2008, installed in newly created basket exhibit. Gift: Courtesy of Helen Cox Kersting in memory of Dr. Hans Joachim Kersting.

    Helen Cox Kersting 2013For the Eiteljorg staff, working with Helen Kersting has been a highlight of our careers. For the future of the Eiteljorg Museum, we have gained significant strength in our collection with masterworks from Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Acoma, Zia, San Juan, and other cultures. Prior to 2008, our collection expressive of these cultural areas was small and undistinguished.  Today, our holdings are admired by colleagues, artists and the general public. When the original Kersting gift was exhibited and published in 2010 the greatest obvious strengths were in pottery and jewelry. In the years since, Helen has focused on adding to these areas while building strength in other areas of the collection. In particular this is true of Katsina carvings and Navajo weavings. New installations in the gallery are now featuring some of the weavings, more baskets, and jewelry.  In coming months you will see additional evidence of how the collection has been enriched.

                We all deeply appreciate what will be the lasting legacy of Helen Cox Kersting’s collection at the Eiteljorg Museum.  When you visit, admire her contributions. Consider writing a letter of thanks to her and send it to my attention at the museum. I know she would appreciate your thoughts.

    NA GALLERY CHANGES 3Larry Vasquez (Aztec/Mayan/Mescalero Apache, born 1947), necklace of Lone Mountain fossil turquoise and gold. Gift of Helen Cox Kersting, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Eiteljorg Museum.
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