Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • Native Olympians

    by User Not Found | Jul 30, 2012
    On Friday night, the Olympic flame was lit in London, kicking off 17 days of international competition. What does this have to do with the Eiteljorg Museum? Much more than you might think! This year’s Olympians include four Native women, three representing Team USA and one First Nations athlete representing Canada. Mary Killman (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) will represent the U.S. in synchronized swimming. Killman has a strong local connection, as she has been living here in Indianapolis while she trained with the national team. Tumua Anae, a native Hawaiian, is competing as the goalie for the U.S. water polo team. Adrienne Lyle (Cherokee) is representing the U.S. Equestrian team in the dressage competition. Finally, Mary Spencer (First Nations Ojibway) is participating in the Olympic debut of women’s boxing, competing in the 75-kilogram middleweight class for Team Canada.    

    These four women are far from the first Native athletes to participate in the Olympics. 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the 1912 Olympics, held in Stockholm, Sweden. These games were the scene of major triumphs by four Native athletes as they collectively brought home three gold and two silver medals for Team USA.  Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox) won the gold medals in both the Pentathlon and the Decathlon, a feat that has not been repeated since. This achievement led King Gustav V of Sweden to proclaim him “the greatest athlete in the world.” Duke Kahanamoku, a Native Hawaiian, won the 100 meter freestyle event for the U.S. swim team, and helped the 4 x 200 meter relay team to a silver medal. Kahanamoku later went on to medal in both the 1920 and 1924 Olympics. Andrew Sockalexis (Penobscot) did not medal but finished an impressive fourth place in the marathon. Lewis Tewanima (Hopi) won silver in the 10,000 meter run, setting an American record that lasted until another Native American athlete, Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota), broke it while winning gold in the Tokyo Olympics of 1964.  

    In honor of all these achievements, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) has put together an exhibit titled Best in the World: Native Athletes in the Olympics. The exhibit will be on view through Sept. 3, 2012, and includes medals, photographs and other memorabilia.  

    The Eiteljorg Museum has its own piece of Olympic history on display. Mihtohseenionki: The People’s Place is an ongoing exhibit dedicated to Native groups that have called Indiana home.  There are sections dedicated to the Miami, Potawatomi, Delaware and others. Objects in these cases represent both the historical and contemporary lives of the members of these groups. The Delaware section currently contains the Olympic uniform of the first Native American ever to serve as the head coach of an Olympic team. Gayle Hatch (Delaware) was the head coach of the 2004 weightlifting team. On loan from NMAI since 2010, his uniform will be on display in Mihtohseenionki until July 2014.

    Best of luck to the 2012 Native Olympians! You can follow their progress on the NMAI website.

    Kelly Rushing Carter is the museum registrar.

    Photo captions:

    (1)   Coach Gayle Hatch and Billy Mills at the opening of Best in the World: Native Athletes in the Olympics at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC

    (2)   Coach Hatch’s uniform on display at the Eiteljorg Museum

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  • On loan

    by Jaq Nigg | Jul 26, 2012

    by Lisa Watt, festivals and markets coordinator


    In my “real life,” I’m part of the team that plans Indian Market and Festival, WestFest, Women in Art Market, Winter Market and Mercado. But, as a graduate student in the IUPUI Museum Studies program, each summer I get to moonlight at a different museum as an intern. This year, I’m “on loan” to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM for six weeks, and I’m determined to make the most of it.

    For fledgling museum professionals, the opportunity to intern at different museums is a wonderful experience. Everything I learn will undoubtedly help me in the future, from the relationships I’m forming to working with collections (as I did last year at the Whipple Company Store and Appalachian Heritage Museum in Scarbo, WV) to working with development as I’m doing now. My primary projects are to assist with their annual gala and on their summer membership drive. This represents a totally different side of the museum world than what I do at the Eiteljorg: working with education and public programs, where we are challenged to incorporate all sides of the mission into (hopefully) fun and educational programs, oftentimes on a shoestring budget.


    The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center seems to be poised to blossom into a premier cultural organization in the Southwest; primarily due to their connections with the nineteen pueblos (8 Northern and 11 more). The museum is located on the land where the Albuquerque Indian School was from 1881-1982. There is one original building remaining from the school, which they plan to turn into The Institute for Pueblo Indian Studies, and will welcome academics not only from the Southwest, but from around the world.


    This is a wonderful and busy time of the year to be in Albuquerque. So much is happening, including many of the pueblo feast days, the International Folk Art FestivalSpanish Market and the Santa Fe Indian Market. This past weekend, I attended the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Arts and Craft Show and Market (formerly 8 Northern). It was funny to talk to artists that know me from Indian Market and Festival, because it would take a minute for them to place me. I would greet them and they would look at me like, “how do I know you?” before it clicked. I also met some great artists that I hope apply to our show.

    Since it is monsoon season, it rains almost every afternoon and produces the most brilliant rainbows that I've ever seen. No wonder so many artist come here to paint, the colors are indescribable. I cannot wait to get out on the weekends and enjoy all that New Mexico has to offer before coming back to the “real world” in Indiana.




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  • Steel Ponies brings new friends to the fold

    by User Not Found | Jul 25, 2012

    My job affords me the opportunity to work with some pretty remarkable, community-minded companies and individuals. As Steel Ponies comes to a close (August 5) and we begin to report on the exciting successes, I am reminded of the great new friends we’ve made through this exhibition. In addition to attracting new audiences, we welcomed several corporate sponsors that we had not worked with previously like Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson.

    In October 2012, Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson will celebrate its 65th Anniversary. Through the decades and four generations of the Schulteti Family, the company has operated out of two locations outfitting countless customers with beautiful motorcycles and gear. We are excited to have the opportunity to celebrate Southside’s anniversary with them in 2012 and appreciate their willingness to loan the Eiteljorg one of their bikes for our special exhibition – a 1929 Harley-Davidson Model JDH with a double-wide side car.  

    The JDH, known as the Two-Cam Harley, was advertised as the “fastest model ever,” with a top speed of 85 to 100 mph. It was the first Harley-Davidson with the appearance of a modern motorcycle featuring larger fenders and gas tank. New for 1929 were twin headlights. In 1929, 10,000 74-cubic-inch JDs were produced, yet probably less than 100 of these very special H models were ever built. Come see this beautiful bike at the Eiteljorg before August 5!

    Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson would like to extend a very special invitation – they hope to see you for their 4th Annual Night Before the Indy Mile Race Party on Friday, August 17 from 2 – 8 pm. Click for more information. 

    Katie Lineweaver Robinson, corporate contributions manager
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  • For the love of Australian Shepherds

    by User Not Found | Jul 24, 2012
    I have a confession: I wasn’t always a dog person. Growing up, we had dogs but they were rough and tumble mutts that showed up on our front porch…country dogs, you might call them. When it came time to live on my own, my apartment seemed more suited towards an independent and minimal needs species, so I adopted two barn cats. 

    It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started exploring my appreciation for canines. I had moved to a bigger place and my cats weren’t very interested in taking long walks. At the same time, anyone who has met Jennifer Complo McNutt (curator of contemporary art and my direct supervisor) knows how much she loves dogs and that love is contagious. Soon I started researching dog breeds and came across what had been missing in my life all along: the Australian Shepherd! 

    What better dog for an Eiteljorg Museum employee than a breed specifically bred for the West? Despite their name, Australian Shepherds, as we know them today, originate from the United States and were bred to herd. Their name originates from an association with the Basque sheepherders who came to the United States from Australia in the 1800s. Australian Shepherds are intelligent dogs that still maintain their strong herding and guardian instincts but also make great family pets. They need a job but are often referred to as “Velcro dogs” because of their intense need to be near their humans. 

    It was through my fascination of Australian Shepherds, or Aussies for short, that I began volunteering with the Aussie Rescue & Placement Helpline (ARPH), the official rescue organization of the Australian Shepherd Club of American (ASCA). Through ARPH, I have met many wonderful Aussies as well as amazing people who are dedicated to the breed. 

    My boyfriend and I adopted from ARPH in March 2011. Our Rufus is exemplifies all the wonderful attributes that makes an Australian Shepherd: loyalty, sweetness, intelligence, playfulness and spirit. Rufus doesn’t have an official herding job like his ancestors and Aussie cousins, but he does a pretty good job of keeping our cats in line while we are at work! 

    More information on adopting an Aussie 

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  • The Eiteljorg Museum and the Great Indiana State Fair

    by User Not Found | Jul 24, 2012

    For the first time, the Eiteljorg Museum will be a part of the Indiana State Fair. We will have a booth in the Expo Hall to let guests know about the great things coming up at the Eiteljorg Museum. If you’re hot, which is likely considering this year’s weather, we will be handing out fans to help you cool off and will remind you about our upcoming exhibit, Guitars, opening March 2013.

    In addition to our booth, the Eiteljorg Museum has also developed a promotional partnership for the Great American Wild West Show at the State Fair on Aug. 12 and 13. There are only a few performances of this great show with cowboys, Native American performances and daredevil riders in a thrilling spectacle. So, be sure to visit on one of these days and see the show, it’s free with your admission.

    If you would like to volunteer and help us spread the word about the Eiteljorg Museum at the State Fair, contact Deborah Kish at 317.275.1325 and she can help you. We’ll buy your ticket to the State Fair!

    Discount tickets to the Indiana State Fair are available at Indiana Walmart Stores, CVS/pharmacy, Indiana Farm Bureau, The Marten House Hotel and the Fairgrounds Box Office.

    Hope to see you there!

    Anthony Scott is the museum's communications manager

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