Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • A Native American rug auction - in Indianapolis!

    by Jaq Nigg | Jul 05, 2012

    by Linda Montag-Olson, public programs manager


     Last Saturday, the Burnham Trading Post crew lugged two hundred Navajo rugs from Arizona to Indy for mid-westerners to peruse and purchase at the third annual Navajo rug auction at the Eiteljorg. I dropped in expecting to find prices well out of my price range and was surprised to find some small pieces selling for under a hundred dollars, and larger sizes for four hundred fifty to seven hundred. I thought, "perhaps I too could own an amazing piece of art – they take VISA!" I ventured a bid, raising high my number 17.

    In addition to the excitement of taking home art, history and culture all woven into one beautiful wool rug for a remarkable deal, I leaned that the Burnham family has been encouraging Navajo weavers for five generations, and they are a wealth of information with historical knowledge and behind-the-scenes details of the weaving culture in Arizona. The Eiteljorg Museum store brings them here annually - don’t miss next year’s auction!


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  • A weekend that jammed

    by Bert Beiswanger | Jun 28, 2012
    As physically draining as Indian Market and Festival weekend can be for the Eiteljorg staff, ultimately, it’s always very satisfying and rewarding. The event is unlike any other festival in the city. I’m always amazed at what our staff is able to accomplish. It’s an all-hands-on-deck event and to say it’s a busy week for us is an understatement. The mere thought of adding anything else to the weekend calendar is tiring just to think about. But add to it I did.

    When I found out back in April that same weekend would also feature a two-night stand at Klipsch Music Center (Deer Creek as it is commonly known by concert-going vets) by Dave Matthews Band, I didn’t flinch. The boys from Charlottesville, Virginia, took a rare year off in 2011, and there was no way I was going to miss the Friday and Saturday night shows (my 13th and 14th, respectively). Many thought I was nuts for even considering pulling off the wall-to-wall weekend, but those who know me well knew better. 

    Honestly, the only time I felt weary was when I wasn’t at Indian Market or the concerts. The two events were refreshing and fueled me all weekend. By day I got to team-up with awesome co-workers and witness unique performances by Brulé and the Git-Hoan Dancers. By night, I got to experience the band I love delivering two powerful three hour performances. My wife and I left the DMB show Saturday night both saying it was the best concert we had ever experienced. And I left the weekend feeling as though it was one of the better weekends I had experienced in quite a long time. 

    I figure I got about 10 hours of sleep on Friday and Saturday nights combined. But it just goes to show that if you’re enjoying what you’re doing, it’s easy to make The Best of What’s Around.

    Bert Beiswanger, marketing manager (circa 1989)

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  • I love Indian Market & Festival!

    by User Not Found | Jun 28, 2012
    Metalsmith Cody Sanderson (Dine) with his work--a belt buckle sold at the 20th annual Indian Market and Festival; photo by Martha Hill

    From an employee stand point, Indian Market and Festival often means 12-hour days, dirty feet, sunburns and exhaustion.  I’m sure there are some that would just focus on these aspects of the event, but not me! 

    Indian Market and Festival is my favorite weekend of the year. (It doesn’t compete against the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship because that is a biennial event and out of the running for best of the year.) I might be biased since I started out as a festivals Intern back in 2007. This was my fifth year and it is still as awesome as the first time.  

    When people ask why I love the weekend, it is really simple: I love having so many talented and wonderful Native artists in Indianapolis! It is an honor and a pleasure to spend time with them. The artwork is amazing and to be able to talk directly to an artist about their passion and skill is invaluable. 

    It is also fun to have an excuse to buy lots of art and jewelry! 

    If you didn’t make it to this year’s Indian Market and Festival, you should start making plans to attend next year. (Editor's note: June 22 and 23, 2013) If you did attend, leave a comment about why you love Indian Market and Festival!

    Ashley Holland, assistant curator of contemporary art

    Image Credit: Indian Market and Festival artist, metalsmith Cody Sanderson (Navajo/Diné) shows off his work--a belt buckle sold at this year's market. Photo by Martha Hill. 


  • Recycling and the Indian Market experience

    by Guest User | Jun 27, 2012
    Normally, when it comes to museums I can typically be found frowsily hunched over a large stack of books or inching in to scrutinize a painting’s every brushstroke (sometimes close enough to make every security guard in the building wince and shift uncomfortably). Yep, I’m that person. However, this past weekend I volunteered at the Eiteljorg Museum as it embarked upon its 20th annual Indian Market and Festival (IMF). The event, held in Indianapolis’ Military Park, is touted as the nation’s third largest Indian market. 

    Thankfully, this event brought me and many others out to enjoy the sun, Native music, dance, artwork and food. Akin to other Indian Markets, the Eiteljorg’s IMF presents Native artists a unique opportunity to explain their art and reach an otherwise distant clientele. Out of the 160 artists, over 60 tribes were represented from across the country. For me, meeting the artists was the most exciting part. It was so fascinating to hear their stories and discover where they find inspiration for each piece. Works of art varied in range between traditional to contemporary paintings, pottery, jewelry, musical instruments, and sculpture. 

    The interpersonal interaction is what makes this event so special. Sometimes it’s easy for nerdettes like me to forget that a casual conversation with a living artist can be far more educational than rigorous erudition. Immersion into the culture of Native people and interaction with contemporary artists can help decode ancient art history. More importantly, events like the Eiteljorg’s IMF can incite the immersion of Native culture into mainstream culture and give the residents of Indianapolis a culturally-enriching experience that may not otherwise be readily available. 

    Secondarily, as an environmentally conscious individual, I was thrilled to see that the Eiteljorg had partnered with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to install more than 40 trash and recycling collection bins throughout Military Park. Recycling efforts are becoming increasingly valuable to the city of Indianapolis as residents realize the significance recycling can have on not only reducing their carbon footprint but also on attracting companies to relocate to the Circle City. 

    Chelsea J. Airey, development intern

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  • We had a great time at Indian Market and Festival

    by User Not Found | Jun 25, 2012
    One of the fun things I get to do for Indian Market and Festival each year is take our performers around to different media outlets to talk about all the great things going on in Military Park. This year, early on Sunday morning, we stopped in at WTHR (channel 13) and we ran into the newly-crowned Miss Indiana. Here are a few of the Git-Hoan Dancers with MerrieBeth Cox, the 2012 Miss Indiana. Congratulations! 

    The Git-Hoan dancers also made it up to Fox 59. Check it out here. 

    Anthony Scott, communications manager
    Twitter: @Eiteljorg_PR
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