Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • A “Picture Perfect” Holiday Gift Guide from Roberts Camera

    by User Not Found | Dec 03, 2012

    A “Picture Perfect” Holiday Gift Guide from Roberts Camera

     In honor of our National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West Exhibit, it is time to take a few moments to think about the camera lovers in our lives!  We all have a family shutterbug to buy for this holiday season, so here are a few ideas to help you find the perfect gift for photographers at any level.

     For the budget shopper out there, one thing I recommend is a small tripod. From time to time, every photographer finds he needs a bit more stability, so an inexpensive, portable tripod is a must-have for every well-stocked camera bag. One of my favorites is the Gorrillapod made by Joby. The Gorrillapod has a very clever design: the legs are flexible so you can wrap them around almost anything, like a tree branch, railing, or anything else that happens to be available. Joby makes many different sizes to accommodate a variety of cameras, from “The Original” ($21.95) for point and shoot cameras to “The Focus” ($99.00) for large, professional quality DSLRs. If you are looking for a more traditional tripod with a bit more height, then the Mefoto Compact Travel Tripod Kit for $139.99 is the winner. It folds up to only 12.6" and unfolds to a whopping 51.2" and can hold up to 8.9 pounds of camera. It comes in five colors and includes a nice little carrying case.

     Another inexpensive gift is an updated camera strap. The Black Rapid straps are an amazing tool for any photographer, especially an event or street photographer. These straps are designed so the camera hangs upside down on a sliding strap across the photographer’s body. This allows her to quickly grab her camera, get off a few perfectly-timed shots, and just as quickly secure it at her side and out of the way. Starting at $55.00, this very well might be the last strap the photographer in your life will ever need.

     A new camera is always a great gift too.  For the young photographer, I’d recommend the Nikon S01 ($179.95*). It's small enough for a child to use comfortably, and it’s stylish enough to turn an eye. The S01 comes in four colors, shoots great video and includes a carrying case and enough built in memory for over 3000 photos. If you’re buying for an adventure seeker, the Nikon AW100 ($349.95*) is the perfect camera. It is designed to resist damage when dropped from up to 6 feet, can function at up to 30 feet underwater, and can still shoot in below freezing temperatures! The Nikon AW100 will allow the extreme sportsman in your life to capture all of his adrenaline rushes.  Finally, for the photographer who never leaves home without a camera, consider the revolutionary Sony RX100 ($649.99*). This camera delivers DSLR quality images but is still small enough to fit in your pocket. Its massive 1 inch sensor and an f1.8 Carl Zeiss lens allow low light shooting capabilities beyond any other point and shoot camera available.

     What if you’re the photographer? Give friends and family the gift of your photography. Collect twelve of your shots and compile them in a 2013 calendar (available online for $18.95). Or, you could give a canvas print of a beautiful image, stretched and ready to hang (starting at $29.99). You could even have a book of your favorite photos printed as you wait ($19.99). Any of these gifts would be priceless presents, loved for many years to come.

     Robert’s Camera also has the perfect gift for the photographer who has everything. We now offer a new full line of classes for beginners and experienced photographers. We have a special purchase during this holiday season that includes a gift pack of three advanced classes for $125; that’s a savings of up to $100!  We also offer private lessons. 

    You can visit for our full listing of our class options.

     If you can’t make up your mind, a gift certificate is always a great idea. Or stop by either of our Roberts Camera locations (Downtown or in Carmel) to work with our knowledgeable staff to find the perfect gift for the photographer in your life.

     **Prices listed in blog do not include any current vendor instant rebates.

    Go comment!

  • Are you making art in Instagram?

    by User Not Found | Oct 18, 2012
    When National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West opens at the Eiteljorg on Oct. 27, you'll be treated to 125 years of work by some of America's greatest photographers. The men and women who used to rely on careful use of Autochrome plates to manipulate color in the early 20th century would no doubt be shocked at what modern shutter bugs can do with just an iPhone and an Instagram app. Suddenly, you don't need an old, plastic Holga camera to create the interesting shadows caused by light leakage. Use the Hipstamatic app. Done.

    Today, everyone can be a photographer...of sorts. Go to a rock concert and the glow of iPhone and Android screens is as ubiquitous as Bic lighters were in 1975. Our lives are obsessively documented through phones; cropped, skewed and given a vintage cast through editing; and then shared on social media. 

    But does our new-found love of documenting and curating our lives mean we're missing actually living them? Do these new technological shortcuts amount to photographic cheating? Can the product of a hipster-held Smartphone be considered art?

    Last year the Orange Dot Gallery in London hosted an exhibition of Hipstamatic photos. And, this week, journalist and multimedia producer Richard Koci Hernandez created a video essay (below) and CNN article endorsing the state of modern photography. 

    What do you think?
    Go comment!

  • Quest for the West - Amazing Success!

    by User Not Found | Sep 26, 2012
    This past weekend the Eiteljorg Museum hosted one of its largest events of the year, Quest for the West! The turnout was just one of the successful points of the weekend! All of the guests were thoroughly impressed with the decorations, food, and pieces of art that were for sale. Each day during the weekend there were different events taking place all throughout the museum.

    Friday night was a dedication night to the Artist of Distinction, Doug Hyde. There was a small reception, as well as a speech from Mr. Hyde that night. Saturday was the main day for the big event- the art sale! There were close to two hundred pieces of art up for sale!

    At the end of the night on Saturday there was a huge reception and awards ceremony. We were at maximum capacity for the event, which turned out to be a wonderful challenge! With new tent regulations in place we had to plan how to successfully fit over 300 guests under our tent…the set-up turned out great! The beautiful weather was an added bonus to the Saturday and Sunday events! Sunday was the final day of the event; it concluded with a wonderful brunch in the morning.

    Overall, Quest for the West went beautifully and it seemed that all of the guests enjoyed their time at the Eiteljorg Museum! We hope to have next year’s Quest for the West event be just as, if not more, successful than it was this past weekend!

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  • Warps and Wefts: Adventures in Identifying Native American Basketry

    by Christa Barleben | Sep 05, 2012

    Warps and Wefts: Adventures in Identifying Native American Basketry

    Christa Barleben, Collections Cataloger

    We all own baskets, right? If we are like my mother we have about six in each room of the house, each with their own purpose. But have you ever really looked at a basket and how it is constructed?

    This summer the Eiteljorg Museum was able to host Bryn Potter, an expert in Native American baskets, to review our collection of over 500 Native American baskets. During Bryn’s three day stay, she was able to work with museum staff to better identify basket weaving techniques, the plant types used in the construction of the basket, and the types of dyes used create the beautiful colors we see in the basket designs.


    (above) Bryn Potter reviewing a group of Native American Baskets

    I fully admitted to Bryn on her first day with us, that I knew nothing about basket construction or weaving techniques (My love strays more towards beaded objects). She laughed and said I would when we were done. After three days surrounded by baskets, I came out having a new appreciation for every stitch and design in our basket collection.  Bryn passed along some very helpful tips during her time with us. I have listed a few below, that I found very interesting.

    Rod or Grass?

    Coiled baskets use plants such as willow rods and grasses, splints or roots to help form a bundle foundation. The foundation provides a support for the basket, which allows for the coils to be stitched together, forming the wall. Once the basket is finished, the foundation is often hidden. So how can you tell if you have a foundation based on rods or softer grass, roots or splints? The answer is texture. A basket based on a three-rod foundation will have a corrugated or a bumpy feeling to it, which is from the triangular shape the bundle of rods form when stitched together. A softer bundle will have a smoother surface to it, because the soft material doesn’t have the ridged shape the rods produce.


    (left) Basket, Olla. Apache, Rod Foundation, 1920-1940

    (right) Basket, Akimel O’odham, Bundle Foundation, ca. 1930

    Hat or Bowl?

    California groups, such as the Hupa and Yurok, weave dome-shaped basket caps that can be misidentified as food bowls when placed upside down. How can you tell the difference? Look for the zones in the design on the exterior of the basket. Basket caps have three-zone banding. There is one distinct zone around the crown or the top of the hat, one distinct zone around the center of the hat, and one distinct zone around the edge of the hat. If there aren’t three zones, then it is probably a bowl.


    (left) Basket Cap, Hupa, ca. 1900

    (right) Basket Bowl, Yurok, 1890-1920

    Half Twist or Full Twist?

    There are many different techniques used by weavers to create the beautiful designs that we see in their baskets.  One of the commonly used techniques is overlay or false embroidery. Overlay designs are commonly seen with twined baskets. Twining is a weaving technique in which two or more wefts. Weavers cross over each other between the warps. The color overlay design adds a third color on top of one of the wefts during the construction of the basket. When you can see the additional colored weft design on the exterior and the interior of the basket, it was produced using a full twist overlay. When the design can only been seen on the exterior of the basket, it was created using a half twist overlay.


    (left) Basket, Shasta, Half Twist Overlay, 20th Century
    (right) Basket (inside view), Klamath, Modoc, Full Twist Overlay, 1920-1940

    And because this is a blog about Native American baskets, I have picked out one of my favorites in our collection.

    Carrying Basket, Western Apache, ca. 1920

    Go comment!

  • Guides make exploring the Eiteljorg fun

    by User Not Found | Aug 31, 2012

    by Cathy Burton, Beeler Family director of education


    What is an Eiteljorg Guide?
    The Education Department at the Eiteljorg runs a training program and continuing education for the guides (aka docents) who lead museum tours. As the Director of Education, I get to train the volunteers who will become the museum’s guides. The guides are a fun group of people whose commitment of time and energy to the museum is very important to the Eiteljorg’s ability to fulfill its mission. They’re an integral part of the Eiteljorg family.


    Each October, we start a new guide training class that covers museum content, touring techniques, learning styles and other topics. The best part? There’s no final exam! I’ve already met with several interesting people who’ve signed up and more are welcome. After training there are monthly meetings for continuing education. Guides are greatly needed. In fact, each year requests for guided tours increase.

    What are some the best parts about being a guide?
    ∙ Be a teacher for an hour and then say good-bye!
    ∙ Meet visitors from all over the globe.  
    ∙ Help host special events.
    ∙ Have engaging and often witty conversations with guests.
    ∙ Be part of a wonderful team who encourage, help and develop talents.
    ∙ Great guide meetings – with snacks.
    ∙ Occasional guide-focused field-trips to bison farms and other museums.
    ∙ Access to an abundance of resources focusing on the American West and Native Americans
    ∙ Discount at the cafe & gift shop.


    What do Eiteljorg guides have to say?
    Looking back over the years to my guide training and subsequent tours at the Eiteljorg, I have all positive memories. I've met so many nice people on the tours; so many talented artists (both at the Indian Market and as Artists-in-Residence); so many friendly fellow guides; and so many helpful people on staff!”


    “I've learned so much – about Native Americans and the settling of the West – that I can share with visitors of the Eiteljorg. I am focused, knowledgeable and confident – all due to the training and help I've received along the way. More information is always available pertaining to all kinds of subjects relating to Native Americans and the settlers of the West. There's always more to experience!”


    “Being an Eiteljorg guide is the next best thing to living in the Wild West - art, history and romance all in one place!”


    Are there more exciting reasons to become an Eiteljorg Guide?
    ∙ We also have a book club and knitting group.
    ∙ The monthly meetings offer intellectual stimulation.
    ∙ The chance to meet other people who have a love for the American West and Native Americans.
    ∙ It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community, especially for retired and stay-at-home folks
    looking for a part-time outlet for special talents
    ∙ Great excuse to come down to a beautiful museum often.
    ∙ Previews walk-throughs of exhibits with curators, artists and visiting experts.
    ∙ The annual guide luncheon, a swanky celebration to thank guides for time and service.
    ∙ The chance to participate in special events like Indian Market and Festival, Quest for the West and WestFest.

    Do amazing things happen on tours?
    After a tour, one guide looked like she was on Cloud Nine. She told me that the teacher in her group had been one of her high school students years ago. The former student beamed at her; introduced her to her class; and said that because of her, their guide, she had become a teacher.  Can you imagine how that felt? Guides do know the good and the differences they make. They get warm thanks and occasional fan mail. They are appreciated by visitors and the museum staff.


    How can you become a valued Eiteljorg guide?
    Maybe you or someone you know would like to join the next training program? The weekly meetings are on Mondays from October 1 through January 28. Contact Deborah Kish, our volunteer services manager, at  if you are interested in becoming part of the Eiteljorg Education Department

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