Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • Quest for the West Artist Adam Smith

    by Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 10, 2015
    Scenes from the old West will come to life in paintings and sculptures that will fill the galleries of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, with the opening of the 10th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. In one gallery, the only gallery like it in the state of Indiana, visitors can see and be the first to bid on millions of dollars in artwork from 50 coveted Western artists.  Meet Quest for the West artist Adam Smith.
    A Smith 2015
    Born 1984, in Medina, Minnesota; lives in Bozeman, Montana

    BORN IN MEDINA, MINNESOTA and raised in Bozeman, Montana, Smith has spent twenty seven years surrounded by the incredible wonders of western wildlife and has worked to master the art of its accurate rendering. Smith studies nature with the acute eyes of a scientist, yet gingerly recreates it with the hands of a painter. He is no stranger to fine art as he is the son of prominent wildlife artist and fellow Quest for the West artist, Daniel Smith. Make no mistake, this young artist sets himself apart from the competition and has already garnered much success in the art world. An avid traveler and cross-country explorer, Smith finds inspiration from trips he and his father have taken to Africa, Alaska, Utah, and dozens of national parks in between.

    Gallery Representation: Trailside Galleries, Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Scottsdale, Arizona

    Spring Runoff
    2015, acrylic, 18 x 36 inches

    Spring time in Montana is always a welcome sight. Warmer temperatures and additional moisture bring life back to the mountains. The spring runoff was in full effect and this black bear took full advantage of it. Experiences like this are what fuel my passion to paint. 


    Celebrate the best of the West and meet 50 of the nation's top Western-theme artists during the 10th anniversary opening weekend festivities for the Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis, IN.

    Only registered guests may participate in opening weekend activities. Register now to join in the fun, make new friends, socialize with artists and seasoned and fledging art collectors, enjoy fine food and purchase art for your new or established art collection. For your convenience, four Marriott Place hotels are located directly across the street from the museum.

    Register to participate in opening weekend festivities by purchasing a weekend individual or couples package.  If you are unable to attend but wish to buy art, you may purchase an absentee buyer registration to participate in the sale. Absentee buyers must submit purchase instructions and a credit card number to the Eiteljorg Museum by Thursday, September 3, 2015.  Please check the Absentee Buyer box.

      $250 Member; $300 Non-member
    Package includes one Quest catalog and one bid book per registrant, plus participation for one in all Quest events.

    $450 Member; $500 Non-member
    Package includes one Quest catalog and one bid book per couple, plus participation for two in all Quest events.

    Are you unable to attend the sale, but interested in purchasing art? Absentee buyers may participate in the sale by purchasing a bid book and catalog for $150. Additional bid books are available for $150 each. Limit three bid books per registrant. Absentee Buyer Instructions (Click to download)

    TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR SALE (Click to download)

    For registration-related questions, or for credit card registration by phone, please contact Kay Hinds at (317) 275-1341 or e-mail Your Quest catalog and bid books will be distributed when you check in at the registration desk on opening weekend. 

    Quest for the West is presented by the Western Art Society.

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  • Treasure of the SS Islander

    by Johanna Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator of Western Art | Aug 03, 2015
    The SS Islander was a steamship owned and operated by the Canadian-Pacific Navigation Company during the Yukon-Klondike gold rush. It offered luxurious accommodations for bankers, tycoons, wealthy business owners, and others. The steamer weighed 1,519 tons, measured 240 feet in length, and was made of steel. It frequently made the trip along the inside passage to Alaska, serving the needs of those headed for the Klondike gold fields. The ship left Skagway, Alaska, on August 14, 1901, carrying 168 people and a reported $6 million in gold. The next day, south of Juneau, it struck an iceberg, took on water, and sank. The treasure and forty lives were lost. Salvage efforts soon began, continuing off and on until recent years. 

    The most successful recovery of treasure from the SS Islander took place in the last five years, with more than 1,000 ounces of gold being recovered. You can see gold and three full gold pokes – the small leather bags used to hold and transport loose gold flakes and nuggets – that were recovered from the shipwreck in Gold! Riches and Ruin. This is the first time these artifacts have been publicly exhibited, and pieces of their original seals are still intact.
    Canadian Pacific Navigation Company Ship
    S.S. Islander, ca. 1900
    Photographer: Major James Skitt Matthews
    Image courtesy of City of Vancouver Archives
    AM54-S4-: Bo N215

    asl_p277_001_166 - smaller last blog
     15 Days’ Clean Up by the Gold Run (Klondyke) Mining Co., 1886–1913
    Image courtesy of the Alaska State Library, Wickersham State Historic Site Photos, 1882–1930s; ASL-P277-001-166

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  • Jammin’ In July | Live Music Every Wednesday

    by Sandy Schmidt, Eiteljorg public programs coordinator | Jul 07, 2015
    Music. It comes in all verities. It can be loud or quiet. It can be calming or inspiring. It can create emotions and recall memories.  Some types you love and others, well….they maybe aren’t your jam.  Everyone has a favorite song, whether it is classical, hard rock, pop, country or anything in between.  You know the feeling when that song comes on… suddenly it is the only thing you want to focus on for the next three minutes and you will not hesitate to silence your friend mid story by turning the volume to a level your Mother would condemn.  Don’t lie, you like music and you probably have done that at least once in your life.  That is one of the biggest reasons we have chosen to have live music under our new addition, The Sails!  This is going to be a wonderful community spot! We will have shade, games, drinks and tunes outside the museum, right next to the Canal.  As we completely understand that people have a variety of tastes in music, we are featuring a variety of bands each Wednesday evening in July from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. beginning on July 1st.

    We have booked some pretty great local bands including Freddie T & The People, Soundz of Santana, and Coolidge.  We also have The Indianapolis Ceili Band for a performance before they make their way to Ireland to compete!  All in all, we have a lot planned out there for that community space this summer and we would love to see your face!

    Just a head’s up, bringing your lunch to enjoy out under The Sails is wonderful…I may even venture to say blissful. Then factor in a little bit of lunch time live music that will be happening occasionally, and you will have an awesome work day break!  Wednesdays are about to get a whole lot better.

    Jammin' Line up:
    Soundz of Santana6
    July 8
    Soundz of Santana

    Whiloughby Sprig1
    (Willoughby Sprig)

    July 15
    Willoughby Sprig,  
    Indiana Old Time Ambassadors 
    Indianapolis Ceili Band 2014
    July 22
    Indianapolis Ceili Band
    Emily Ann Thompson Band

    July 29
    Frank Dean, Scott Parkhurst and LuAnn Lancton
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  • Hard Rock, Hard Luck

    by Johanna Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator of Western Art | Jul 05, 2015

    Come to camp with our Spirits way down dont [sic] like the looks of the country. [A]nd I dont [sic] like the looks of the men dont [sic] believe there is a claim on the creek that will pay wages. —Jerry Bryan, 1876 

    The general character of my mining has been to get the ore out, reduce it to bullion, and sell it . . . [I]n other words, we were engaged in what is called legitimate mining . . . On the whole, I think that mining is about the best business of all. —George Hearst, in his 1890 memoir

    In 1876 approximately 10,000 fortune seekers poured into Deadwood Gulch with dreams of easily gotten gold. For most, these dreams were quickly shattered when reality hit. The canyon terrain was extremely rough and difficult to navigate. The most profitable claims were scattered haphazardly throughout the Hills, isolated from one another. The richest deposits of gold were veins running through hard rock, which necessitated the use of heavy machinery like stamp mills to extract the gold.

    None of these conditions were conducive to success for individual miners or small mining companies, and it didn’t take long for larger companies to squeeze out the competition. In the latter part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries, gold mining in the Black Hills underwent rapid industrialization, with the Homestake Mining Company dominating the field.

    The Homestake claim was first filed in April 1876 by brothers Fred and Moses Manuel, but soon after was purchased from them by George Hearst. A veteran of the California gold rush who had made his fortune running a general merchandise store and investing in mines, Hearst rapidly expanded the mine’s operations. The city of Lead (pronounced “leed”) developed with the mine and was a company town. It was the largest and deepest gold mine in North America, and until it closed January 2002, one of the most productive. The mine has since been converted into a deep underground science and engineering laboratory, renamed the Sanford Underground Research Facility, and is used by physicists to study neutrinos and dark matter.

    Between Pluma and Lead in 1890, 1890
    Image courtesy of Historic Deadwood, Inc., Adams Museum Collection; 0070.220.001

    Homestake Workings, ca. 1920
    Image courtesy of Deadwood History, Inc., Homestake Mining Company Collection; 61-16

    Carpenter Crew, ca. 1900
    Image courtesy of Deadwood History, Inc., Homestake Mining Company Collection; 25-1

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  • Indian Market and Festival 2015 |Traditional Hopi Piki Bread

    by Debi Lander | Jun 25, 2015
    As Indian Market and Festival draws near, we’d like to tell you about some of the things we’re extra excited about.

    Number 1: The 1491s
    Number 2: Twin Rivers 
    Number 3: Down Feathers and Masks! 
    Number 4: Stories!
    Number 5: Buck! 
    Number 6: Traditional Hopi Piki Bread!

    We are thrilled that Iva Honyestewa (Hopi) will be doing Piki Bread making demonstrations throughout the weekend of Indian Market and Festival, June 27-28. You can also catch Navajo Frybread and Miami Acorn Flatbread demos. piki 1 
    What do you need to know about Piki Bread?

    By Debi Lander of

    Piki bread is a traditional staple of the Hopi people and the ancient New Mexico Pueblo peoples. The dry, thin rolled bread truly melts in your mouth and tastes delicious. The technique used to make the featherweight thin bread is difficult to master and has been passed down from mothers to daughters for generations. I had the privilege of watching Iva Honyestewa make the authentic recipe in her own piki house on the Hopi lands in Arizona.

    Piki takes several days to make from scratch but Iva started her preparations beforehand by grinding blue cornmeal down to a fine powder and obtaining culinary ash from burnt juniper trees. 

    piki 2
    She began by lighting a fire of cedar wood below her stone cook top.  
    piki 4
    Then, she mixed the grayish blue cornmeal with hot water and added the ash through a fine sieve. The mush looked like sticky play dough, but she continued adding more water to make it thinner. 

     piki 6

    Iva eventually used her hand to finish mixing. 

    piki 7
    Next, she brushed her stone with oil (traditionally oily sheep brains) and ran her hand on top to check the heat.


    piki 8

    The thin batter was then hand smeared over the stone into a translucent layer. Iva repeatedly dipped her fingers in the batter to cover any holes and smooth out the layer. The batter bakes instantly and in a very short time becomes dry enough to lift or peel off.  Iva then transferred the near weightless cooked sheet of bread to her table.

     piki 10

    When three or four wafer thin layers are baked and stacked, they are folded and wrapped together. If necessary, they are placed back on the stone for a few seconds to reheat before folding. 


    piki 11

    The finished roll is placed in the basket. The entire recipe requires about 3-4 hours work to complete.

    Be sure to stop by to visit Iva as she makes Piki Bread during Indian Market and Festival. For more information about what’s happening Indian Market weekend, and to purchase advance sale tickets, visit Indian Market & Festival info

    Special thanks to Debi Lander for permission to use this blog post.

    For the original post, visit the blog By ~ Lander ~ Sea Food Tales


    Before the kick-off of Indian Market, the Eiteljorg will host two parties Friday, June 26 – the official IMF Preview Party and the AfterGlow party featuring the 1491s and DJ Kyle Long.

    Preview Party Details
    5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    Price: $90/members $100/non-members
    An exclusive first-look shopping opportunity and reception. Attendees get free weekend passes to Indian Market and Festival.

    IMF AfterGlow
    9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
    Price: Free for AGAVE members and $15/non-members and non-Indian Market and Festival Preview Party attendees
    Grab a glow stick and join us for beverages, dancing, desserts and entertainment by the 1491s and DJ Kyle Long. Interact with artists in a relaxed setting along the canal and underneath The Sails of the Eiteljorg. Call (317) 275-1333 to make reservations.

    Time, Tickets and Parking
    - Indian Market and Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in White River State Park’s Military Park, just north of the museum in downtown Indianapolis.

    - Discounted advanced tickets for the event are on sale at the Eiteljorg Museum, on the museum’s website and Marsh Supermarkets or by calling 1-800-622-2024.

    - Advance sale tickets are $10. Tickets during the market are $12 at the gate. Kids 17 and under are FREE. Admission to the Eiteljorg is included.

    - White River State Park underground garage next to the Eiteljorg Museum and IUPUI parking lots across from Military Park provides the most convenient and inexpensive parking for this event. Shuttles to and from the museum are available.

    -Parking in the White River State Park garage will not be validated Indian Market weekend.

    For even more information about what’s happening Indian Market weekend, and to purchase advance sale tickets, visit Indian Market & Festival info.

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