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  • In Memoriam | Eiteljorg Museum remembers volunteer Jack Van Atta Skillman

    by Cathy Burton, Eiteljorg Beeler Family director of education | Jan 24, 2014

     

    Retired engineer Jack Van Atta Skillman served for many years as a volunteer at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. He died Jan. 21 at the age of 91. Eiteljorg Director of Education Cathy Burton took some time today to reflect on what Jack brought to the Eiteljorg each time he entered the building.
     
    Jack and his wife Ruth participated in many Eiteljorg museum events. You will see his name in the Mihtohseenionki Gallery. During the Eiteljorg's building of that gallery and the later expansion, Jack and Ruth were solid supporters, as well as cheering on the staff.

    Jack was an enthusiastic guide and worked also on the hands-on carts. I wish I could show you how he used his wonderful smile and expressive manner to capture the interest of school children and the public visitors. He had a special style and drew people into the stories and interpretation he used in our galleries.  We have missed him, but every time I see a sparkle in the eye of a volunteer, a little of Jack will be here.


    - Cathy Burton, Eiteljorg Beeler Family director of education

    Click here to read Jack Van Atta Skillman's full obituary.

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  • Don't Miss Josefina Day this Saturday | Games, performances to cure cabin fever

    by Alisa Nordholt-Dean, Eiteljorg Public Programs Coordinator | Jan 22, 2014


    It’s Indiana and Old Man Winter has been rearing his ugly head again. Schools were cancelled or delayed again this week, which means yet another day at home with the kids bouncing off the walls. If you’re itching to get out of the house with your family this weekend and looking for something fun and unique to do, plan an adventure to the Eiteljorg Museum for Josefina Day – a day of games, performances and art-making activities inspired by the New Mexican culture of the American Girl, Josefina. 

    On Saturday, Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., young guests can create paper flowers, try colcha embroidery, play lotería (a Mexican game similar to bingo) and so much more! At 1:30 p.m. Anderson Ballet Folkorico will take the stage for a lively performance. Watch as the Folklorico dancers twirl across the stage in brightly colored dresses while performing traditional Mexican folk dances from various regions in Mexico.

    At 3:30 p.m. eager young visitors and their grown-ups will gather in the Clowes Ballroom, anxiously awaiting the highly anticipated Josefina Doll giveaway. One lucky child will win his/her very own Josefina, American Girl Doll to take home and love forever. You need not be present to win.

    But alas, if your name is not drawn out of the big red American Girl prize box, do not despair…there are no losers at the Eiteljorg Museum! A sturdy stack of consolation prizes will be given out following the doll drawing. And besides…the real winners are those who came out on a cold winter afternoon and experienced Josefina Day at the Eiteljorg and all it had to offer.

    Josefina Day events and activities are included with regular museum admission.

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  • Eiteljorg Insider | 5 Questions with Photographer Blake Little

    by Johanna Blume, Eiteljorg Assistant Curator of Western Art | Jan 17, 2014

    Blake Little is a sought-after commercial and celebrity photographer in Los Angeles, and his client list includes publications such as Time and Entertainment Weekly, and celebrities Steve Carell, Colin Powell, and Jane Fonda. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he competed in the gay rodeo. On Saturday, Feb. 1, the Eiteljorg will open Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo. It showcases photos taken by Blake during that time.

    Johanna Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator of western art, asked the renowned photographer five questions to help you learn about how he works, his favorite people and his dream project.

     1. If you had to spend a day not using any technology, what would you do? 
     If I was in LA, I would hike in the hills near my home and make a trip to Los Angeles County Museum of Art or MOCA downtown and stop in a local neighborhood restaurant for a great lunch. 

     2. What do you listen to while you work?
    KCRW Radio (NPR's Local Station). It has the best music, news, and commentary. It’s one of the great things about LA.

     3. If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
     I would be a landscape architect, I love architecture and gardens. My mother taught me to garden and to appreciate the benefits of the earth.  

     4. If you could invite anyone to dinner who would it be and why? BONUS POINTS: What would you serve? 
     Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Nadav Kander; three incredible photographers I respect so much.  I would serve homemade pasta, fresh salad, dessert, and a great red wine.

     5. What’s your dream project?
    In June of 2012, I received an art grant to photograph cowboys in and around Calgary, Alberta. For 10 days we photographed cowboys and western culture; everyone from professional cowboys at the Calgary Stampede to feed lot workers in rural Nanton, AB.  I would love to do another grant project like this in Europe, Australia, or another part of the world.  It was so rewarding and creative to do an intense extended period of shooting on the subject of my choice with a full crew and production team…my dream project. 

     Here's a look at some of the photos you'll see in Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo.
    Gordon Fiedor
    Blake Little
    Gordon Fiedor Close Up, Los Angeles, California, 1989
    Image courtesy of Blake Little

    Blake Little
    Roping Practice, Scott Terry, Phoenix, Arizona, 1989
    Image courtesy of Blake Little

    Blake Little
    Chute Dogging, Phoenix, Arizona, 1989
    Image courtesy of Blake Little

    The Eiteljorg plans to travel Blake Little nationally after the exhibit closes on July 13, 2014. The timeline and venues for the traveling exhibit are to be determined.

    Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo and associated public programs, at the Eiteljorg are a part of the museum’s Out West series. The series, created and produced by independent curator Gregory Hinton, illuminate the many contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities of the American West, and celebrate the diversity of the region.

    Meet Blake Little Friday, Jan. 31, at the opening party for his exhibit.

    Opening night preview party
    Friday, Jan. 31
    $20 per person for members
    $30 per person for nonmembers
    6:00 p.m.        Complimentary wine and food pairing course
    6:45 p.m.        Performance by the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus
    7:15 p.m.        Tour the exhibit with the artist

    Opening day
    Saturday, Feb. 1
    Included with general admission
    12:30 p.m.      Indy Men’s Chorus performs
    1:30 p.m.        Blake Little special program featuring Little, curators and gay rodeo participants
    3:00 p.m.        Informal gallery talks with visitors

     Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo is proudly sponsored by the Eiteljorg Museum with additional support provided by William L. Fortune, Jr. and Joe Blakely.

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  • First Snow of the Season

    by DeShong Perry-Smitherman, Eiteljorg public relations manager | Dec 06, 2013

    Kenneth R. Bunn, American, born 1938
    Whitetail Deer, 1989
    cast bronze
    The Richard D. and Billie Lou Wood Deer Fountain
    George Carlson, American, born 1940
    The Greeting, 1989
    cast bronze
    Gift: Courtesy of Harrison Eiteljorg 

    Allan Houser, Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache, 1914 – 1994
    Morning Prayer, 1987, cast 1997
    cast bronze
    Museum purchase with funds provided by Joan and Mel Perelman
     
    (far left) Truman Lowe, Ho-Chunk, born 1944
    Water Whispers, 2005
    stainless steel, formed glass, stone, concrete
     
    Museum Purchase made possible with the support of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission, and the Efroymson Fund, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation

    (far right) Doug Hyde, Nez Perce, Assiniboine and Chippewa, born 1946
     Southwest Summer Showers, 1989
    cast bronze
    Gift of the Friends of the Museum

    Other beautiful pictures outside the Eiteljorg Museum.
     



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  • It’s always the season to show R-E-S-P-E-C-T

    by Ashley Holland (Cherokee), Eiteljorg assistant curator of contemporary art | Oct 31, 2013

    Happy Halloween! A friendly reminder to always be respectful of other cultures when you are picking a costume…

    Each year, around Halloween, I face the same horror. No, it isn’t goblins or ghosts that frighten me. It is the ever-present “Indian costume.” There are a few reasons I am strongly opposed to the idea of anyone “dressing up” as an “Indian,” including cultural misrepresentation and reducing a diverse people into a single stereotype. I use the quotations with “Indian” because these are false representations.  Even though costume wearers are not portraying a specific person or group, they still do harm. By reducing a group of people to a stereotype, one perpetuates the misunderstandings that surround Native peoples. Native cultures should not be portrayed as a caricature. They are strong and vibrant. Show respect by not dressing up as an “Indian” during Halloween and the rest of the year. And do not be afraid to tell others why those costumes are inappropriate.


    CAPTION: "Indian costumes makes me sad."
    Ashley Holland (Cherokee),assistant curator of contemporary art (in the red sweater)

     

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