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  • Eiteljorg Insider | Meet Curatorial Intern Lyndsey Blair

    by Lyndsey Blair, Eiteljorg curatorial intern | Apr 22, 2015

    Lyndsey Blair
    Howdy! My name is Lyndsey Blair, and I am a second-year graduate student in the Public History Master’s program at IUPUI.  For the past nine months, I have served as the Eiteljorg’s curatorial intern.  Much of this time has been spent researching information related to the museum’s latest exhibit, Gold! Riches and Ruin.

    For this exhibit, I read numerous articles and books by respected historians, examinedlyndsey blair - WP_20150225_003 first-hand accounts in newspapers, letters, and journals, and viewed thousands of historic photographs.  These resources have given me a greater understanding of the California, Black Hills, and Yukon-Klondike gold rushes.  The most important point I learned was that these rushes not only affected the miners (who were from a variety of backgrounds) but American society as a whole. Some of these changes were beneficial, while others were not.   For example, this phenomenon turned fledging western towns like San Francisco into bustling cities, led to advances in railroad transportation and mail delivery, and inspired new works of art, music, literature, and fashion.  But this event also exposed racial and ethnic tensions in mining camps and nearby cities with diverse populations and resulted in the genocide of thousands of Native Americans. 

    Lyndsey blair 2 - WP_20150225_007Beyond the academic knowledge I have gained from this internship, I have also learned a lot about the museum world.  Much of the work that occurs in museums is a collaborative process, and the same can be said for the Eiteljorg.  With this latest exhibit, staff members spent hundreds (and possibly thousands) of hours planning, researching, and installing the show.  Of course there are the curators, whose work has already been addressed.  But it is also important to recognize the contributions of the designers, the education department, the marketing team, and the maintenance and security staff.  All of these people played important roles in this exhibit.  In the end, I am very grateful to have been part of Gold! and hope visitors enjoy seeing all our hard work!

    Go comment!




  • Eiteljorg Insider | Meet Agave President Justin Sufan

    by Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Jul 10, 2014



    Tonight, beginning at 5:30, Agave, the Eiteljorg's young professionals' auxiliary will co-host a "Sip & Learn" event featuring Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison at the Eiteljorg and 431 Gallery: Art and Impact, at the Indiana State Museum. Agave is teaming up with 1816, the State Museum's young professionals' group. 

    Lots of planning goes into developing an event that takes 20-to-30 somethings to two museums in the same night. And, Agave's dedicated and creative team works hard to make it happen. We asked Agave President Justin Sufan a few questions about Agave and why young professionals should join!

    EITELJORG BLOG: What interested you in joining Agave?

     JUSTIN: Other than having an appreciation of the local arts scene, I've always had a special interest in the Eiteljorg Museum.  I remember originally visiting the Eiteljorg at a young age on a school field trip, and since then I've always held the Museum in high regard.  A few years ago while attending IndyHub's Get IndyVolved event at the Children's Museum, I came across the Agave booth.  The Agave members had a lot of exciting things to share about the Museum, and I joined on the spot!  Like many other young professionals in Indianapolis, I find that Agave offers the perfect blend of networking coupled with the Arts.

     EITELJORG BLOG: What plans do you have to make the Agave experience even better this year?

    JUSTIN:  We look to offer a Young Professional (YP) experience that's very different agavehappyhouranseladams1from what other YP groups in Indy offer.  Agave closed out a successful 2013 and, in large part, this was due to the help of a new and engaged auxiliary board.  We plan to build on that success in 2014.  We've had exciting events the first half of the year and even more planned later - including Jorgstock on the Canal August 23, our Freiteljorg Halloween party in October, and a Holiday party in December.  Of course we'll continue to offer Happy Hour events throughout the year.  All of our events celebrate the Museum, and feature a current exhibit.

    EITELJORG BLOG: Why should young professionals join Agave?

    JUSTIN: There is something distinct here at the Eiteljorg.  Your participation in Agave opens doors to a great network of intelligent and contemporary community leaders in Indianapolis who share an appreciation of culture and the arts...  and at only $30 a year, the value far exceeds the entry point.  We have an inviting Agave board and we make personal connections with all of our members.  We have great events, opportunities to meet new people, and excellent educational programs. Finally, our events are FUN.  They range from low key curator-led Happy Hour events to raucous parties on the canal with incredible bands and DJs.  Not to mention, all of our events are open to the public so you can bring your friends too!

    Justin works full time in regulatory affairs for Indianapolis Power & Light Co.

     TONIGHT'S EVENT:

    Agave Sip & Learn
    Thursday, July 10
    5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    Admission is $25; $15 for Agave and 1816 members
    Hosted by: Agave, the Eiteljorg Museum’s young professionals’ auxiliary, and 1816 Associate Board, the Indiana State Museum’s young professionals’ group.
    Guests will enjoy local brew, wine and eats while experiencing two of Indy’s premier cultural institutions. The evening begins at the Eiteljorg, where guests will get a private curator-led tour of the museum’s Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison exhibit. Then, they will walk over to the Indiana State Museum for a VIP exploration of 431 Gallery: Art and Impact. Tickets available at www.gmhappyhour.eventbrite.com.

     

    Go comment!




  • Eiteljorg Insider | 5 Questions with Mary Downey, our Longest-Serving Employee

    by Jaq Nigg, Eiteljorg Festivals and Markets Manager | Feb 07, 2014


    Eiteljorg bookkeeper/office assistant Mary Downey on a fishing trip with her family in 1989, the year the Eiteljorg opened.

    Celebrating her 25 year anniversary along with the Eiteljorg is bookkeeper/office assistant, Mary Downey. She’s been here since the very beginning and has had many roles. She saw the original building built, knew Harrison Eiteljorg and has been part of every exhibit and event the museum has produced. She’s a great team member, and one of the people everyone on staff knows they can go to with a problem with the copier, finding obscure budget information, remembering something or someone from years ago, knowing how things used to be done and having great ideas for changes that could be made. Mary knows where all the bodies are buried!  [hahahahaha] We thought it would be great to hear from her for this week's Eiteljorg Insider!

    If you weren’t a bookkeeper, what would you be?
    That question still is not answerable. I’m not sure. Whatever God has planned is what I will be. I enjoy my job and all the folks I work with. We have a great team working here.

    What inspires you?
    Jesus inspires me. His love for all of us and how we should love one and other. My family, friends, nature…Life

    What should we ask you about your life that you want us to know about?
    I enjoy building puzzles. I love being in water either canoeing or swimming. My dog loves the water, too, so when we’re camping she becomes my swimming partner now that my two children are grown up.

    What was it like at the Eiteljorg 25 years ago?
    The building was not finished yet and we worked in another office building. One of my first jobs was helping answer phones for the executive secretary. There were not a lot of staff back then and we shared a large room with some cubicles. When we moved into the building, it was still under construction and noisy. We had earplugs so we could concentrate. Then we opened, and it has been changing ever since.

    What have been your favorite changes at the Eiteljorg in the last 25 years?
    Way better technology. I don’t want to date myself, but back then the letters on the computer screens were orange. Bigger building and the Annis Center with the stage coach. My very favorite time is Jingle Rails. I would love to have a set up like that in my house if I had a house that would hold it. There have been so many exhibits and events that it is hard to address them all, but I like Quest and Indian Market. I look forward to New Art starting up again. I can’t wait to see what is coming up in the next few years! Also, I now have my own (BIG!) office space – yahoo! (Pictured: Mary, with coworkers Dee and Lezlie).

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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.

    Go comment!




  • Eiteljorg Insider | 5 Questions with Contemporary Curator Jennifer Complo McNutt

    by Jaq Nigg, Eiteljorg festivals and markets manager | Oct 14, 2013

    We caught up with the Eiteljorg’s curator of contemporary art after a hectic week of working with photographers for images for the upcoming Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship publication. Jennifer believes the Eiteljorg has the greatest collection of Native American fine art in the world. She should know. She’s been with the museum since 1991 – just two years after we opened – and has been instrumental in building the collection.

    Contemporary curator Jennifer Complo McNutt

    Favorite piece of art in the Eiteljorg collection: One favorite is Dry Ditch by Kenneth Miller Adams. Jennifer is a painter at heart. Kenneth Miller Adams, The Dry Ditch, 1964The strong slightly exaggerated triangular composition is a sight for sore eyes; the dry methodic application of paint mirrors the oppressive unrelenting heat; the figures expressions and gestures pulling them down; and the wiggling upturned posture of the child is hope, perseverance, why we don't give up, what we give for the future.

     1. What inspires you?
    A world without blogs. Living with dogs. Helping ideas become real. Making art accessible to everyone, no matter how complicated it is.

     2. If you could steal any piece of art in the world to have in your home, what would it be?
    If I am going to steal anything it wouldn’t be art. . .steal a glance, steal a moment, steal away. . .

     3. If you weren’t a museum curator, what would you do?
    Whatever I had to. . .

     4. Do you collect anything?
    Yes. Denzel Washington. My collection is currently incomplete.

     5. If you could spend the afternoon with anyone – living or dead – who would it be?
    I try not to spend time with dead people. If I choose a dead person to hang out with it would be my father. A living person: Bill Clinton, hands down. What do they both have in common? They were/are smart and funny. Forget smart without funny . . . that’s not smart.

    Pictured above:
    Kenneth Adams (American, 1897-1966)
    The Dry Ditch, 1964
    Oil on canvas
    Gift Courtesy of Harrison Eiteljorg

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