Our media relations team can respond quickly to your requests. Please contact director of marketing and communications, Bert Beiswanger via email at or call 317.275.1317, public relations manager, Bryan Corbin via email at or call 317.275.1315 or communications coordinator, Hyacinth Rucker via email at or call 317.275.1388.

GUITARS exhibit rocks Eiteljorg Museum to attendance record

by User Not Found | Aug 08, 2013


For Immediate Release
For more information:
DeShong Perry-Smitherman
Public Relations Manager
(317) 275-1352

                  Guitars! exhibit rocks Eiteljorg Museum to attendance record
        More than 63,000 people visited museum galleries over five-month period

(Indianapolis) Aug. 6, 2013 – Guitars! Roundups to Rockers, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art’s 2013 epic exhibition, was the museum’s best-attended show in its 24-year history. The exhibit, which featured more than 100 instruments – many played by American icons,  attracted more than 63,000 people from Mar. 9 through Aug. 4.

John Vanausdall, Eiteljorg president and CEO, says he knew Guitars! would strike a chord with both Hoosiers and music-lovers across the nation. “We wanted to bring these amazing instruments into our gallery so that fans could actually stand steps away from the guitars that helped create the soundtrack for their lives. Most importantly, we opened people’s eyes to how guitars are woven into the art, history and culture of the West.”

Vanausdall added that the institution’s  educational programming during the run of Guitars! furthered the show’s popularity. “Our staff came to the table with exceptional ideas that helped make this exhibition sing. From the free guitar lessons, to a schedule that was chock-full of local and national bands, Guitars! wasn’t only a success for the museum, it was a way to educate, entertain and inspire our community.”

The Eiteljorg’s next spring/summer exhibit, featuring the work of famed photographer, Ansel Adams, will open Mar. 1, 2014, in celebration of the museum’s 25th anniversary. The show will feature nearly 100 classic images, including 75 photographs Adams chose and printed as the best representations of the range and quality of his life’s work.

But visitors will not have to wait until next year to experience culturally-inspiring art and events at the Eiteljorg. The fall brings many events to the museum including: Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Out West, Buckaroo Bash and Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, and more:

Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Sept.. 6, 7 & 8
Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale Opening Weekend
Special schedule for registrants. Visit  for details.
A must-see event and one of the best Western art shows in the nation. Meet 45 artists and fellow collectors in an intimate setting while acquiring art for your collection.

Sept. 28
12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.
2013 Out West: LGBT Stories of the American West
Join us for a screening of the powerful documentary, Two Spirits, about the brief life and tragic murder of transgender Navajo teen, Fred Martinez. A panel discussion and a DVD/book signing with filmmaker Lydia Nibley and Native American two-spirit scholars, Dr. Wesley Thomas (Navajo) and Dr. Brian Gilley (Cherokee of Oklahoma), will follow the film. Conceived by independent curator, Gregory Hinton, the Out West program series illuminates the positive contributions of the LGBT community to the history and culture of the American West.

Oct.. 25
6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Buckaroo Bash: Carats, Corsets and Cowboys
Start preparing your finest jewels and corseted saloon wear for a night of daring elegance! Attendees will be entertained by the Endless Summer Band, serve as judges in a competition among Chef’s Academy pastry students and enjoy innovative food from Kahn’s Catering. Additionally, all present will have the opportunity to participate in both live and silent auctions, a wine pull, and the chance to purchase raffle tickets for a piece of fine jewelry from G. Thrapp Jewelers. Tickets can be purchased online, beginning Aug. 15, through the

Nov. 9 – Feb. 2, 2014
RED: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship
The biennial Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship honors four juried artists and one invited artist who excel in the field of Native contemporary art.  In addition to gallery tours by the 2013 Fellows, opening weekend activities include an awards ceremony, and a contemporary arts celebration Friday, Nov. 8, in partnership with Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (Imoca), Big Car and Cultural Cannibals. The celebration will feature A Tribe Called Red and the 1491s.

Nov. 23 – Jan. 19, 2014
During regular museum hours
Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure  
*New in 2013 - Aspen Ski Resort
Enter a locomotive wonderland--a network of trestles, bridges and tunnels with chugging trains and detailed replicas of national treasures-- all made of natural materials like twigs, moss and nuts and wrapped up in holiday trimming. Jingle Rails is a journey to the Great American West – the real West and the West of the imagination.

The Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. The museum is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park, at 500 West Washington, Indianapolis, IN 46204. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call (317) 636-WEST (9378) or visit



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