Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • Quest Miniature Art Sale appealing to new and longtime collectors

    by Bryan Corbin, Editor, Storyteller Magazine | Aug 24, 2017

    This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Storyteller Magazine.

    John_Moyers_Dakota_Badlands_Study (miniature artwork)Some beginning art collectors fell in love with art they saw at Quest for the West® but the price was beyond their pocketbook. Some experienced art collectors had the financial means but not the room in their art-filled homes to acquire yet another large framed painting or major sculpture.

    The Eiteljorg heard the pleas of both camps and devised a lively and affordable solution at this year’s Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale: offer miniatures.

    The museum asked Quest artists to create small works that would be more affordable and take up less space. In doing so, the separate miniatures show will generate more competition among the collectors and more overall excitement during Quest weekend.

    In addition to the works each Quest artist is entering into the main show, most also are entering new miniatures they’ve created, one per artist. Paintings will typically be no larger than 12-by-12 inches. Sculptures should be 8 inches or smaller. The miniatures will be available in Eagle Commons in a fixed-price, luck-of-the-draw sale Friday evening Sept. 8.

    Unlike the main Quest works which must remain on exhibit until Oct. 8 before purchasers receive them, at the Quest Miniature Art Sale, buyers can take home their newly-prized art that evening. Guests who can’t attend both nights of events can still attend the Sept. 8 miniatures sale only, for the reduced price of $75 per individual or $125 per couple. Contact or 317.275.1341 to make reservations.


    John Moyers
    Dakota Badlands Study, 2017
    12 x 12 inches


  • America's top Western artists return to Indy for Quest for the West®

    by Bryan Corbin, Editor, Storyteller Magazine | Aug 23, 2017

    This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Storyteller magazine. 

    The Eiteljorg again will be the center of the Western art universe Sept. 8-9 when prominent artists converge at the museum to offer striking new works depicting the Fellows_Where_the_Sun_Goesgrandeur of the American West. The 12th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for art collectors; and since the Quest art will be on exhibit through Oct. 8, visitors can experience the powerful beauty of the Western paintings and sculpture.

    Considered one of the leading Western art shows in the nation for the quality of the art and exceptional hospitality, Quest for the West® has elevated the Eiteljorg’s profile while connecting top Western artists and a base of longtime and new art collectors. The newly created Quest works feature dramatic landscapes and iconic scenes of cowboys, Native Americans, horses and bison depicted in a memorable era in the nation’s history, as well as in the West of today.

    “We’re thrilled by the popularity of the Quest show among visitors who come to the Eiteljorg specifically to see the contemporary realist Western art,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “Our museum’s Western Art Society was visionary in advocating for creating Quest in 2006 to bring beautiful new works to the Eiteljorg each year.”

    Robert_Griffing_On_the_Banks_of_the_AllegheniesAt Quest, 49 artists will show nearly 200 recent works not exhibited previously. Returning artists include longtime participants Michael Dudash, Robert Griffing, Curt Mattson, P.A. Nisbet and Roseta Santiago among others. Six artists are making their first Quest appearances: Russell Case, Rox Corbett, Deborah Copenhaver Fellows, David Grossmann, Mark Maggiori and Tim Solliday. Nisbet is the Quest Artist of Distinction, and a special exhibit of his work opens Sept. 8 in the Paul Gallery.

    D_Smith_Deep_Forest_DescentOn Saturday, Sept. 9, potential buyers can mingle with artists and enjoy paintings and sculptures in the special exhibit gallery while entering their names into a luck-of-the-draw lottery for the chance to purchase pieces. By longstanding Eiteljorg tradition, a trumpeter playing a fanfare marks the start and end of each interval to enter the drawing. The collector drawn first has the option to purchase a piece. If he or she declines, the work is offered to the next name drawn until a buyer accepts.

    An exciting weekend of Quest-related events awaits. Registered Quest guests can enjoy an afternoon open house Friday Sept. 8 at Cathy and Bob Turner’s Zionsville home to see Western art in context, followed by the Quest Miniature Art Sale that evening at the museum; and then a gala opening Saturday Sept. 9, with dinner by Kahn’s Catering. For reservations, contact or (317) 275-1341. Curt Mattson created this year’s Eiteljorg Keepsake that Quest attendees can enter to win.

    Grossmann_Summer_Dusk_PatternsAt last year’s Quest for the West®, nearly $1 million in art was sold. The museum keeps a percentage of art sales to support its operations and to acquire the Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award artwork.

    Quest art can be viewed in advance of the sale at Works not sold opening weekend are available for purchase until Oct. 8, when the exhibition closes.


    Deborah Copenhaver Fellows
    Where the Sun Goes, 2016
    26 x 18 ½ x 11 inches

    Robert Griffing
    On the Banks of the Alleghenies, 2017
    Oil on linen
    24 x 40 inches

    Daniel Smith
    Deep Forest Descent, 2017
    20 x 20 inches

    David Grossmann
    Summer Dusk Patterns, 2017
    Oil on linen panel
    30 x 40 inches

  • DOGS: FAITHFUL & TRUE -- Open through August 6

    by By Bert Beiswanger | Jun 30, 2017

    By now you’ve seen the adorable TV commercials and billboards around town, including one featuring a dog appropriately named Doc Holiday. What better way to represent an exhibit about dogs and their roles in the West than Doc — an Australian Shepherd, American-bred in the West.

    The Eiteljorg’s 2017 featured exhibit, Dogs: Faithful and True, has captured the attention of media far and wide and the hearts of museum visitors of all ages. And to say the museum has had fun with the exhibit and all the special programming supporting it is an understatement.

    “It’s a very sentimental show, because when people see images of dogs they become very empathetic,” said Jennifer Complo McNutt, Eiteljorg curator of contemporary art and lead curator on Dogs.

    John Audubon_Hare-Indian DogThrough art, photographs, objects, interactive experiences such as a drawing station where visitors can create dog art, as well as a robust schedule of family programming, visitors explore the enduring presence and contributions of dogs as companions, workers and heroes in the West and Native cultures. This is a heart-warming and insightful look at our canine friends.

    “In this show, you see sculptures of dogs, some very abstract and crazy-looking dogs, fun photographs of dogs, historic paintings of dogs and dog blankets used in Native American ceremonies — and the dogs were dressed in their regalia.” McNutt continued. “It’s an interesting and fun way to learn about the many roles of dogs in Western and Native cultures.”

    Dogs: Faithful and True continues through August 6. Don’t miss the opportunity to bring family and friends to see this popular exhibit, as well as experience our special programming days.

    Exciting Dogs programming continues through the summer:

    Saturday July 8
    Hear from artist Veryl Goodnight, meet adorable dogs from Paws and Think, see a drawing demonstration and much more. Details are here.

    Friday August 4
    Outdoor film screening, Best in Show (PG-13) at dusk. Details are here.

    Sunday August 6
    Final day to see the Dogs: Faithful and True exhibit, noon to 5 p.m. Details are here.

    Visit and follow the Eiteljorg Museum on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on Dogs.

    Image Caption:
    John James Audubon (American, 1785 - 1851)
    John Woodhouse Audubon (American, 1812 - 1862)
    Hare-Indian Dog
    lithograph with original hand-coloring
    Eiteljorg Museum Collection

  • Special exhibit celebrates 25 years of Indian Market art

    by By Scott Shoemaker, Ph.D, (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma), the Thomas G. and Susan C. Hoback curator of Native American art, history and culture | Jun 19, 2017

    For the local and regional community, the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival is an important venue for interacting with Native artists and experiencing the diverse Native arts and cultures of North America. In conjunction with this year’s market, the exhibit Indian Market and Festival: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years will open on June 23 and run through July 30. The exhibition features market art added to the museum’s collections through generous donations of patrons and celebrates the market’s many artists.

    Susan Folwell -- Love Gun jarThere is much to celebrate. Indian Market could not exist without the artists, who come to the Eiteljorg each June from all over the United States and Canada. Donors, staff and the public have developed deep relationships with the more than 800 artists who have participated in the market over its lifetime. Many of these artists’ works have greatly enhanced the museum’s collection through the Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award and the market’s signature image. These additions help us further our mission — to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the Indigenous peoples of North America.

    Starting during the market’s early years, a signature image has been selected from among participating artists’ works. This image is used on T-shirts and in promotional materials to convey the high quality of art market-goers will encounter. Some works that became signature images were acquired for the museum’s permanent collections. These range from paintings by several renowned Native artists to a beaded portrait, Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill by Marcus Amerman (Choctaw).

    Marcus Amerman -- Buffalo Bill and Sitting BullAs early as 1993, patrons purchased artworks from market artists and donated them to the museum for the permanent collection. In 2004, a formal purchase prize was created. Consulting with donors who contribute the funds to acquire pieces, the curatorial staff gives presentations on exemplary and important works submitted for judging and chooses several that would help fulfill the museum’s collecting strategy. Then the donors vote on their favorite piece.

    Those chosen by the committee are added to the museum collections and represent nearly every category at the market. These encompass the broadest range of Native art visitors can encounter at Indian Market, such as the jar Love Gun by Susan Folwell (Santa Clara Pueblo) or the lidded basket Blue Herons by Ronni Leigh Goeman (Onondaga) and Stonehorse Goeman (Seneca). Both works are exquisite examples of customary and culturally specific art forms that also are innovative.

    The signature images and purchase awards add exceptional pieces of Native art from living artists and fill existing gaps in the museum’s collection. These awards help the Eiteljorg demonstrate a continuum of expression and the broad array of creativity of Native artists using a wide range of mediums and their innovative use of materials, forms and design.

    Ronni Leigh Goeman and Stonehorse Goeman -- Blue HeronsEven if you can’t attend Indian Market and Festival this year, the exhibition in the Gerald and Dorit Paul Gallery will provide you with the “market experience.” We look forward to what the future holds for Indian Market and Festival and for the artists who help to make it such a wonderful event.

    Top image:
    Susan Folwell (Santa Clara Pueblo, b. 1970)
    Love Gun, 2013
    Clay, India ink, bone white slip
    Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award, 2013 Indian Market and Festival

    Middle image:
    Marcus Amerman (Choctaw, b. 1959)
    Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull, 2006
    Glass size 13 cut, antique and seed beads and size b Nymo nylon thread
    Museum Purchase: Indian Market Signature Artist

    Bottom image:
    Ronni Leigh Goeman (Onondaga, Eel Clan) and Stonehorse Goeman (Seneca)
    Blue Herons, 2014
    Black ash splint, sweetgrass, moose antler, moose hair, buffalo horn
    Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award, 2014 Indian Market and Festival


  • Enduring Sandstone

    by Bryan Corbin | Jun 15, 2017
    In its June issue, the Grand Rapids-based magazine Great Lakes By Design featured an interesting article about the architecture of the Eiteljorg Museum building. The article quotes the museum's award-winning architect, Jonathan Hess, as well as Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall.  The article, "Enduring Sandstone" by Chelsea Slocum, appears on pages 44-46 and can be downloaded at this link:
    Great Lakes By Design magazine article, June 2017

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