Museum Info

Monday – Saturday:
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Noon – 5 p.m.

500 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

16th Annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale

Back as an in-person event featuring Academy Award-winning actor Wes Studi
By Bert Beiswanger, director of marketing and communications

Wes Studi (Cherokee)
Photo by Jen Boyer

Whether they enjoy stunning landscape paintings, realist portraits of people, compelling representations of nature or beautiful sculptures, admirers of Western art will converge on the Eiteljorg Museum in September for the 16th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, one of the very best opportunities in the nation to purchase and experience Western art.

This year marks a return to the familiar in-person format not seen since before the events of 2020. Last year, the Eiteljorg celebrated 15 years of Quest for the West® with a virtual version of the sale and achieved success beyond expectations.

“While we are thankful for the contributions and support by many who made that experience possible last year, we are elated this year to welcome back the Western art world – artists, collectors and media alike – to the Eiteljorg Museum to experience Hoosier hospitality at its finest,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said.

With a national reputation as one of the best and most-anticipated Western art shows, Quest for the West® provides a memorable setting to bring together top Western artists and the collectors who treasure their art. Adding to that memorable experience this year, the museum invited a special guest, Academy Award-winning actor Wes Studi (Cherokee).

John Moyers

Autumn Breeze, 2021
18 x 18 inches

Art and artists. Quest features newly created works by 51 top artists of the Western American genre. Robert Griffing, P.A. Nisbet, Gladys Roldan-de-Moras, Curt Mattson, Dean Mitchell, Mian Situ and others will showcase their art, inspired by the people and history of the American West. View the list of artists and latest gallery of art at Guests who have pre-registered and paid to participate in opening weekend activities will have the opportunity to meet Quest artists.

John Fawcett

Guardian Angels, 2021
24 x 30 inches

Quest main sale. On Saturday, Sept. 11, art collectors who are pre-registered can scout out works by their favorite artists and bid in an on-site, fixed-price, luck-of-the-draw sale. Absentee bids also are accepted. A bidder whose name is drawn first gets the first right to purchase a particular piece. If the bidder passes, the next person drawn is offered the right to buy it. This process continues until a lucky bidder accepts and becomes the happy new owner of the artwork.

Miniature art sale. Now in its fifth year, the Quest miniature art sale is a popular complement to the main sale and will take place Friday, Sept 10. Many Quest artists offer smaller examples of their work. It’s a perfect option for experienced collectors who have no more room to add large works to their homes, or for new collectors looking for an affordable entry point into collecting.

The Quest miniature art sale on Friday, Sept. 10 is a fixed-price, luck-of-the-draw sale, featuring smaller paintings and sculptures by Quest artists. Volunteers assisted with tabulating bids at the Quest miniatures sale in 2019.

Hospitality. Friday festivities Sept. 10 also will include a cocktail party and an afternoon social. During the Saturday evening awards presentation, always one of the highlights, Quest artists will be recognized in several categories, including the Quest Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award.

Donna Howell-Sickles

The Yellow Gate, 2021
Acrylic on canvas, 52 x 64 inches

Beautiful exhibitions. After the sale weekend ends, artwork will remain on view at the Eiteljorg for one month for the public to see and enjoy before the paintings and sculptures are shipped to buyers. Experience the Quest for the West® show from Sept. 12 to Oct. 10 in the special exhibition gallery.

The museum also is celebrating 16 years of Quest and Western art collecting. The previous 15 years of artwork that won the annual Quest Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award will be exhibited in the Western Art Galleries. These selections reflect the generous support of the Western Art Society, a group of dedicated museum supporters and art enthusiasts who have helped the museum acquire important works of Western art.

Dennis Doheny (American, born 1956)

Guardian of the Lake, 2006
Oil on linen
2006 Quest for the West® Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award, with funds provided by the Western Art Society. Dedicated to the memory of Robert B. Tucker, Jr. (1958-2000), Curator of Collections, Eiteljorg Museum, 1991-2000

Don’t forget to look for a copy of the beautifully illustrated Quest for the West® art catalog, available in September at the Frank and Katrina Basile Museum Store.

Get the latest complete information. For more about Quest for the West®, including a complete list of artists, an early look at the art, opening weekend registration or absentee buyer information, visit:


WES STUDI: You might not know his name, but you will recognize him from his roles
By Bryan Corbin, Storyteller magazine editor

Wes Studi (Cherokee)
Image by Jen Boyer

Acclaimed Cherokee actor Wes Studi is the Eiteljorg’s special guest at the 2021 Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale.

Known for his resonant voice and intense gaze, Studi has appeared in more than 80 film and television productions since 1988. He portrayed iconic Native American roles in Dances with Wolves, The Last of the Mohicans, Geronimo: An American Legend and Hostiles. He costarred in the Al Pacino-Robert DeNiro crime drama Heat, was a voice actor in Avatar, portrayed Navajo police detective Lt. Joe Leaphorn in the Robert Redford-produced TV adaptations of Tony Hillerman’s popular mystery novels, and was in the cast of the series Penny Dreadful.

With his versatility in many roles, Studi in 2019 became the first Native American to receive an honorary Academy Award for acting. In 2020, he was rated one of the New York Times’ “25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.” During Quest for the West® weekend at the Eiteljorg, fans of Wes Studi’s performances can see him in person:

  • Friday Sept. 10, 6:30 p.m.: A program featuring Studi; Quest registration required.
  • Saturday, Sept. 11, 12:45 p.m.: A discussion with the actor and Quest artists, in light of the fact that Studi was the model in portraits painted by artist H. David Wright. Registration required. At 5 p.m., a VIP reception with Studi will be offered to Quest sponsors.
  • Sunday, Sept. 12, 2 p.m.: Wes Studi will give a public talk, followed by a question-and-answer session. The Sunday event is open to the general public with museum admission (and members are free), but tickets for that presentation are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve tickets, visit this link:



Gerald Balciar

Cactus Perch, 2021
12 x 9 x 5 inches



SEPT 10-11, 2021

SEPT 12-OCT 10, 2021

SEPT 10-12, 2021

Western Art Society


Editor’s note: The above articles were originally published in the June 2021 issue of Storyteller magazine.