Experience multiple exhibitions of Native American art this year

Experience multiple exhibitions of Native American art this year

By Elisa G. Phelps, vice president and chief curatorial officer

Powerful Women II: Contemporary Art from the Eiteljorg Collection
Image by Christa Barleben

If you have the opportunity to visit the museum in person this summer, you’ll notice a big change. Portions of the Eiteljorg’s second-floor Native American galleries have closed until June 2022 to give us time to deinstall all the art and casework, renovate the gallery space, and install a brand new exhibit — for the first time since the museum opened, and 20 years since Mitohseenionki: The People’s Place opened.

That does not mean the Native American art collection will no longer be accessible. In fact, we have quite a variety of exhibits in place and upcoming that showcase the depth and breadth of the Eitelorg’s Native art collection. In our first-floor special exhibits gallery through Aug. 8, we have Laughter and Resilience: Humor in Native American Art. The exhibit introduces the idea of humor as a component of Native art and an important aspect of resilience. Organized by the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the exhibit includes a number of contemporary and customary art works from the Eiteljorg collection.


Laughter and Resilience: Humor in Native American Art

Image by Christa Barleben

Upstairs, the Hurt and Harvey galleries feature Powerful Women II, an exhibit featuring contemporary art by diverse women including Native artists Wendy Red Star (Crow), Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Iñupiaq/ Athabascan) and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes).


Anita Rodriguez (American, born 1941)
Boda Bacalar, 1997
Acrylic on wood
Gift of Gerald and Dorit Paul 2018.16.1

In the Paul Gallery, we now have Native American Customary Art 101, a new exhibit highlighting a selection of customary art including basketry, Hopi carvings, Navajo silver and turquoise jewelry, and Great Lakes beadwork. The exhibit will be on display through May 2022. If you need a refresher on the history of Native peoples in Indiana, the timeline from Mitohseenionki will continue to be displayed in a new location in the Myrta Pulliam Gallery of Photography.


Ho-Chunk Artist
Bandolier Bag, ca. 1890, woven beadwork bag; glass seed beads, wool cloth, wool fox braid, wool yarn
Museum purchase with funds provided by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Looking ahead, in coming months the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship exhibit Shifting Boundaries will open in the first floor special exhibits gallery. In early 2022, we will present Native American Contemporary Art 101 which will explore the evolution of Native fine art painting and the fine-arts program established by Dorothy Dunn at the Santa Fe Indian School in the 1930s. We hope you’ll find a new favorite or see an old friend in a new light! Details are at eiteljorg.org.

POWERFUL WOMEN II: CONTEMPORARY ART FROM THE EITELJORG COLLECTION
Continuing through Jan. 18, 2022 in the Hurt and Harvey Galleries
#EJPowerfulWomen

Honoring Women is sponsored by:
Margot L. Eccles Arts & Culture Fund, a CICF Fund
Capital Group
Chase Private Client
Ice Miller
Citizens Energy Group
Faegre Drinker

Powerful Women II is also sponsored by AARP Indiana

LAUGHTER AND RESILIENCE: HUMOR IN NATIVE AMERICAN ART
Continuing through Aug. 8, 2021 in the Special Exhibition Gallery
Organized by the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and featuring additional artworks from the collections of the Eiteljorg Museum.
#EJNativeHumor

Laugher and Resilience is sponsored by:
Capital Group
Faegre Drinker
Margot L. Eccles Arts & Culture Fund, a CICF Fund
Indiana Arts Commission
Arts Council of the City of Indianapolis

NATIVE AMERICAN CUSTOMARY ART 101
Continuing through May 2022 in the Paul Gallery
#EJNativeArtGalleries



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