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News Release: Eiteljorg Museum launches new virtual format for Quest for the West®

Top works of Western art by renowned artists available in online sale

Joseph McGurl
Procession, 2020
Oil on linen panel
12 x 24 inches

INDIANAPOLIS – The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art will feature an all-new virtual format during its 15th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Sept. 11-12.  A newly redeveloped website,, will be the hub of information for the two-day sale of top-quality Western American art, along with artist information and engaging digital extras.

The Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale will feature nearly 200 new artworks by 50 of today’s top artists specializing in Western-inspired paintings, landscapes and sculptures. Instead of the traditional on-site, in-person sale, the Eiteljorg this year will host the new online sale format, where collectors will view the available artworks online, enjoy personalized concierge service and then place their bids during the fixed-price, luck-of-the-draw virtual sale.

In previous years, Quest for the West® included a gallery exhibition, two evenings of socializing between artists and collectors, a catered banquet that often drew nearly 300 guests each year and an awards ceremony. The event is nationally prominent in the Western art world and known for its Hoosier hospitality. Due to public health concerns and uncertainty whether limits on public gatherings would be lifted in time for an on-site event in early September, the Eiteljorg management and the Western Art Society, which sponsors Quest, decided several months ago to make this year’s art sale a virtual one.

“Since its inception in 2006, Quest for the West® has built support for the genre of Western art; and collectors and artists look forward to it at the Eiteljorg each year,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “The museum follows all state and local public health guidelines during the pandemic, and since it was impossible to know exactly what the circumstances will be in September, we concluded we would marshal our efforts to creating this exciting virtual version of Quest.”

Quest for the West® always has received bids from absentee bidders even when it was an on-site sale; and this year, all registrants get to bid absentee. With the new format, the registration fee to enter the online sale and place bids is $25, an affordable price for first-time bidders who are starting their art-collecting journey, or seasoned collectors seeking the right piece. All registrants will have access to an Eiteljorg concierge service that can assist them with bids and other questions. To register, visit

A popular feature of Quest for the West is returning in virtual form: the Quest Miniature Art Sale, held Friday Sept. 11, the night before the main sale. For the Friday sale, the artists create smaller, more affordable versions of their paintings and sculptures, which are prized both by new collectors and by experienced collectors who have no more room for large pieces and want something smaller.

The Eiteljorg is planning various digital extras on that Quest registrants can enjoy leading up to and during sale weekend, including interviews with artists, virtual cocktail chats and other online events. Registrants to Quest receive a new weekly e-newsletter that builds interest in the event. Once the virtual sale is complete, purchased artworks will be shipped directly from the artists to the buyers; the artworks will not be on display at the museum for 30 days like they were in past years. The public exhibition of newly purchased Quest art will return in 2021.

“We at the Eiteljorg take pride in bringing together top artists and enthusiastic collectors of Western art, and are committed to making this year’s Quest very engaging and successful,” Vanausdall added.

David Grossmann
Pasture under Glowing Sky, 2020
Oil on linen panel
30 x 40 inches

Shifting the format means two parts of Quest for the West® will be postponed to next year’s event. The guest speaker, Academy Award-winning actor Wes Studi (Cherokee), who has appeared in the films Dances with Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans, instead will be the special guest at the 2021 Quest. Also, a special on-site exhibit of Quest artworks that were past winners of the annual Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award is postponed to 2021. The Eiteljorg Museum plans to resume its regular format for Quest for the West® next year, if the social distancing restrictions allow.

Participants in the Quest for the West® virtual sale will receive the Quest art catalog, which also will be available for purchase in the Frank and Katrina Basile Museum Store. Up-to-date details are available at

Quest for the West® is presented by the Western Art Society.

Dean Mitchell 
For Freedom, 2020
30 x 22 inches

About the Eiteljorg Museum
A cultural pillar for more than 30 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of and the Indigenous peoples of North America and of the American West by telling amazing stories. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.

Artist List
Artists participating in the 2020 Quest for the West® online sale:

Gerald Balciar*

John Buxton

Russell Case

Bruce Cheever

Tim Cherry*

Rox Corbett

Brent Cotton

Glenn Dean

Steve Devenyns

Mikel Donahue

Michael Dudash

Barry Eisenach*

Josh Elliott

John Fawcett

Deborah Copenhaver Fellows*

Robert Griffing

David Grossmann

George Hallmark

Karin Hollebeke

Donna Howell-Sickles

Doug Hyde* (Nez Perce/Assiniboine/Chippewa)

Greg Kelsey*

Mark Kelso

Bruce Lawes

Curt Mattson*

Joseph McGurl

Krystii Melaine

Dean Mitchell

Denis Milhomme

Jay Moore

Paul Moore

John Moyers

Terri Kelly Moyers

Brenda Murphy

Rock Newcomb

P.A. Nisbet

Robert Peters

Howard Post

Heide Presse

Scott Rogers*

Gladys Roldan-de-Moras

Roseta Santiago

Dave Santillanes

Sandy Scott*

Mian Situ

Adam Smith

Daniel Smith

Nathan Solano

Michael Untiedt

David Wright


Bold: artists making their first appearance at Quest.

*Asterisk: sculptors


Media Contacts:
Bryan Corbin
Public Relations Manager

Bert Beiswanger
Director of Marketing and Communications

Hyacinth Rucker
Digital Communications Manager