News Release: Eiteljorg Museum receives NEA grant to support gallery reinstallation project
NEA funds to assist in presenting Native American artworks in state-of-the-art gallery
INDIANAPOLIS –The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art gained important momentum for the 2021-22 reinstallation of the Native American gallery after the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) approved an Art Works award of $20,000. This type of NEA grant funds creative, artistically significant projects celebrating cultural heritage.
Most of the Eiteljorg’s current Native American Art galleries have not been extensively renovated since the museum’s opening 31 years ago, apart from the addition of the Mitohseenionki: The People’s Place section in 2002 The Eiteljorg plans to renovate the second-floor galleries and reinstall the Native art, to present the works more contextually and in a visually striking way.
The NEA grant will be used to contract with a professional mount-maker who will help design and build the new exhibits in the gallery. Mount-makers build physical supports to protect and showcase art using wires and other unobtrusive supports. With artworks suspended from the ceiling or viewable in 360 degrees in all-glass cases, visitors will be able to appreciate pieces in their entirety.
Not only will the reinstallation update the look and feel of the galleries, it will better portray the continuity and change over time in Native art. The new installation will also integrate historic and contemporary works by artists whose historic homelands are part of the Great Lakes region. It will be an opportunity to showcase many recent acquisitions, including items from the Richard Pohrt, Jr. Collection acquired last year, so that visitors can see and experience familiar items in a new way.
“Well-made mounts are key to the visual impact of an exhibit, and critical to preserving the artwork and keeping it safe while on display. We are thrilled to have this support for our Native American galleries reinstallation,” Eiteljorg Vice President and Chief Curatorial Officer Elisa Phelps said.
“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” National Endowment of the Arts Chair Mary Anne Carter said. “We celebrate organizations like the Eiteljorg Museum for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”
The Eiteljorg Museum recently reopened to the public and has implemented face mask and social distancing protocols, per state and local requirements, for the health and safety of guests.
About the Eiteljorg Museum
A cultural pillar for 31 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 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.
Front exterior view of the Eiteljorg Museum
Image courtesy of Jessica Strickland Photography, 2013
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