Our Story

The Eiteljorg is much more than a traditional art museum with pretty pictures and impressive sculptures

The Eiteljorg tells the stories of the peoples of North America in all their diversity and complexity. It’s a place for historical context, artistic expression, new ideas and individual perspectives. Here, visitors immerse themselves in the diverse cultures of the West and Native America, and sharing these amazing American stories is what we do at the Eiteljorg.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE EITELJORG

The Eiteljorg has been telling amazing stories for three decades.

How the Eiteljorg was Founded: Indianapolis businessman and philanthropist Harrison Eiteljorg and other civic leaders founded the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. From the museum’s opening in 1989, its mission has been to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history, and cultures of the American West and the Indigenous peoples of North America. The museum carries out this focus in exciting and often surprising ways.

The Art: The Eiteljorg collects, conserves and exhibits outstanding Western art and Native American art and cultural objects. The museum’s collection includes artists such as T.C. Cannon, N. C. Wyeth, Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, Allan Houser, Frederic Remington, Charles Russell and Kay WalkingStick. The institution’s contemporary Native American art collection has been ranked among the best in the world.

What Sets Us Apart: The Eiteljorg Museum is the only museum of its kind in the Midwest, and one of only two museums east of the Mississippi that explore both Native America and the American West. Renowned programs such as the Indian Market and Festival, Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship and the Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale have helped the museum cultivate a national reputation as a premiere cultural institution.

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A Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion

Our Commitment

The Eiteljorg Museum is committed to presenting the art and heritage of the American West and the Native peoples of North America as a diverse story of human accomplishment, adversity and perseverance with respect and sensitivity to all cultures. In order to fulfill this commitment, the Eiteljorg must keep diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion at the forefront of everything we do.

Respect For Native Lands And Peoples

Our museum sits upon the land of the Miami and Lenape peoples and the wider Indiana region encompasses the homelands of the Kickapoo, Shawnee, Peoria and Potawatomi peoples. Therefore, the Eiteljorg Museum has a distinct responsibility to educate the public about these living cultures of our local area and the Great Lakes region. The Eiteljorg is dedicated to fulfilling this responsibility and carrying out its broader mission to present the arts, histories and cultures of the Native peoples of North America through exhibitions and programs that demonstrate sensitivity and respect toward Native peoples and their cultures. We are also committed to inclusivity by incorporating Native peoples’ perspectives and their direct participation into our work.

Representing Diverse Communities

In our presentations of the art and history of the American West, the Eiteljorg is committed to an inclusive approach that challenges past practices of museums and the Western art world that often omitted the experiences of all those who shaped the West and its art, including people who are Native American, Black, Latino, Asian, members of the LGBTQ+ community and others of different backgrounds and beliefs. The art we collect will include works by and about these underrepresented peoples, and the exhibitions, interpretation, programs and publications we create will bring to light this diversity.

Creating A Welcoming Environment

The communities we welcome and serve at the Eiteljorg include, but are not limited to, peoples of all ages, races, ethnicities, sexes, gender identities and gender presentations, sexual orientations, cultures, national origins, languages, abilities, educational backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, physical appearances, veteran statuses, personalities, religious or spiritual beliefs and political views. We also recognize and celebrate the diversity of our downtown Indianapolis neighborhood and are committed to serving the needs of our local community. The Eiteljorg Museum strives to be accessible to everyone and seeks to break down barriers that might prevent people from visiting. Our advertising, marketing and promotional activities must also consider our diverse audiences, and are the first, critical step in welcoming everyone to participate.

Diversity Of Voices In The Room

To be a successful museum about diverse peoples, it is essential that the people who work, volunteer and provide consulting and contract services for the museum reflect the diversity of our mission and the communities we serve. Our human resources practices must also be inclusive and equitable regarding leadership, governance, planning and policymaking.

Fulfilling Our Commitment

The Eiteljorg aspires to become a museum where all people feel that they are heard, represented and respected. By working to fulfill the principles outlined in this statement, the Eiteljorg Museum is committed to building a more accessible, inclusive and equitable future for the diverse communities we serve.

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MEET THE TEAM

Our team is a group of diverse individuals who are dedicated to the mission of the Eiteljorg. We strive everyday to share the Eiteljorg’s amazing stories with the community around us. Take a moment to meet our dedicated team members.

MEET THE TEAM
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BOARD MEMBERS

The Eiteljorg Museum is fortunate to have a passionate and devoted board of directors, who give so much of their time and expertise to increasing the impact and reach of our mission. Please take a moment to meet our board members. And, don’t forget to learn about our board of young professionals, Agave.

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MEET AGAVE
About Our

BUILDING & FOUNDER

Architect Jonathan Hess and museum founder Harrison Eiteljorg traveled to the Southwest together to find inspiration for our beautiful building. The warm earth tones and rich wooden finishes provide just the right setting for Native American and Western stories to be told. Learn the full story of our building and our founder by clicking the link below:

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NEWS

Our museum is bustling with exhibits, programs, events and festivals that appeal to visitors of different ages and backgrounds. Get the latest updates by visiting our news page. There, you won’t miss a moment of all the wonderful things happening at the Eiteljorg.

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