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Indianapolis Museum of Art

4000 Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN

Phone: 317 923 1331

Statement of Purpose

The Indianapolis Museum of Art offers visitors an inclusive view of creativity through its collection of more than 54,000 works of art that span 5,000 years of history from across the world’s continents.
Encompassing 152 acres of gardens and grounds, the IMA is among the 10 largest encyclopedic art museums in the United States, and it features significant collections of African, American, Asian, European and contemporary art, as well as a newly established collection of design arts. The collections include paintings, sculpture, furniture and design objects, prints, drawings and photographs, as well as textiles and costumes.


Through its new articulation of the interconnectedness of art, design and nature, the IMA welcomes its visitors to experiences at the Museum, in 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, which will be the largest contemporary art park in the United States when it opens in spring 2010, and at Oldfields–Lilly House & Gardens, an historic Country Place Era estate on the IMA’s grounds.


The IMA completed a $74 million expansion project in May 2005. The construction added 164,000 square feet to the Museum and includes renovation of 90,000 square feet of existing space. In order to present major exhibitions of its own and to accommodate major traveling exhibitions, the expanded Museum was outfitted with new 10,000-plus-square-foot Clowes Special Exhibition Gallery on the Museum’s first level. In November 2008, the IMA opened the renovated 600-seat Tobias Theater. Nicknamed, “The Toby,” the theater is a venue for talks, performances and films.


Located at 4000 Michigan Road, the IMA and Lilly House are open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The IMA is closed Mondays and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days. For more information, call 317-923-1331 or visit

Highlights & Collections


The Indianapolis Museum of Art is among the 10 largest encyclopedic art museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 54,000 works that span the 5,000 years of history from across the world’s continents. Highlights include:


·         The Samuel Josefowitz Collection of Gauguin and the School of Pont-Aven

·         The Neo-Impressionist Collection, featuring the work of Georges Seurat and his followers

·         One of the most significant collection of works by J.M.W. Turner outside of Great Britain

·         One of the most outstanding collections of Japanese Edo-period paintings in the nation


The IMA also has significant holdings in African art, Chinese ceramics, West Asian rugs and rapidly growing contemporary and design arts collections.


African Art

The IMA’s Eiteljorg Gallery of African Art features more than 400 objects from IMA's acclaimed collection of African art, which numbers more than 2,000 works. Through masks, figures, textiles and many other types of objects, visitors experience a collection that represents all major regions of the continent, including Northern, Eastern, Central, Southern and Western Africa. Highlights include:


·         Songye People, Democratic Republic of the Congo, community power figure, 1900-1930

·         Edo people, Benin Kingdom, “commemorative plaque for palace,” 1500–1700


American Art
Early American works in the IMA collection include portraits by artists such as Rembrandt Peale and Gilbert Stuart, as well as landscapes by Asher B. Durand, Robert Duncanson and George Inness. Of particular strength are works by American Impressionists such as William Merritt Chase, Edmund Tarbell and Childe Hassam. Strengths of the Modernist collection include paintings by members of the Steiglitz Group, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove, John Marin, and Marsden Hartley. Highlights include:


·         George Inness, “The Rainbow,” about 1878-79

·         Georgia O’Keeffe, “Jimson Weed,” 1936-37

·         Edward Hopper, “Hotel Lobby,” 1943

·         Romare Bearden, “He Has Risen,” 1945


Asian Art

IMA’s collections of Asian art are among the nation’s largest and most significant Asian art collections, with more than 5,000 works of art. At any given time, hundreds of objects are on view in the IMA’s Asian galleries, and many works, including paintings, prints and textiles, are rotated at least twice a year. The installations provide a panorama of more than 4,000 years of Asian art from China, Japan, Korea, India, Tibet, and West and Southeast Asia. Highlights include:


·         China, Shang dynasty, “ritual wine server (guang),” about 1100 BCE

·         China, Eastern Wei dynasty, “standing Bodhisattva,” 537 BCE

·         Tsurusawa Tansaku, Japanese, d. 1797, “Dragon among Clouds”


Contemporary Art
IMA’s wide-ranging contemporary collection includes installations, paintings, sculpture, photography, works on paper, and new media. The IMA has also recently commissioned a number of contemporary artists to create site-specific works for its entry pavilion, grounds, and future 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, which will open in 2010. Contemporary highlights include:


·         Robert Irwin, Light and Space III, 2008

·         Donald Judd, Untitled, 1967

·         James Turrell, Acton, 1976

·         Do-Ho Suh, Floor, 1997–2000

·         Kara Walker, They Waz Nice White Folks While They Lasted (Sez One Gal to Another), 2001

·         Tim Hawkinson, Möbius Ship, 2006


Design Arts

In 2007, the IMA began aggressively expanding its Design Arts collection. The Museum has amassed more than 85 new acquisitions, which are international in scope and date from 1900 to the present. In October 2008, the IMA opened a new Design Arts Gallery on the Museum’s third gallery level. International in scope, the objects in the collection include furniture, product design, glass, ceramics and metalwork objects from the 20th and 21st centuries. Highlights include:

·         Frank Gehry, “Bubbles” chaise lounge from the Experimental Edge Series, New City Editions USA, designed in 1979, produced in 1986

·         Gaetano Pesce, “UP3” lounge chair, C&B Italia, produced in 1969

·         Hans J. Wegner, “The Round” armchair, MM Mobler, produced in 1949


Decorative Arts

The IMA collection of European and American decorative arts encompasses eras from the Renaissance to the present. More than 200 works from the collection are currently displayed in the European and American galleries. Highlights include:


·         Jean-Valentin Morel, French, attributed to Adrien-Louis-Marie Cavalier, designer, French, “cup,” 1854–55

·         Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, English, George Myers, maker/carver, English, “cabinet,” about 1847

·         Tiffany Studios, New York, American, “Angel of the Resurrection,” 1904


European Art

The European galleries feature painting, sculpture, prints and decorative arts from the 12th through the early 20th centuries, including works by Old Masters and Impressionists as well as artists of the modern era. The collection offers a rich and textured experience of European art, filled with imaginative stories, intriguing portraits, religious themes and scenes of city and country life. Highlights include:


·         Master of the Legend of Saint Ursula, Flemish, ”The Annunciation Triptych,” about 1483

·         Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch, “Self-Portrait,” about 1629

·         Paul Gauguin, French, “The Flageolet Player on the Cliff,” 1889

·         Georges Seurat, French, “The Channel at Gravelines, Petit Fort Philippe,” 1890

·         Pablo Picasso, Spanish, “Ma Jolie,” 1914


Native Art of the Americas

Most of the major ancient Mesoamerican cultures are represented in the Museum’s collections of the Native Art of the Americas, including the Olmec and other civilizations of the Gulf Coast of Mexico, the Colima and the Maya. The Museum has fine examples of Peruvian stirrup-spout pottery from the Chavín, Moche and Nazca cultures. Gold and jade jewelry from Central America is also included. The collection also includes a selection of art from some North American Indian peoples, especially from the Northwest Coast and Southwest regions, and holdings of Caddo and Archaic objects. Highlights include:

·         Colima culture, “vessel in the form of a leader-priest with weapon and drinking vessel,” 200 BCE – A.D. 300

·         Haida people, “ritual dance rattle in the form of a raven,” 1850-1880

·         Veracruz culture, “ballgame waist yoke in the form of a mythological Toad,” 300-600

Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

With more than 26,000 works on paper—from medieval manuscripts to contemporary photographs—IMA’s collection of prints, drawings, and photographs is integral to its permanent collection. The European, Contemporary, and Asian galleries each have spaces dedicated to the display of works on paper, with highlights including:



South Pacific Art

There are more than 100 examples of South Pacific art—from Melanesia, Polynesia, Micronesia and Indonesia—in the Museum's collection. These objects include masks, figures, fabrics, architectural elements and bowls and other utilitarian items. Among the important pieces from Melanesia are canoe prows, shields, jewelry, figures, masks and house posts. The cultures of New Ireland, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, the Tobriand (Kiriwina) Islands, and the large island of New Guinea are particularly well represented. The Polynesian collection includes two fine Hawaiian food bowls, a number of tapa cloth (bark cloth) pieces, and wooden items from the Marquesas Islands. One highlight is:


·         Tobriand Islands (Kiriwina Islands), Papau New Guinea, Melanesia, “canoe prow,” 1900-1940



Textiles and Fashion Arts

The IMA’s collection of textile and fashion arts comprises about 7,000 items and represents virtually all of the world's traditions in fabric. The collection encompasses a broad range of Chinese and Japanese textiles and costumes, Kashmir shawls, Indonesian textiles and Baluchi rugs. The collection’s African textiles, especially the Moroccan rugs and embroideries, are among the finest and most comprehensive in the nation. The collection includes holdings in European silks from the late 16th to 19th centuries, a lace collection spanning 500 years, Indiana quilts and coverlets, an extensive Mola collection from Panama and an encyclopedic collection of European and North American fashions dating from the 18th to the 21st centuries. Norman Norell, Bill Blass and Halston, all of whom had Indiana connections, are particularly well-represented. Highlights include:


·         Marie Daughtery Webster, American, “poinsettia” quilt, 1917

·         Yoruba people, Africa, “Egungun masquerade costume,” 1900s

·         Christian Dior, French, “Evening Dress,” 1957

·         Italy, “Chausable,” about 1475



Exhibits & Special Events


Admission & Directions

Key Personnel

Maxwell L. Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO
Bradley Brooks, Curatorial Chair
Linda Duke, Director of Education
Fred Duncan, Director of Development
Lisa Freiman, Director, Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park/Senior Curator of Contemporary Art
Ronda Kasl, Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture before 1800
Ellen Lee, Wood-Pulliam Distinguished Senior Curator
Jack Leicht, Chief Operating Officer, Edward George and Associates, LLC
Laura McGrew, Director of Human Resources
Anne Munsch, Chief Financial Officer
Sue Ellen Paxson, Deputy Director of Collection and Programs
David Miller, Conservator in Charge/Senior Conservator of Paintings
Rob Stein, Chief Information Officer/Director of MIS
Katie Zarich, Acting Director of Public Affairs
Mark Zelonis, The Ruth Lilly Deputy Director of Environmental & Historic Preservation


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