Eiteljorg Muesum of American Indians & Western Art
500 W. Washington St. , Indianapolis, IN, USA
www.eiteljorg.org - (317) 636-9378
Eiteljorg Muesum of American Indians & Western Art Indianapolis Reviews
A Native Guide May 17, 2015
Named after its founder and major benefactor, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art opened in 1989 and originally featured many pieces from Harrison Eiteljorg’s personal collection. Harrison was a self-made Hoosier who amassed art pieces along with great riches after venturing west as a young man.
Let’s begin by level-setting expectations. The museum lives up to billing, but read closely. The venue is subtitled “Native Americans & Western Art” and I blew off the second part. Expecting collections to dwell upon Navajo rugs, pottery, Inuit sculpture and the like, I was a bit saddened when we began with the current special exhibit “Gold! Riches and Ruin.” Although interesting, it was 100% white man’s West with nary an artifact or any trace of the continent’s original inhabitants. That complaint aside, I was struck by a solo performance given by a period clad attendant, who treated us to a splendid skit of a woman who ventured by herself to the Yukon during the gold rush days and prospered. An informative and fun show, complete with guitar and singing!
Across the hall were two galleries featuring.....more Western Art. These were impressive collections, featuring vintage artists of the genre (Remington, O’Keefe), but my dismay was growing over the total absence of anything indigenous. Truly a mixed bag because I was enjoying the art on display.
We continued down the first floor of this enormous structure, past conference rooms and a large café (they supplement income by hosting business sessions and weddings). In a stairwell at this end I spotted a totem pole and exclaimed to Laura we had finally struck Native American pay dirt. A friendly attendant educated me the museum is equally devoted to art around the great western migration.
Sadly, he also encouraged us to check out the basement. This space seems entirely dedicated to entertaining youngsters (it was just Laura and I, no kids, lol), so there really was nothing of interest for us. And again, the “wild west” overwhelmed any references to Native Americans. A lot of stage coaches, train tracks, prospectors and bronco busters.
Things picked up splendidly once we trudged up to the second floor. Here are several wonderful galleries of Native American art. The collections are detailed, varied and well documented. It was fascinating and educational. A lovely blend of traditional crafts (a bit light on pottery and rugs, but a super collection of Inuit sculpture) and modern themes.
Eiteljorg earns a strong rating despite initially dashing my expectations. I see several other reviews here which document rates and times. The good news is the museum hours have not changed. Bad news is prices have gone up:
Adults - $12; Seniors (65+) - $10; Youth (5–17) - $6. Fortunately Children (4 and under), Members, Native Americans & IUPUI Students / Faculty are still FREE!
Part of the Hoosier Tour Guide? travel blog
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A fantastic view of Native America! Dec 26, 2011
I have lived in Indianapolis since 2003 and yet had not been to the Eiteljorg Museum.
During the holidays, they have an exhibit called Jingle Rails that features a model railroad that winds through various landmarks of Indianapolis and America. I had always wanted to see this exhibit so the day after Christmas, we decided to go see it.
First off, this museum is fantastic! I am not a big art person, but they have a great representation of Native American art and exhibits.
Second, the museum is laid out very well and is easy to navigate.
The museum consists of two floors and a basement.
The first floor contains all the Native American art, the Jingle Rails exhibit, cafe, gift shop, and is where you enter the museum.
The second floor is a walk through of the various Native American life exhibits, that iclude Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Great Basin, Plateau, California, Northwest Coast, Arctic, and Sub-Arctic.
The basement contains a hands on area for children.
I really enjoyed the walk through of the different Native American areas. It was extremely informative on the way of life of the different Native American territories in North America.
The Jingle Rails model railroad was also amazing. It was made with mostly natural resources, such as wood. Truly detailed and hard to believe.
The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sunday from 12 noon to 5pm. It is closed on New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
The admission costs are as follows:
Age 65 or over- $7
Children 5-17 and students- $5
Children 4 or under are free
Museum members and IUPUI students are also free
Parking is free with validation from the ticket desk.
I highly recommend a visit to the Eiteljorg when in Indianapolis!!
Part of the Indianapolis-Where we live. travel blog
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REDBLACK: The Provocative and unforgettable exhibit of the history of Native Americans May 07, 2011
The thought provoking exhibit of the American Indian and Western Art themed RED/BLACK at Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis began on February 12/2011 and will run through the beginning of August 2011.
The exhibition which explores the interwoven histories of African Americans and Native Americans is the largely ignored subject of relationships. It is told through personal narratives, paintings, baskets, pottery, rare items and photographs. The exhibit is being made possible through a partnership between the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indians and Eiteljorg Museum.
I was touched by the stories I saw briefly as I entered the main hall of the museum. Everything honors the lives of the Native American and the African American. It exposes those issues and ideals that were ignored because they were those of the less fortunate African or Indian. The exhibition explores race and identity issues which in turn answers some questions of what the identity of the people featured are.
If you find yourself in Indianapolis before August, do take time to stop by the Museum, you will not regret it. It is a small price to pay to enter.
Senior citizens 65 and over: $7
Children 5-17 and Full-time students with ID: $5
Children 4 and under: free
PS: Do not leave for tomorrow what you can accomplish today!
Part of the Indiana Travels (32) travel blog
Part of the list Museums & Art Galleries
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy