The Eiteljorg Museum was founded in 1989 by Harrison Eiteljorg, a prominent Indianapolis businessman and philanthropist with a lifelong passion for America’s Western frontier. The museum’s collection began with the founder’s personal collection and includes Native American traditional art and craft (pottery, basketry, weavings and clothing, and more), art about the history and culture of the American West, contemporary American artists, African and Oceanic art, and art of the Paris School. The Taos (New Mexico) School of artists was a particular favorite of Eiteljorg’s and constitutes a good part of the museum’s core collection. The Museum has continued to grow in recent years, adding a new wing (doubling the Museum’s original public space), and adding the considerable collection of Cleveland businessman George Gund, an art collector of like mind to Eiteljorg.
The Museum’s facility was constructed with the landscape of the American West as its inspiration, from materials reminiscent of the adobe dwellings of the Frontier’s original inhabitants. Included are ample public areas, a garden of sculpture and indigenous plants and trees, and the Museum’s café, with a view of the Indianapolis Central Canal. The Eiteljorg also offers immersive educational opportunities for young visitors, as well as a Resource Center and Library for inquisitive minds. A Fellowship for Native American Fine Art, established by the Museum in conjunction with the Lilly Endowment, has since 1999 funded the creation of over 125 works of art by over 30 Native American artists, which are now part of the Museum’s permanent collection.
- Public Transportation: Poor
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Monday–Saturday, 10 am-5 pm; Sunday, noon-5 pm; Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day; occasional schedule changes for holidays and special events.
- Admission: Adults, $8; Senior citizens, $7; Students/Children (5-17), $5; Members/Children/Indiana & Perdue University students, free.
- Tours: Public Tours available at 1 pm on Saturday and Sunday
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art Information
- Membership: Individual Membership is $50 (Dual $55, Family/Grandparents $60-75 depending on number of guests, Educators $50). Benefits include free admission, parking and periodical subscriptions, Museum Store discounts & more.