IMA Touts 2013 AcquisitionsPosted: Updated:
The Indianapolis Museum of Art says it acquired more than 475 objects last year. They include a work by one of the most successful late 19th-century French artists, portraits that capture significant moments of the Pop Art Movement and a major piece from one of the most high-profile designers of the last three decades. January 14, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, January 14, 2014 — The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced today that it acquired more than 475 objects in 2013. Encompassing diverse media and periods, the new works enhance the Museum’s encyclopedic collection and span curatorial departments including African, Asian, European, Contemporary, Design Arts and Textile and Fashion Arts.
“Thanks to the generous support of dedicated donors and diligent effort of our curatorial staff, the Indianapolis Museum of Art continued to strengthen its encyclopedic collection throughout 2013,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the IMA. “Great acquisitions like these continue to add both breadth and depth to our fine collection and enhance our ability to offer our audiences opportunities to discover new and exciting works of art.”
Highlights among the year’s acquisitions include:
• Shrine panel for Yoruba deity of agriculture. Gift of Patricia Noble in memory of her father Dr. Thomas Benjamin Noble Jr. by exchange, Bequest of William O. Bates by exchange, Gift of Mrs. J. Irwin Miller by exchange; 2013.264. Building on the IMA’s robust collection of pieces produced by the Yoruba people, this beautiful cotton and glass beaded panel from the early to mid-1900s adds a style of beaded artwork previously unrepresented in the collection.
• Cotton Kimono by Itō Shinsui. Cecil F. Head Art Fund and Gift of the Japanese Print Group, part of the Asian Art Society of the Indianapolis Museum of Art; 2013.336. Featured in the 2013 print exhibition Timeless Beauty, this color woodblock print created in 1922 by Shinsui (Japanese, 1898-1972) demonstrates the artist’s mastery in portraying the psychology as well as the physical beauty of his subjects. Shinsui was considered one of the premier artists of the bijinga, the Japanese genre of pictures of female beauties.
• Wave Equation by Alyson Shotz. Anonymous IV Art Fund, 2013.262. Alyson Shotz creates sculptures and installations that explore the basic elements of our physical world including light, gravity and space through the use of commonplace and industrial materials. Wave Equation (2010) engages the naturally occurring properties of light and gravity, and was originally commissioned for a solo exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center (Dallas, TX). The expansive sculpture consists of four stainless steel loops connected by piano wires strung with silvered glass beads that respond to the changing natural light of the gallery. The piece is now on view in the IMA’s contemporary art galleries.
• Big Easy Chair by Ron Arad. Design Arts Society Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore P. Van Vorhees Art Fund, and Lucille Stewart Endowed Art Fund. 2013.196. Created in 1989 by Ron Arad, one of the most acclaimed designers of the last 30 years, the Big Easy Chair represents a major piece from the beginning of Arad’s career. Handmade by One Off Ltd. of patinated steel, this chair is representative of Arad’s powerful early work that utilized rough surfaces and bold shapes. The piece is now on view in the newly opened Contemporary Design Arts galleries.
• Finestra Table Lamp by Michael Graves. Design Arts Society Fund, with funds provided by the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art,; 2013.5A-B. A Hoosier native, Graves is one of the most influential Postmodernist designers in the United States. He originally designed the Finestra Table Lamp in 1983 as a prototype for the Japanese lighting company Yamagiwa, but it was never put into production. Michael Graves Design Group and Ilex Lighting subsequently made two examples of the lamp in wood, paint, gilt, acrylic and alabaster—one for the IMA and one for the Denver Museum of Art
• Dream of Spring by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Gift of Melvin and Bren Simon, 2013.33. One of the most successful late 19th-century French artists, in his 1901 work Dream of Spring, Bouguereau depicts a young woman seated at a woodland fountain, attended by three cherubs bearing flowers and the arrow of love. The oil on canvas painting measures more than 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide and is on view in the museum’s European galleries.
Prints, Drawings and Photographs
• Allegory of Life (Dream of Raphael) by Giorgio Ghisi. Dr. Kenneth R. Shaffer Fund,. 2013.267. In 1550, Georgio Ghisi (1520-1582) traveled from Rome to Antwerp where he introduced Roman High Renaissance Art to northern Europe through his engravings. Engraved on off-white paper, Allegory of Life (1561) is the artist’s most famous print and depicts a shipwrecked man surrounded by menacing creatures and a goddess-like figure (perhaps symbolizing reason) to his distant right.
• William John Kennedy portraits of Robert Indiana. Gift of Kiwi Arts Group,. 2013.318-333. William John Kennedy became friends with Robert Indiana during the early 1960s and captured the artist and some of his most iconic works during the rise of his career. The 16 works reveal Indiana’s persona and capture significant moments and people of the Pop Art Movement. These unique images will accompany the IMA’s exhibition The Essential Robert Indiana on view February 16 through May 4.
Textile and Fashion Arts
• Evening Dress by Christian Lacroix. Gift of Friends of 6 x 13: New Year’s Eve at the IMA and General Endowed Discretionary Art Fund, 2013.63A-C. This beautiful cotton and acrylic evening dress from 1988 exemplifies Lacroix’s ultra-feminine and sexy silhouettes. By combining design elements such as sweetheart neckline, boned bodice, v-shaped waistline and a full skirt supported by a crinoline, Lacroix created a style reminiscent of the grand ball gowns of 1950s. The attached crinoline includes panniers or poufs on either side below the waist to further extend and exaggerate the width of the skirt. The pouf became one of Lacroix’s signature looks. The long detached sleeves of this elegant dress mimic the formality of opera length gloves worn with 1950s ball gowns.
About the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Encompassing 152 acres of gardens and grounds, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is among the 10 oldest and 10 largest encyclopedic art museums in the United States and features significant collections of African, American, Asian, European, contemporary art and design arts. The IMA offers visitors an expansive view of arts and culture through its collection that spans 5,000 years of history from across the world’s continents. The collections include paintings, sculpture, furniture and design objects, prints, drawings and photographs, as well as textiles and costumes.
Additionally, art, design, and nature are featured at The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres and Oldfields–Lilly House and Gardens, a historic Country Place Era estate and National Historic Landmark on the IMA grounds. In 2013, the IMA celebrates the Oldfields centennial with a year of commemorative programs. Beyond the Indianapolis campus, in May 2011 the IMA opened to the public Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana. One of the country’s most highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist residences, the Miller House was designed by Eero Saarinen, with interiors by Alexander Girard, and landscape design by Dan Kiley.
Located at 4000 Michigan Road, the IMA is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Lilly House is open until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The IMA is closed Mondays and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days. For more information, call