The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014 with record attendance. The attraction says it drew about 161,000 visitors last year, fueled in large part by its Ansel Adams exhibit.

June 14, 2015

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — More visitors experienced the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in 2014 than in any year in the institution's 25-year history. Ansel Adams, the museum's 2014 epic exhibition, attracted nearly 88,000 visitors over five months, making it the Eiteljorg's best-attended show ever. Buoyed by this blockbuster and Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, the Eiteljorg posted total attendance for the year of 161,000. The last time the museum posted an annual attendance record was in 2011 when more than 141,000 guests filled its halls, galleries and festivals.

This attendance record illustrates the continued success of the Eiteljorg's Project New Moon. The fundraising campaign, launched in 2010, sought to invigorate the museum with dynamic new interpretations of its mission.

“Five years ago, our baseline attendance goal was 100,000,” said John Vanausdall, president and CEO. “But each year, thanks to shows like Pistols, Red/Black, Steel Ponies and Guitars, we've exceeded that goal.”

Asked the next step in the Eiteljorg Museum's advancement Vanausdall, assured: “In addition to exposing guests to the unexpected West, our institution is also charting new territory with Gold! Riches and Ruin – our next big exhibit.

“The search for gold is one of the most compelling stories of the American West and when we open Gold! in March, visitors will get to see it, learn stories about those who struck it rich or died trying and, and children and families will even have the opportunity to experience enriching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities – all related to the exhibit.”

Other new endeavors at the Eiteljorg include the institution's first-ever celebration of Juneteenth; the building of a stunning new shade structure that will transform the museum's gardens along the Downtown Canal; and a welcome new addition to museum team: Scott Shoemaker (Miami Nation of Indiana).

The Eiteljorg Museum's 2015 calendar includes the following major exhibits and events:

MAR 7 – AUG 9

GOLD! RICHES AND RUIN

Greed! Success! Adventure! Failure! Innovation! The promise of gold in the West lured men and women from around the world who yearned for wealth. But all that glitters isn't, well… Experience the story of how gold has helped forge the American national identity through artifacts, art, stories and interactive experiences. Visitors will find a wide array of objects and images including mining equipment and tools, paintings, journals and diaries, clothing and personal effects, and of course, gold itself, in its myriad forms, including nuggets, coins, bars, and jewelry.

MAR 21

WOMEN IN ART MARKET

Buy from some of the best female artists in the region at this annual event.

JUN 20

JUNETEENTH

The Eiteljorg will host a community celebration of the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth – a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the state of Texas. The event and museum will be free of charge and will include music, talks, dance, theatre, interpreters, children's art and Western-themed activities, displays, food, vendors, and more.

JUN 27 and 28

INDIAN MARKET AND FESTIVAL

Join us for this art market and celebration of Native American cultures, featuring art, music, storytelling, dance, food and family activities.

SEPT. 12 – OCT. 11

QUEST FOR THE WEST® ART SHOW AND SALE

This monthlong exhibition features new works by some of today’s best Western artists. Opening weekend Sept. 10-12. Fee for opening weekend.

NOV. 14

EITELJORG CONTEMPORARY ART FELLOWSHIP

See the work of five of today's best Native contemporary artists. This exhibit combats narrow perceptions of Native art and raises awareness of the full range of contemporary art.

NOV. 21 — JAN 2016

JINGLE RAILS: THE GREAT WESTERN ADVENTURE

Watch trains race from Indianapolis through the American West, passing a host of exquisitely reproduced icons, including Lucas Oil Stadium, the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge and more.

DEC. 5

WINTER MARKET

Shop for unique holiday gifts at this annual market, featuring more than 30 regional artists.

About the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

The Eiteljorg Museum seeks 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 is located in Downtown Indianapolis' White River State Park, at 500 West Washington, Indianapolis, IN 46204. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call 317.636.WEST (9378) or visit www.eiteljorg.org.

Source: Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

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