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Restructured galleries reopen at the Eiteljorg Museum

A display of artifacts on lit surface

More new displays await you at the Eiteljorg. | Photo via Eiteljorg Museum

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Relation, continuation + innovation.

These are the hallmarks of the Eiteljorg Museum’s updated galleries featuring the lives of indigenous people across the United States and Canada. Once organized by time + location, they are now arranged based on ideas shared across many Native cultures.

Here’s what to expect:

The new exhibit, “Expressions of Life: Native Art of North America,” largely focuses on the original inhabitants of Indiana: The Miami, Potawatomi, Delaware, and Shawnee. Its overhaul was a part of Project 2021 — a journey that began in 2016 with the goal of updating all major exhibits + tripling the museum’s endowment.

When you arrive at the galleries, you’ll experience:

  • Audio greetings in many Native American languages
  • Digital hubs that will present deep dives of various topics
  • Examples of pottery, beadwork, art, and textiles
  • A display about the Native peoples of the Great Lakes Region
  • Works from renowned Native artists, including those from the Artists in Residence program
  • Never-before-seen artworks

“After experiencing the new Native galleries, Eiteljorg Museum guests will better understand that Native peoples are part of our local communities today; they are not peoples who exist only in the past or live in faraway places,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said in a press release. “Through the new galleries and exhibition, guests will see the strong connections between customary art and today’s contemporary Native artworks, and appreciate the tremendous depth and variety of expression in Native art.”

The reopening of the long-awaited gallery on Sat., June 25, coincided with the 30th Annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival. This was the first time the festival had been held since 2019, when the pandemic interrupted its schedule. The event’s return featured 140 Native artists displaying crafts.

Although the festival ended Sunday, the new installation will remain a permanent fixture at the museum and is included in the price of admission. Interested in funding more exhibits like “Expressions of Life?” Make a donation here.