IU Art Museum Celebrates 75th Anniversary in 2016

anniversary photo

2016 marks Indiana University Art Museum's 75th revolution around the sun. Art museums like all human endeavors, begin as ideas. In the case of Indiana University Art Museum, the impetus for a dedicated space where the university's art collection and special exhibitions could take place came from IU's legendary president, Herman B Wells (1902-2000). The visual arts played a key role in Wells' concept of Indiana University as a cultural crossroads for the state and the region, and, in his estimation, no university could make a claim to greatness without a great art museum.

From a seed of an idea in the brain of Dr. Wells, to humble beginnings in a number of homes around campus, the IU Art Museum has steadily grown into one of the premiere university art museums in the United States, now housed in one of Indiana's most architecturally significant buildings. Check out the list of events and exhibitions this year, and come help us celebrate 75 years of world class art at Indiana University and in Bloomington!

anniversary photo 2


IU Art Museum Online! 

After launching a new website in 2015, the IU Art Museum will again be expanding its web presence. In March, we will launch an online collections module that will provide a searchable catalog of over 750 of the most important works from the IU Art Museum's collections. Additionally,  a similar website for our spring exhibition Arts of Kenya: Beauty in Traditional Forms will go live in March. It will provide online access to over 200 traditional objects from Kenya that are now part of the museum's outstanding collection of African art. 

Big Birthday Bash // April, 12, 2016

Come and join the fun at our official birthday party for the year, with activities throughout the museum. There will be swing dancing in the atrium, poetry on-demand, music, interactive tours, and of course, cupcakes and ice cream! The evening of festivities will start at 5 p.m. and will feature activities for IU students, familiies, patrons of all ages, and the entire Bloomington and IU community. We hope to see you there!

Rainworks // August, 2016

Do rainy days get you down? Rainworks are rain-activated art designs created to make rainy days better, and they're coming to IU and Bloomington this fall! Completely invisible when dry, Rainworks are a fun surprise when the weather turns wet. Perhaps you saw this video when it went viral last year? Rainworks founder, Peregrine Church, will install a Rainwork in front of the IU Art Museum and will teach workshops during a week-long residency. The IU Art Museum is working with departments at IU and organizations across Bloomington to spread Rainworks far and wide. It's part of our gift to you this year as part of our birthday celebration.

First Thursdays // Starting September 2016

Starting Thursday, September 1, the IU Art Museum will expand its already popular Coffeehouse Nights into a new regular monthly program with extended evening hours and programming. By offering additional evening hours once a month, the museum hopes to offer a time to visit the museum for those who may not be able to visit during our regular hours. Programming will be different each month, but will include live entertainment, art-making activities, tours, and an additional opportunity for partnerships with the community and campus organizations. 

New Collections Guidebook // Fall 2016

A new guidebook to the IU Art Museum's collection will be available in print before the end of 2016. The guidebook will provide a comprehensive overview of the museum's entire collection and will make a great gift come Christmas time!

You can also expect a few more surprises throughout 2016 in celebration of our 75th anniversary. Help us celebrate this wonderful year at the IU Art Museum!

anniversary photo 3 


Arts of Kenya: Beauty in Traditional Forms //  March 5-May 8, 2016

Become acquainted with the IU Art Museum's recently acquired collection of over 200 traditional visual art objects from Kenya. Over twelve different ethnic groups are represented in this diverse collection of walking sticks, knives, containers, jewelry, and more. Accompanying this show will be a new website where art-lovers and scholars from around the world can access the collection. 

Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibitions //  March 30-May 8, 2016

Every spring, the IU Art Museum presents thesis exhibitions of graduating MFA candidates in the visual arts. Three twelve-day exhibitions will be presented this year. On the first Friday of each exhibition, the exhibitors will present gallery talks at noon, and a public reception will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Spotlights: Five Views into the IU Art Museum's Collection // June 11-September 4, 2016 

Did you know that only a small portion of the IU Art Museum's collection is regularly on display? With this exhibition, the museum's curatorial staff digs into our vaults to bring you a collection of hidden treasures not normally on display.

Vik Muniz  // October 1, 2016-February 5, 2017

Come and explore an expansive traveling retrospective of Vik Muniz, one of the world's most exciting contemporary artists most talked about contemporary artists this side of Banksy and Ai Weiwei. Perhaps best known through the 2011 Academy Award-nominated documentary Wasteland. Muniz's most famous works take representational images, often from pop culture or art history, and recreate them out of untraditional materials: trash, diamonds, sugar, toys, chocolate syrup, and pigment. The result is a fascinating and unique commentary that often deceives the eye.

Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo: Master Drawings from the Anthony J. Moravec Collection // October 1-February 5, 2016 

This exhibition highlights an important collection of twenty-five Old Master drawings donated to the IU Art Museum in 2010 by Anthony J. Moravec, including numerous examples from Domenico Tiepolo's New Testament and Punchinello series, works by Domenico's father, Giambattista Tiepolo, and several other Italian masters.

Thank you very much to all IU Art Museum donors, who have helped make us the great place that we are today, and allow us to continue our work each year. We are also grateful to everyone involved with our 75th anniversary projects, including generous support from Anthony J. and Rhonda L. Moravec, David H. Jacobs, David and Martha Moore, Judi and Milt Stewart, Patrick and Jane Martin, Gregg and Judy Summerville, Nancy and Bill Hunt, Del and Letty Newkirk, Linda Watson, Kim and John Simpson, Dr. William S. and Karen F. Armstrong, and Ann Sanderson. 

anniversary photo 4