The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University has announced it will temporarily close to the public beginning in May 2017 to allow for major renovations to its I.M. Pei-designed building. The renovation will provide essential updates to the Museum, modernizing the building’s systems, expanding gallery and event space, and enabling the Museum to strengthen its educational programming. The renovation project will be designed by Susan T. Rodriguez / Ennead Architects in New York with Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf, in Indianapolis, and is expected to be complete in the spring of 2020.
By undergoing renovation, the Museum will be able to enhance its educational programming, and provide better resources both for university students and professors, as well as pre-school through high school students throughout Indiana. In addition to expanded gallery space, the renovation will include a new entry and a re-envisioned atrium, as well as new display elements and integrated technology in the galleries.
“This renovation project will help us to realize the full potential of the Eskenazi Museum of Art, allowing us to be the most far-reaching and dynamic resource that we can be to the University, Bloomington, and to the larger Indiana community as a whole,” said David A. Brenneman, the museum’s Wilma E. Kelley Director. “We are committed to maintaining an active presence throughout our closure, and will continue a robust educational program in the local schools. We are working to ensure that our closure causes the least possible disruption to our staff and to the greater IU community.”
The Museum’s vibrancy is grounded in the extraordinary staff who work tirelessly to advance the institution’s mission and serve its audiences. As the Museum’s staffing needs will shift during the interim closure, some responsibilities will not be needed. For these staff members, we are working with Human Resources at the university for placement considerations to other departments during the renovation. When the Museum reopens, those staff members who wish to return to their current positions will receive priority consideration in the hiring process.
Despite being closed to the public, this transition will continue to be a very active time for the Museum as it focuses on planning and projects throughout the renovation period. This will include advancing the Museum’s digital initiatives by improving access to its permanent collection online and developing strong partnerships and collaborative projects both on the IU campus and in Bloomington. The Museum will also continue its outreach to schools throughout Indiana during the time of its closure.
The project is made possible in large part thanks to a landmark gift of $15 million from Indianapolis-based philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi, the largest cash gift in the Museum’s history. The gift will be supported by an additional $20 million from the university as part of For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign match program. The Eskenazi gift will be counted in the university’s larger capital campaign, which is taking place on all IU-administered campuses including IU Bloomington, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. The $2.5 billion campaign will conclude in December 2019 to coincide with IU’s bicentennial year celebration in 2020.
In addition to the renovation, the Eskenazi Museum is committed to raising funds for endowments that will greatly enhance the museum’s exemplary education program, which serves annually more than 11,000 university students and over 4,500 K-12 students from across Indiana.