Eskenazi Museum of Art Announces Gift in Support of New Commons in the Center for Education

The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art has announced a generous gift from Patrick and Jane Martin in support of the new Commons in the Center for Education, which facilitates learning and engagement with original works of art across the lifespan. With seating for approximately 90 people, the Commons will host mission-based artist talks, workshops, discussions, performances, conferences, school field trip lunches, and other large group gatherings. In honor of the Martins’ generosity, this important new gathering space will be named the “Patrick and Jane Martin Commons.”

Indiana University alums, the Martins met on the Bloomington campus and were married at IU’s Beck Chapel. Patrick, who received a bachelor’s degree in business, had a long career as a marketing executive. Jane, who also completed a business degree, went on to a successful career as a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. The Martins are co-chairs of the museum’s National Advisory Board. In addition to her work with the museum, Jane also serves as a member of the IU Foundation Board of Directors. “Interpreting the visualization of ideas is part of a rich education, as is the enlightened exchange of diverse viewpoints it generates. The Commons is a collaboration space where we are encouraged to do both while surrounded by the great art of the world. It is one more important piece of a preeminent teaching museum, and we are honored to support it,” said Patrick and Jane Martin.

In 2017, the museum began a $30 million renovation that created expanded spaces in which diverse audiences can engage and learn. When the museum reopens on November 7, 2019, the Patrick and Jane Martin Commons will serve as an important venue for students, the university, and the Bloomington community to contribute ideas that activate the museum’s teaching mission. Equipped with technology that enables distance learning, the Commons will be an interactive space that provides opportunities for expanded engagement with the museum’s audiences.

Of the Martins’ gift, David A. Brenneman, Wilma E. Kelley Director at the Eskenazi Museum of Art, said, “We are grateful to Patrick and Jane for their generous gift, which will enable us to further our mission of being a preeminent teaching museum. The Patrick and Jane Martin Commons will help us engage the IU community in unprecedented ways. As co-chairs of our Advisory Board, the Martins’ support throughout the renovation and beyond has been extraordinary.”

“We are thrilled for the Martins’ support of this outstanding new space for engaging with art.  The Patrick and Jane Martin Commons will host creative and socially-engaged programs that will bring new and more diverse audiences to the Eskenazi Museum of Art,” said Lucienne M. Glaubinger Director of Education Heidi Davis-Soylu.    

“Patrick and Jane Martin have long been pillars of Indiana University,” said Dan Smith, President of the IU Foundation. “Their generosity and service to the Eskenazi Museum of Art are the most recent examples of how they are elevating the learning environment for our students and creating a richer cultural experience for the Bloomington community. As alumni, they continue to set the standard for lifetime engagement; we could not be more grateful for their friendship.”

The Patrick and Jane Martin Commons is open to community members and groups beginning November 7, 2019.

About the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art

Since its establishment in 1941, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art has grown from a small university teaching collection into one of the most significant university art collections in the United States. A preeminent teaching museum on the Indiana University campus, its internationally acclaimed collection, ranging from ancient gold jewelry and African and Oceanic works to paintings by modern masters such as Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, includes more than 45,000 objects representing nearly every art-producing culture throughout history.

The Eskenazi Museum of Art just completed a $30 million renovation of its acclaimed I. M. Pei–designed building. When it reopens on November 7, 2019, the newly renovated museum will be an enhanced teaching resource for Indiana University and southern Indiana. The museum is dedicated to engaging students, faculty, artists, scholars, alumni, and the wider public through the cultivation of new ideas and scholarship.

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