The Eskenazi Museum of Art has announced a generous gift of $1 million for the new Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Study room from Martha and David Moore. The donation will support the museum’s core mission of engaging students and the public with original works of art on paper. In honor of the Moores’ gift, the space will be named the “Martha and David Moore Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Study.”
Longtime Bloomington residents, the Moores are champions of photographic art in the city. In 2008, they established Pictura Gallery, which has represented many important artists such as Rania Matar and Osamu James Nakagawa, as well as exhibited work by icons of the photography world, including Jerry Uelsmann and Steve McCurry. In 2018, they created the FAR Center for Contemporary Arts, a space in Bloomington where people from all backgrounds and artistic inclinations can come together. The Moores are members of the museum’s National Advisory Board. They have been instrumental in helping the museum acquire photographs for its collections, including works by Vik Muniz and Gerhard Richter. Their gift will allow students, scholars, and the public to examine works from the museum’s outstanding collection of more than 22,000 prints, drawings, and photographs.
The Eskenazi Museum of Art has a long-standing commitment to the display and collection of photography and other works on paper. In 2017, it began a $30 million renovation that created expanded spaces for learning and engagement with original works of art. The new Center for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs is an essential component of its mission as a teaching museum that reaches learners across the lifespan. With a new 1,500-square-foot gallery—the museum’s first space devoted to the exhibition of works on paper—state-of-the-art compact storage, and a new, expanded study room, the center is poised to be a primary site in the Midwest for the study of prints, drawings, and photographs.
“The Moores have long been supportive of the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s prints, drawings, and photographs department activities; however, their recent gift will take the program to the next level by providing generations of IU students with the thrill of experiencing original works of art at close hand in an intimate setting,” said Nanette Esseck Brewer, Lucienne M. Glaubinger Curator of Works on Paper at the Eskenazi Museum of Art.
David Brenneman, Wilma E. Kelley Director at the Eskenazi Museum of Art, said, “We are very grateful to Martha and David for this extraordinary gift in support of our Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Study. The Moores’ continued support of the museum and the Bloomington community plays a vital role in contributing to a thriving art scene in the city and at IU. Their gift will allow us to offer enhanced visibility, increased access, and expanded research on our important collection of works on paper.”
“Martha and David have crafted a fine legacy of prioritizing access to education and understanding of contemporary photography. Through their recent gift in support of the Prints, Drawings and Photographs Study, students will have unprecedented access to inspiring and impactful works on paper that will influence their artistic sensibilities throughout their lives. Photography has the power to change the world; that change is sparked by looking to the past to guide us toward the future,” said James Nakagawa, Ruth N. Halls Distinguished Professor of Photography and Director of the Center for Integrative Photographic Studies at IU.
IU First Lady and member of the Indiana Arts Commission, Laurie McRobbie, said, “President McRobbie and I extend our sincere thanks to the Moores for their extremely generous gift. The Eskenazi Museum of Art is justifiably proud of its collection of works on paper and it is very gratifying to know that it will be more accessible to an even greater number of Hoosiers.”
The Martha and David Moore Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Study will be available to students, faculty, and the public upon request when the museum reopens on November 7, 2019.
This gift counts toward the $3 billion campaign, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.