IU Eskenazi Museum of Art Announces Key Hires

The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University (IU) has hired Darla Blazey as the Director of Administration and Strategic Initiatives and Dr. Natasha Kimmet as the new Pamela Buell Curator of Asian Art.

In addition to serving on the museum’s senior leadership team, Blazey will oversee the museum’s human resources, finance, security and guest services, and café/gift shop operations. She will also facilitate the deployment of the museum’s strategic plan. Blazey began her tenure at the museum on January 12.

“It’s an honor to join the Eskenazi Museum of Art, and I look forward to advancing the museum’s vision and shared values of empathy, professionalism, curiosity, aspiration, and belonging. The museum is an innovative leader of the arts and a state asset. Every day I am impressed with the staff’s commitment to engaging students, faculty, and the community through extraordinary interactions with the collection here in Bloomington and across Indiana. I’m committed to the museum’s mission of engaging diverse audiences throughout Indiana and creating a welcoming environment for all,” said Blazey of her new position.

Kimmet will manage the museum’s collection of approximately 3,500 Asian and Islamic art objects, which represent four thousand years of artistic production. She will organize exhibitions, publications, and programming that highlight an understudied area of the museum’s holdings. Kimmet will begin her role at the museum on April 15.

Of her new position, Kimmet said, “I am thrilled to be joining the Eskenazi Museum of Art with its diverse collections and commitment to scholarship and teaching. I look forward to collaborating with museum colleagues, IU faculty and students, and visitors to foster meaningful connections to Asian and Islamic art and encourage innovative and inclusive object-based research and curation.”

Blazey comes to the museum from Jasper, Indiana, where she serves as Board President and was former Executive Director of Jasper Community Arts. Previously, she was Senior Consultant for Economic Development at TPMA and served as Director of Community Development and Planning for the city of Jasper. Blazey received her BA in psychology from Indiana University, where she is also a candidate for an MPA. She was a 2023 fellow at the Tobias Leadership Center, Kelley School of Business.

Kimmet will relocate to Bloomington from Boulder, Colorado, where she served as an Editor at Shambhala Publications. She has also held positions at the University of Vienna and Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna and the Rubin Museum of Art, Armand Bartos Fine Art, and Goedhuis Contemporary in New York. Kimmet’s research interests include art and architecture of South Asia, Tibet, and the Himalayas, with an emphasis on Buddhist temple sites and sculpture. She received her PhD from the University of Vienna and her MA from the University of London.

David A. Brenneman, Wilma E. Kelley Director of the Eskenazi Museum of Art, remarked, “These key hires will allow the museum to continue its important mission of providing IU students with opportunities for direct engagement with original works of art. As the museum’s enters the next phase of strategic planning, we look forward to participating in IU’s focus on student success and opportunity, transformative research and creativity, and service to the state of Indiana. I welcome Darla and Natasha to our museum staff.”

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 includes more than 45,000 objects representing nearly every art-producing culture throughout history from around the world.

The Eskenazi Museum of Art recently completed a $30 million renovation of its acclaimed I. M. Pei–designed building. The newly renovated museum is 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.

CONTACT: Mariah Keller, Director of Creative Services