Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Start With Art

The Deer Fountain, on the northwest corner of Washington 
and Senate, marks the entrance to the Eiteljorg Museum
of American Indians and Western Art. The fountain has not yet been
turned on for the season, but even so, the deer are forever
running through a stream, their hooves splashing the unseen water.

The Eiteljorg, opened in 1989, was the inspiration of Harrison Eiteljorg
who had developed an interest and love for the Native American peoples, 
their culture and artwork when he began traveling West on coal 
mining ventures in the 1940s. When the museum was being planned, 
he traveled with the architect, Jonathan Hess, to visit the Southwest.  
They studied the land and its architecture for inspiration 
for the look of the museum.

A large panoramic tryptic of the Grand Canyon greets visitors
at the front entrance of the Grand Hall, which is paved with the same
plum-colored German sandstone that forms the base of the 
building. Warm, honey-colored Minnesota dolomite gives
the building's exterior an appearance reminiscent of Southwestern Pueblos.

On the west side of the Museum is the Discovery Garden and 
Kincannon Learning Circle, where one can see native Indiana plant species
as well as monumental sculptures interspersed throughout the grounds. 

Wisdom Keepers, 1998 by Bruce LaFountain
Turtle Mountain Chippewa
Cast Bronze
The other side of the Wisdom Keepers sculpture shows 
a falcon's head, but the image was too underexposed to use, 
even with the help of Photoshop.

Sculpture by Doug Hyde
The grounds of the Eiteljorg abut those of the 
Indiana State Museum, the landscaping of one blending
seamlessly into the other, divided by immense blocks
of rough limestone. The overall effect is to provide
a place of calm, of natural beauty in the
midst of a bustling city.


dive said...

Love the deer fountain! Such a wonderful sense of movement; of startled, panicky deer exploding out of the pool. I wonder what it looks like when the water is switched on?

The large, simple planes of warm stone are beautiful and so right for the museum.
I so want that triptych of the Grand Canyon! I'm a sucker for paintings of the early, unspoilt West (back when the people who lived there lived with the land rather than force it to do their bidding). It's good to see those same people celebrated in the wild-looking garden (even with a bird for a head-dress).

I am glad your convention was so expensive that it drove you away and into the open arms of the Eiteljorg. This has been a fantastic and inspirational series of posts!

Speedway said...

I love the Deer Fountain, too, Dive, and for the very same reasons. None of the fountains around here have been turned on yet, but should be soon. I'll go back to take add'l pictures then, along with the kascina dolls.

I took almost 250 pictures last week, Dive, and could have done more. As it was, there were 'way too many images to post.

I put links to the architect's website. It's nice that he is from Indy. I'm really proud that structures like the museum, the Indy Monument and the Indiana Landmarks Center were all designed and/or restored by local and area people.