Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western ArtIndianapolis, Indiana
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is one of Indianapolis’ most beloved landmarks. Originally designed in 1989 to contain 74,000 square feet and later expanded in 2005 to contain 100,000 square feet, the museum honors the client’s desire with a design expression directly from the Southwestern architectural style of the Anasazi Indians. The mass and color are common in adobe and pueblo architecture, yet have a more monolithic character and massive sense of scale. Veined Minnesota dolomite and accents of German sandstone were selected as finish materials to reflect the spirit of the indigenous colors of the American Southwest. This style has been interpreted to fit more comfortably into its context and increased in scale to respond to the monumental nature of museums.
The museum includes permanent galleries to display the extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and other cultural art objects, a gallery to accommodate traveling exhibits, collection storage, other support areas, and a 3,000 square foot gift shop. The galleries incorporate flexible partitioning systems and display lighting. The remaining exhibit space is located on the second floor and provides roughly 14,000 square feet dedicated to Native American Artifacts.
The museum continues to be a popular destination in Indianapolis and is one of the anchors of the White River State Park. The relationship with the client continues today with many projects. A master plan in the late 90’s led to multiple expansions, one of which provides direct access to the Central Canal.