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Indianapolis Museum of Art announces top acquisitions made in 2015 for its encyclopedic collection
Mark Dion (American, b. 1961), Harbingers of the Fifth Season, 2014, mixed media installation featuring watercolors, 62-1/4 × 120 × 52-1/2 in. (installed). Indianapolis Museum of Art, Dedicated to Sherman O'Hara, former IMA Chief Designer, by his friends Ann M. and Chris Stack, 2015.27A-M.4A-L © Mark Dion.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced today the top acquisitions of 2015.

The IMA’s encyclopedic collection of more than 54,000 works of art is constantly evolving. Each year, the Museum acquires new works to enhance its diverse holdings. Occasionally, the Museum also transfers pieces to other institutions. The IMA’s thorough collection review process strives constantly to improve the overall quality of the art collection and to determine if works of art could enhance another institution’s collection and be better utilized for the public good. Last summer, the IMA Board of Governors formally approved a selection of 18th and 19th century decorative arts pieces, originally acquired through the generosity of the Indiana Chapter of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, to be transferred to the Indiana State Museum for use at several of its historic sites.

“As an encyclopedic art museum, a primary goal is to build an exceptional collection of art that represents different cultures and periods of history,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, the IMA’s Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO. “We constantly study, add to, and occasionally remove works from the collection. Additionally, the IMA shares its works of art through loans around the world. We also are in the process of digitizing all of our works of art and making them available on the IMA website.”

Acquisition highlights for 2015 include:

Contemporary Art
• Park of the Laments (2010) by Alfredo Jaar— a popular destination for sanctuary and reflection in The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres. Commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2010. Purchased in 2015 with funds provided by the Martha Delzell Memorial Fund, Frank Curtis Springer & Irving Moxley Springer Purchase Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore P. Van Vorhees Art Fund, Jane Weldon Myers Acquisition Fund, E. Hardey Adriance Fine Arts Acquisition Fund in memory of Marguerite Hardey Adriance, The Ballard Fund, Mrs. Pierre F. Goodrich Endowed Art Fund, Roger G. Wolcott Fund, Martha M. Shertzer Art Purchase Fund in Memory of Her Nephew, Charles S. Sands, Elizabeth S. Lawton Fine Art Fund, Emma Harter Sweetser Fund, through prior gift of Wally Findlay Galleries, Chicago, Illinois in honor of William Wadsworth Findlay, Anonymous IV Art Fund, James V. Sweetser Fund.

• Two works by Erwin Wurm from the 2015 exhibition, Erwin Wurm: Euclidean Exercises. Works include One Minute Forever (Yogurt Cup) (2013), Efroymson Pavilion Art Installation Fund, and a participatory work, One Minute Sculpture: Theory of Painting (2007/2015), gift of the artist, which encourages guests to become living sculptures. Both works are currently on display.

• Harbingers of the Fifth Season (2014) by Mark Dion. Dedicated to Sherman O'Hara, former IMA chief designer, by his friends Ann M. and Chris Stack. The mixed media installation and watercolor piece will go on display every spring for several months.

• Ayala Serfaty’s Memory, 2011 (2011), currently on display in the Contemporary Design Gallery. Gift of Daniella Ohad, Maison Gerard, Ltd., New York, and the artist.

• A rare, fully intact Portuguese oratory commode dating to the late 18th century. The work is one of the most important pieces of Portuguese furniture in North America and an especially unique addition to the IMA collection. This work will go on exhibition following its conservation. Mr. and Mrs. William R. Spurlock Fund, Deaccessioned Decorative Art Fund, Nancy Foxwell Neuberger Acquisition Endowment Fund, Don B. and Suzanne K. Earnhart Art Purchase Fund, Gift of Mrs. Isabelle J. Dixon by exchange, Bequest of Mrs. Herbert Duckwall by exchange, Gift of Dr. Phillip B. Reed in memory of Genevieve Pickerell Reed by exchange, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. Irwin Miller by exchange, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Ball by exchange, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene C. Pulliam Fund by exchange, Martha Delzell Memorial Fund by exchange, Margaret Mattingly Fund by exchange, Julius F. Pratt Fund by exchange, Margaret Mattingly Fund by exchange, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. David Baker by exchange, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Morse, Jr. by exchange, Jacob Metzger Fund by exchange, Jerry M. Wright by exchange, Gift of Mrs. George H. Orndorff by exchange, Lilly Pavilion Discretionary Fund by exchange, Gift in memory of Mrs. Fletcher Hodger by her family by exchange, Gift of Mrs. Florence Schwerin and Ms. Catherine Stace in memory of their mother, Mrs. Peck by exchange, Gift of Ruth Pratt Bobbs and Lois Pratt Knefler by exchange.

Textile & Fashion Arts
• An evening dress (c. 1980s) by former Indiana resident and celebrated fashion designer, Halston. The dress will be on display in the upcoming exhibition, 19 Stars of Indiana Art: A Bicentennial Celebration, opening in May 2016. Gift of Bea Fatout.

• An important evening dress “Black and White” (1927) by French designer Jean Patou. Broadway dancer Eleanora Ambrose (Mary Eleanor Puckett) was photographed in a similar dress in 1927. The Beeler Fund.

• Dress (Fall/Winter 2014) by Issey Miyake, displayed in the 2015 exhibition, Cutting-Edge Fashion: Recent Acquisitions. Gift of Ann M. Stack.

• The iconic 1968 safari tunic with belt by Yves Saint Laurent, also showcased in the recent Cutting-Edge Fashion exhibition. Fashion Arts Society Acquisition Fund.

Decorative Arts
• Gifts from the Collection of William Swann and William Leazer, including an Orivit bowl (1894) by Orivit Company, La Maison Desny Drinkware Set (about 1928) and a Pair of Vases (about 1900-1910) designed by Ernst Wahliss and manufactured by Alexander Porcelain Works. Pieces from the collection will go on display later this year in the Mary Ann & Gene Zink Gallery.

American Art
• A selection of Brett Weston’s black-and-white landscape photographs, received as a gift from the Christian Keesee Collection of Oklahoma. These are the first works by Brett Weston that the IMA has acquired, building on the existing collection of works by his equally famous father, Edward Weston. The photographs span from 1943 to 1975 and highlight Weston’s cross-country search for abstraction in nature, from the cityscapes of New York City to the natural beauty of Monterey, California.

• 11 pieces from woodblock printmaker Gustave Baumann, including several printing blocks currently on view in the special exhibition, Gustave Baumann, German Craftsman–American Artist, open through Feb. 14. Gift of the Ann Baumann Trust.

European Art
• Portrait of the Artist (about 1650), after Dutch master Frans Hals, a key figure in Dutch portraiture of the “Golden Age.” The painting is on display in the exhibition On the Flip Side: Secrets on the Backs of Paintings, one of three shows in the IMA’s CSI: Conservation Science Indianapolis series, which showcases the hidden clues often found on the backs of artworks. Labels, marks and seals on the back of this painting speak to its journey from Dresden, Germany, to Indianapolis. The portrait was part of a group of works previously on loan from The Clowes Fund and now formally part of the IMA’s collection.

• The newest addition to the IMA’s renowned Neo-Impressionist collection—a color lithograph by Paul Signac titled Application du Cercle Chromatique de Mr. Charles Henry, Program of the 5th Night at the Théâtre Libre, Thursday 31st January 1889— is an intriguing application of the Neo-Impressionists’ color theory. Bequest of Kathryne S. Block in Memory of Rudolph C. Block by exchange.

Asian Art
• Scholars’ Rock (gōngshi), currently on display in the Asian Art galleries. Scholars’ rocks are a vital part of Chinese culture and history. Gift of Dr. Alan Helms in memory of Lillian and Bud Helms.

• Eight Views of Ōmi, an early impression of a classic work in the landscape genre by Shinsui. With this acquisition, the IMA now has three of the eight prints in this important series. Gift of the Japanese Print Group, part of the Asian Art Society of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Native American Art
• Set of 14 wooden figures by self-taught Navajo sculptor Clitso D. Dedman. The figures depict a secret Yei’bechi ceremony and will be featured in a 2017 exhibition. Gift of Patricia Noble in memory of her brother John Noble.

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