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Newfields transfers hundreds of Dines Carlsen drawings to the National Nordic Museum
Dines Carlsen (American, 1901–1966), Spire of Vor Frelsers Kirke, Copenhagen, 1928–1966, conte crayon on bond paper, 8-1/2 x 11 in. (sheet). Former collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. © Dines Carlsen. Image courtesy of Newfields.

INDIANAPOLIS, IND.- This summer the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields will transfer 943 Dines Carlsen drawings to the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA as part of the ongoing Collection Assessment Project.

The Collection Assessment Project is a qualitative assessment of the approximately 41,000 works of art in the IMA collection. The project began in 2011 with a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which allowed the IMA to hire six outside specialists to provide oversite to collection areas in which IMA staff was seeking additional expertise. Beginning October 2015, IMA curators formally began the Collection Assessment Project, which included physically and critically reviewing each item in their collection and ranking each piece as to its quality and importance to the overall art collection. The review has since informed future acquisition planning, judicious deaccessioning, and the transfer of works better suited to other institutions.

“We at Newfields are committed to responsible stewardship of our international art collection,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, the Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO, “Through research and thoughtful transfers we are able to give new life to works that would otherwise languish in storage away from public view. Transferring this body of work by Dines Carlsen to the National Nordic Museum which specializes in work by Nordic and Nordic-American artists means these drawings will be studied ad made available to the public.”

Anna Stein, Assistant Curator of Works on Paper, determined through her research that Newfields’ collection of sketches by Danish-American artist Dines Carlsen would be better served at the National Nordic Museum. Outside of the Archives of American Art in Washington D.C., the National Nordic Museum is the main repository of materials related to the Carlsen family. This significant transfer will mark the National Nordic Museum’s largest acquisition in its history.

“This corpus of drawings strengthens the National Nordic Museum’s holdings of art by Nordic-American artists. We are excited to welcome this sizeable gift into our collection,” said Leslie Anne Anderson, Director of Collections, Exhibitions, and Programs at the National Nordic Museum. “We look forward to fostering discovery of Dines Carlsen and his graphic work through exhibitions and publications.”

Since the beginning of the Collection Assessment Project the IMA transferred art to several institutions that can better use the works in their programming, including a transfer of contemporary glass to The Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass at Ball State University in Muncie, IN and examples of early American decorative art to the Indiana State Museum & Historical Sites in Indianapolis.

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