Indiana University Art Museum Receives $15 Million Donation, Largest in Its History

The museum was renamed after the donors.

The I.M. Pei-designed exterior of the museum. Photo: Kevin Montague

The Indiana University Art Museum has announced the donation of $15 million and 100 works on paper from collectors Sidney and Lois Eskenazi, the most significant gift since its founding in 1941.

According to a press release, the donation, and a additional $20 million from an university match program, will go for essential renovation and maintenance work on the museum’s I.M. Pei designed building, constructed in 1982.

“On behalf of Indiana University, I want to offer our most sincere thanks to Sidney and Lois Eskenazi for their extraordinary, generous gift,” Indiana University Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President, Lauren Robel, said in a statement.

“In light of these gifts, we are delighted that IU’s iconic art museum will now be known as the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art,” she announced.

Atrium of the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University. Photo: Kevin Montague

Atrium of the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University. Photo: Kevin Montague

The museum has a large and extensive collection of over 45,000 pieces from almost every era, spanning ancient to contemporary art.

The institution is especially known for its holdings of African, South Pacific, and art from the Americas. It also manages one of the most impressive university-operated collections of modern and contemporary art, which includes one of only two existing sets of Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades from 1964.

The Eskenazis’ donation of works on paper includes 34 late etchings, lithographs and drawings by Joan Miró, and artworks by Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Sam Francis, Tom Wesselmann, Jean Dubuffet, Salvador Dali, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The gift also includes works by Keith Haring and Paul Jenkins, who aren’t yet represented in the museum’s collection.

Student in the permanent collection galleries of the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University. Photo: Kevin Montague

Student in the permanent collection galleries of the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University. Photo: Kevin Montague

“We are delighted that our collection, which we have loved building and living with, will find a home at the museum,” Sidney and Lois Eskenazi said in a statement. “We are excited to be a part of such a transformative project for the museum and the university, and we know that the newly renovated museum will be a go-to destination on campus and for the entire Bloomington community.”


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