$15 million given to IU Art Museum 

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi give the largest gift IU Art has ever seen

click to enlarge IU Art Museum - IU
  • IU Art Museum
  • IU

Indiana University announced today that they were given $15 million from Sidney and Lois Eskenazi to help renovate the I.M. Pei-designed museum building. IU plans to invest another $20 million in the renovation, which should be completed by 2020.

The gift comes just in time for the museum's 75th anniversary this year.

According to a press release from IU:

"With this gift we are combining two of our greatest passions: Indiana University and art," Sidney and Lois Eskenazi said in a statement. "We are delighted that our collection, which we have loved building and living with, will find a home at the museum. 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.”

The two will be donating their roughly 100 piece art collection. According to the release from IU that collection “includes a significant group of 34 etchings, lithographs and drawings by Spanish master Joan Miró from later in his career (1960s-1970s), complementing the museum's existing collection of 35 earlier Miró works from the 1930s to 1950s … Other artists represented in the Eskenazi collection include Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Sam Francis, Tom Wesselmann, Jean Dubuffet, Salvador Dali and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. This gift also marks the first works by Keith Haring and Paul Jenkins to enter the museum's collection.”

click to enlarge Lois and Sidney Eskenazi - IU
  • Lois and Sidney Eskenazi
  • IU

The redesign of the building will be headed by Susan T. Rodriguez of Ennead Architects of New York City and Browing Day Mullins Dierdorf of Indianapolis. The museum will be renamed the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie noted the change in the press release:

"On behalf of Indiana University, I want to offer our most sincere thanks to Sidney and Lois Eskenazi for their extraordinary, generous gift, which will help with a much-needed renovation and restoration of the magnificent I.M. Pei building that houses the museum's collection, and also for the gift of their own superb art collection that they have so painstakingly and lovingly collected over many years. 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. Over the years, the Eskenazis have been great supporters of Indiana University, and this remarkable gift is yet a further example of their wonderful commitment to IU."

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Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor

Emily is the arts editor at NUVO, where she covers everything from visual art to comedy. In fact she is probably at a theater production right now. Before joining the ranks here, she worked for Indianapolis Monthly and Gannett. You can find her thoughts about Indy scattered throughout the NUVO arts section and... more

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