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IMA Exhibition Records


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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OVA Box 1

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Flat File IA

3rd Annual Exhibit of the Indiana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects [catalog copy 1]

3rd Annual Exhibit of the Indiana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects [catalog copy 2]

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IMA Exhibition Records, 1883- | Indianapolis Museum of Art Archives

By Samantha Norling

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Collection Overview

Title: IMA Exhibition Records, 1883-Add to your cart.


Primary Creator: Indianapolis Museum of Art

Other Creators: Art Association of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, John Herron Art Institute

Extent: 0.0


The IMA Archives Exhibition Records are arranged chronologically by opening date of the exhibition. Within an exhibition file(s), the records are broken into ten broad categories:

1.)  General

2.)  Catalogue

3.)  Condition Reports

4.)  Finance/Insurance

5.)  Labels

6.)  Meetings

7.)  Photography/Installation

8.)  Publicity/Education

9.)  Receipts/Checklists

10.) Shipping

Some exhibition records (those that exhibited at multiple venues and/or have extensive lender documentation) require the use of two additional file categories:

11.) Lenders

12.) Venues

Records related to specific lenders and venues are filed according to the 10-category system within the appropriate lender or venue file.

Subjects: Art, Art, African, Art, American, Art, Asian, Art, European, Art--Collectors and collecting, Art--Exhibitions, Art--Indiana--Indianapolis--Exhibitions, Ceramics, Design, Exhibitions, Fashion, Interior decoration, Painting, Painting--Indiana--Indianapolis--Exhibitions, Photography, Pottery, Prints, Wood-engraving

Forms of Material: brochures, checklists, clippings (information artifacts), condition reports, contracts documents, design drawings, exhibition catalogs, financial records, invoices, lists (document genres), memorandums, negatives (photographic), newsletters, photographic prints, photographs, price lists, renderings (drawings), shipping records, slides (photographs)

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The IMA Archives Exhibition Records document the planning and execution of exhibitions created by and/or held at the Art Association of Indianapolis, the John Herron Art Institute, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art starting in 1883. This collection is ongoing, as the Indianapolis Museum of Art continues to create new exhibition records each year. Individual exhibition files may include checklists, exhibition catalogs, installation photography, correspondence, press clippings, curatorial research files, and other documents. A file and listing have been created for every exhibition, regardless of whether any archival material survives. File listings with "[empty]" indicate that there is no archival material available for the exhibition. Many early exhibitions do not have any related material. This is an ongoing project to process these exhibition records, starting with the earliest records.  All available materials have not yet been entered. For a complete searchable list of IMA Exhibitions please visit http://www.imamuseum.org

Collection Historical Note

On November 7, 1883, an exhibition of 453 works by 137 artists opened at the English Hotel on the downtown Indianapolis Circle. It was the first exhibition organized by the Art Association of Indianapolis, which well-known suffragette May Wright Sewell, her husband Theodore, and a small group of art-minded citizens had formed a few months earlier. In the process, they wrote the mission statement that spelled out their intentions. The success of that exhibition, which attracted sizable crowds throughout its three-week run, established the Art Association as a viable factor in the local cultural scene and led to more exhibitions, as well as lectures and eventually a campus featuring both a museum and an art school (the John Herron Art Museum and John Herron School of Art, together known as the John Herron Art Institute from 1902 to 1967).

Though the Sewalls were never timid about dreaming big, even they would be shocked to see what the small group they helped found over 130 years ago has become. Since the Art Association of Indianapolis changed its name to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1969—a precursor to its move the following year from its longtime home on the campus of the John Herron Art Institute at 16th and Pennsylvania streets into a new building at 38th Street and Michigan Road—the organization has evolved into the fifth largest encyclopedic art museum in the country, with active exhibition and education programs that far surpass anything the Art Association’s founders could have imagined.

Throughout the institution's history, exhibitions have remained one of the primary activities of the museum, with each exhibition involving staff members and support from every department. The following are lists of directors, presidents, curators, and conservators who represent the primary records creators of this collection:

Institutional Names

Art Association of Indianapolis:  1883-1969

John Herron Art Institute:  1902

    John Herron Art Museum:  1902-1969 (separated from IMA)

    John Herron School of Art:  1902-July 1, 1967 (joins IUPUI)

Indianapolis Museum of Art:  1969-

Art Association of Indianapolis 1883-1969


May Wright Sewall:  1883


Albert E. Fletcher (resigned):  1883

Nathaniel A. Hyde:  1883-1893

May Wright Sewall:  1893-1898

Hugh H. Hanna:  1898-1904

India C. Harris:  1904-1907

Evans Woollen:  1907-1941

Caroline Marmon Fesler:  1941-1947

Anton Scherrer:  1947-1959

Blanche Stillson (acting president):  1959-1960

Robert S. Ashby:  1960-1962

John G. Rauch, Sr.:  1960-1969

John Herron Art Institute 1902-1969


William Henry Fox:  1905-1910

Milton Matter (interim-museum):  1911-<a>1912</a>

William Coughlen (school):  1911-1913

Frederic Allen Whiting (museum):  1912-1913

Harold Haven Brown:  1914-1922

J. Arthur MacLean:  1923-<a>1926</a>          

Wilbur D. Peat:  1929-1970

Carl Weinhard, Jr.:  1965-1975 (IMA 1969-1975)

Assistant/Deputy Directors

Florence Bradshaw Brown:  1921-1922

Dorothy Blair:  1923-1926

Francis W. Bilodeau:  1960

Indianapolis Museum of Art 1969-present


Carl J. Weinhardt, Jr.:  1969-1975 (1965-1968 JHAI)

Robert Yassin:  1975-1989

E. Kirk McKinney, Jr.:  1987-1990

Bret Waller:  1990-2001

Anthony Hirschel:  2001-2004

Lawrence O’Connor (interim director):  2004-2006

Maxwell Anderson:  2006-2011

Charles L. Venable:  2012-2015

Deputy Directors

Timothy L. Boruff:  1997?-2002

Diane DeGrazia:  2004-2006


Curator (General)

Anna E. Turrell:  1901?-1912

Anna Hasselman:  1922-1952

Robert O. Parks:  1949-1950

Stephen E. Ostrow:  1966-1968

Jeffrey R. Brown:  1968-1972?

Anthony Janson:  1979?-1983

Hollister Sturges III:  1984-1986

Robert A. Yassin:  1987-1988

Ellen W. Lee:  1990-2015

Assistant Curator

Mary Margaret Miller:  1931

Paul Hadley:  1932-1937

Robert Tschaegle:  1937-1940

Mel [Mrs. Michael] Driver:  1964-1965

Mrs. Daniel L. Halas:  1966-1967

Ellen W. Lee:  1972-1973?

Curator for Special Exhibitions

Suzanne S. Reahard (assistant):  1973-1975?

Robert L. Warrum:  1974?


Anna Hasselman:  1923-1925

Robert O. Parks:  1954-1955

David G. Carter:  1955-1958

Curtis G. Coley:  1960-1964

Painting and Sculpture

Anthony Janson (senior curator):  1979?-1983

Ellen Lee:  1978?-1991

Harriet G. Warkel:  1997?-2006

American Painting and Sculpture

Harriet G. Warkel:  2006-2010

Painting and Sculpture to/before 1800

Ronda J. Kasl:  1992-2013

Drawings & Prints (Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, 1992-present)

Alfred M. Brooks (Prints):  1911-1922

Curtis G. Coley:  1962-1964

Ronald E. Spangler (technical assistant):  1971-1972

Lynn L. Karn (associate):  1971-1978

Martin Krause, Jr.:  1978?-present

Annette Schlangenhauff (associate):  2006-2007

Curator of Education

John E. Brown:  1953-1957

Francis W. Bilodeau (supervisor of education):  1960-1961

Harry H. Hilberry:  1962-1964

Ann Abbinanti:  1965-1966

Mel Driver:  1966-1967

Jerome E. Sirkoski:  1967-1971

Peggy A. Loar:  1971-1974?

Helen Ferrulli (Director):  1981?-1988                                

Assistant Curator of Education

Elizabeth Loer:  1962

Ann Abbinanti:  1963-1964

Mrs. Bezie Merchant [Droege]:  1966-1968

Mrs. Randall D. Rogers (junior curator):  1968-1969

Jaci Tomulonis (junior curator):  1970-1971

Marla K. Dankert:  1971-1973

Assistant Curator for Media (under Education)

Donald M. Frick:  1973-?

Decorative Arts

Phillip B. Solomon:  1967-1971

Lynn Karn (assistant):  1970-1971

Peggy S. Gilfoy:  1971-1976

Catherine Lippert:  1975-1983

Amanda Austin (assistant):  1985-1986

Barry L. Shifman (associate):  1988-2003

American Decorative Arts

Bradley Brooks:  2005-2014

Curator of Clowes Fund Collection

Allen W. Clowes:  1971-1973

A. Ian Fraser (research curator):  1971-1994?

Honorary Curator of Music

Frank E. Cooper:  1971-1973


Eliza M. Niblack:  1921-1922

Peggy Gilfoy:  1974?-1988

Textiles and Costumes (later Textiles and Fashion Arts, 2005-present)

Niloo Imami-Paydar:  1988-present

Petra Slinkard (associate):  2010-2013

Ethnographic Arts

Peggy Gilfoy:  1974?-1988

Theodore Celenko:  1988-1989

African, South Pacific, and Precolumbian Art (later the Americas, 2005-present)

Theodore Celenko:  1990-2007

Mellon Global Curatorial Assistant

Kristin Krause Gotway:  2010-present

Oriental Art

J. Arthur MacLean:  1923-1925

Paul A. J. Spheeris (acting curator):  1973-?

Yutaka Mino:  1978?-1983

James Robinson:  1984-1989

Jane Weldon Myers Curator of Asian Art

James J. Robinson:  1990-2007

Asian Art

John Teramoto:  2000-present

Sayuri Guelce (curatorial assistant):  2011-2014

European Art

Dorothy Blair:  1923-1925

Robert A. Yassin:  1973

European Painting and Sculpture

Annette Schlagenhauff (assistant):  2003-?

Rebecca Long (assistant):  2009-2013

European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

Rebecca Long:  2013-2014

American Art

Jeffrey R. Brown:  1973

Contemporary Art

Holliday T. Day:  1985-1999

Lena Vigna:  2000-2001

Lisa D. Freiman:  2002-2011

Rebecca Uchill (assistant/associate):  2006-2010

Sarah Green (assistant/associate 2008-2010):  2008-2013

Allison Unruh (associate):  2008-2010

Amanda York (curatorial assistant):  2009-2011

Tricia Paik: 2014-present

Design Arts

R. Craig Miller:  2008-2011

Associate Curator for Research

Annette Schlangenhauff:  2010-present

Audience Experience and Performance

Scott Stulen:  2014-present

Head Conservator

Paul A.J. Spheeris:  1967-1973

Martin Radecki  (assistant from 1971-1973):  1971-2007

David A. Miller:  2008-present

Subject/Index Terms

Art, African
Art, American
Art, Asian
Art, European
Art--Collectors and collecting
Interior decoration

Administrative Information

Repository: Indianapolis Museum of Art Archives

Accruals: Additions to the IMA Exhibition Records are regularly transferred to the IMA Archives from various departments throughout the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Access Restrictions:

Complete exhibition records from 1883 through 2002 are available for research through the IMA Archives. For records from 2002 to the present, IMA Registration is the primary holder until records are ready for transfer to the IMA Archives. Some records have been transferred directly to the IMA Archives from the office of origin instead of going through Registration.

Access Restrictions:

IMA Curatorial and Registration exhibition files are automatically closed to the public for ten years from the exhibition closing date. After ten years the records will be opened for outside research once they are officially processed by the Archivist. Within the open collection, the following record groups will be restricted until 25 years have passed, and then made available to outside researchers at the discretion of the archivist and the Registration Department:

- Incoming and outgoing loans (receipts, finance, shipping, etc.)

- Donors and donations (including prices paid for museum objects)

- Fundraising and grant proposals

- Artwork/object condition (incident and treatment reports, treatment proposals, photographic documentation of damage and treatments)

- Board of Governors, Executive Committee, and Fine Arts Committee records

The following record groups will be permanently restricted to outside researchers:

- Private and anonymous lenders

- Insurance and appraisals

- Sensitive issues, personal information, and personnel actions

Documents that discuss or relate to an artwork/object's value will be closed for twenty-five years from the date of creation.

Use Restrictions: Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder. Please contact the Archivist for more information.

Technical Access Note: Born-digital exhibition records may not be available for research due to technical limitations.

Acquisition Source: Various IMA departments, primarily Registration

Acquisition Method: Transfer

Preferred Citation: [Title of item], [Date], [Container information], Exhibition Records (EXH001), IMA Archives, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN.

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[Bound Volume (BV) 001: 3rd Annual Exhibit of the Indiana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects [catalog copy 1], May 11-31, 1912],
[Bound Volume (BV) 002: 3rd Annual Exhibit of the Indiana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects [catalog copy 2], May 11-31, 1912],