In Spring 2023, the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s galleries that feature art of the United States will reopen with updated displays. This project is one of our first steps in sharing new stories about the IMA’s permanent collection. The installation will pose questions about how historic American art connects to ongoing debates about the country. The purpose of this reinstallation is not to settle these debates—but rather to invite guests to explore ideas about America.
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THE GALLERY UPDATES
The reinstallation includes historical artworks juxtaposed with several pieces from the museum’s contemporary and European collections. The displays also reveal the limitations of visual art as a means to understand United States history and culture, while incorporating stories that weren’t always included in historical American art. Sharing new stories means changing how we work and whose voices we include in the museum. We worked with five Indianapolis-area residents, collectively called the Looking Glass Alliance, to look at American art in new ways, revealing stories that have always been there but weren’t always seen. They are using the idea of a looking glass to turn upside narratives that have traditionally been communicated in museums. They invite Newfields and the public to join us as they reflect on these practices; disrupt damaging narratives; and make visible marginalized voices, places, and people.