Work in Progress: Conversations about American Art
Work in Progress: Conversations about American Art is a refreshed installation of art from the United States on Floor 2 of the IMA Galleries which will provide new context to how artists, critics, and the public approached American art for over 200 years. The displays explore the limitations of visual art as a means of understanding United States history and culture, while incorporating stories that weren’t always included in historical American art.
The updated galleries will include several pieces from the museum’s beloved contemporary collection including works by Thornton Dial, Kara Walker, and Joan Mitchell, juxtaposed with historical objects. While the majority of this installation is currently comprised of work by artists with European heritage, this installation is a first step in telling more inclusive stories.
Sharing new stories means changing how we work and whose voices we include in the museum. As part of the reimagining of these galleries, the Indianapolis Museum of Art decenters the traditional curatorial voice and includes voices of people with various lived experiences. In order to accomplish this, staff reached out to several individuals from the Indianapolis area to create content around the artworks on display. While the updated interpretation brings in historical stories, the group—collectively calling themselves Looking Glass Alliance participants—brings both historic and contemporary experiences not previously told at the IMA.
Looking Glass Alliance Participants:
Work in Progress: Conversations about American Art is supported by a grant from
Additionally, this exhibition is a part of the Gallery Revisioning Project with funding generously provided by Kay F. Koch.
John Wesley Hardrick (American, 1891–1968), Little Brown Girl, 1927, oil on canvas, 21-1/2 × 29-5/8 in. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Gift of a Group of African-American Citizens of Indianapolis, April 16, 1929, 29.40. © John Wesley Hardrick.