Contemporary Design Galleries to Open November 22 at IMA, Indianapolis


After a three-year, multiphase renovation project, the new contemporary design galleries of the Indianapolis Museum of Art will debut to the public on November 22, 2013. With more than 400 objects focusing on design after 1980, and spanning nearly 10,000 square feet, this addition to the IMA’s permanent collection is one of the largest displays of contemporary design in any North American art museum and among the first surveys of recent trends in this dynamic field.Contemporary Design Galleries

The new, innovative space, designed by the IMA’s Design Studio in association with Jeff Daly (formerly Senior Design Advisor to the Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art), will feature a three-part space linked to create a dramatic 180-foot-long vista. The architecture of the galleries features articulated bays defined by a coffered ceiling, free-standing walls, floating platforms, and dramatic cantilevered wall cases.

Visitors will enter through an introductory gallery that provides an orientation to the entire installation as well as showcases recent acquisitions and small special exhibitions.

The next space, referred to as the transitional gallery, will concisely illustrate the history of modern design from 1945 to 1980 using highlights from the IMA’s collection. Through the display of a wide range of works, from Modernist chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames to a Postmodernist sculptural piece in the shape of a foot by Gaetano Pesce, this gallery will demonstrate the enormous changes in design technologies and materials that took place in the decades following World War II. As the demand for modern furnishings rose, designers responded by utilizing emerging technologies and new materials such as plastics to create enticing and innovative forms.

The main and final gallery will present the Museum’s collection of contemporary design from 1980 to the present. Exploring three stylistic movements—Modernism, Expressionism, and Postmodernism—masterpieces by established designers such as Ettore Sottsass, Frank Gehry, and Achille Castiglioni will be juxtaposed to objects by emerging artists such as Tord Boontje, Konstantin Grcic, and the Bouroullec brothers. The installation will demonstrate for visitors the complexity of ideas and the variety of movements that have characterized this contemporary era of design.

Visit the IMA Blog to read posts about design.

Donors to the initiative are Otto N. Frenzel III, Steve and Livia Russell, June M. McCormack, Kay F. Koch, James E. and Patricia J. LaCrosse, Penny and Russell Fortune, Tom and Nora Hiatt, Ann M. and Chris Stack, Jane Fortune and Robert Hesse, and William L. Fortune Jr. and Joseph D. Blakely.

The project is supported by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Indianapolis Museum of Art
4000 Michigan Road
Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-3326
Phone: 317-923-1331