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“Architecturally Stunning Building, Inside and Out”

Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University
Ranked #8 of 57 things to do in Bloomington
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 4, 2013

The art museum is part of the beautiful IU campus. There is a great variety both in chronological art periods and geographic focus. The interior building structure (staircase!) is stunning and is itself worth the trip. I am not a connoisseur of museums, but I've been to enough to say that there might be room for improvement in displaying the collections.

Thank dramom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 - 74 of 97 reviews

Reviewed August 21, 2013

One of the leading working educational museums in the USA, the IUAM is open Tuesday through Sunday and is free to anyone who wants to walk in. The main collections are housed on three levels. The top level holds the Oceanic, Mesoamerican, and Africa collections. The second level contains the Ancient Mediterranean and Asia collections. The ground level is where the Western collection is kept that holds pieces from the earliest period of Christianity through the 21st century.

Many of the pieces are part of the Masterworks collection and thus are on display all of the time. However new pieces are brought in generally at the beginning of each semester and the Hexagon (also on the ground floor) shows off special exhibits two to three times a year.

The security guards are there to protect the art as well as the visitors and they are well within their rights to tell you to move back, not touch, or even to put away jackets or bags into the lockers if you break the rules. Security guards are NOT docents. The docents lead educational tours affiliated with schools around Indiana ranging from preschool to university level courses; each of these docents undergoes two semesters of training before being allowed to lead tours. Every Saturday from 2-3pm there is a open tour available with a docent for anyone who visits. Other docent led tours need to be scheduled with the museum.

The building was designed by I.M. Pei and is itself a work of art. This means you should take care with the odd angle that populate it and never assume that you can see everything there is to see when you work through a gallery's main doors. Look around, take at least two minutes per work, and stop being a passive viewer of art. There is no way you can sincerely view the entire collection in fewer than three or four, one to two hour visits if you are really looking at the art.

The IUAM also now has a cafe and gift shop -- a bit pricey -- in case you want to relax or take home a book or copy of one of the works of art. Please be forewarned that parking is very, very limited and is growing more so as the university continues building constructions nearby.

Thank thetammyjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

This museum has the WORST docents/security people I have ever experienced at a museum. They will follow you around and glare at you as if you were about to pick up one of their museum pieces and walk out the door with it. Completely destroyed any sense of relaxation that one might expect while visiting an art museum. It's ALWAYS been like this, so I don't expect any changes.They must be specially training their staff to behave as if every patron is a potential thief.
We've been to the art museum several times over a period of 25 years. Other than special exhibitions, nothing ever changes in the permanent collection. So, unless there is a special event or traveling exhibition, we don't plan to return any time soon.

2  Thank beekeeper47429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

The art museum was designed by the IM Pei firm, so it is architecturally interesting, as well as housing an excellent permanent collection. A large ground-floor gallery hosts special exhibitions, which range across a variety of time periods, art forms, and areas of the world. Take care walking down the stairs, as they are a typical Pei design and can be deceptive. The artwork is thoughtfully curated and displayed. The Angles coffee shop on the second level of the atrium has a huge range of gifts available for purchase, in addition to hot and cold drinks, and snacks. WHile you're in the building, take a detour to the Grunwald Gallery of Art (tagline: "New Art, New Artists").

Thank DlovesJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

Excellent way to broaden your art horizons in a short time. Building doesn't look that big, but the collection goes on and on. Fascinating - don't miss it.

Thank Ralph S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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