Greater Lafayette Museum of Art

The institution now known as the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette began over 100 years ago, on April 14, 1909. After a general awakening of art interests all over (the) country and stateヤ Lafayette residents saw a chance to stimulate and encourage interest in art and to give annual exhibitions, and also to establish and maintain permanent collections of works of art.ヤ Twenty-five citizens came together in the early twentieth century to found what would be initially named the Lafayette Art Association. In less than a months time the Association gained 386 members, each paying only $1.00 in annual dues.

The Association began collecting works of art and held its first exhibition in 1911. Among the early pieces featured at the museum, often purchased directly from the artist, included:

The Cruise of the Ellida by F. Luis Mora
Winter in the Ravine by T.C. Steele
Entrance to the Casbah by Henry Ossawa Tanner
Snow Covered Banks by Clifton Wheeler
The Lariat Maker by Eanger Irving Couse
The Red Parasol by Frederick Milton Grant
Over the years the collection has expanded as a result of purchases and donations. Major donations, such as the Prisker Pottery Collection, the Alice Baber Memorial Collection, the Akeley Mexican Modernist Collection, and Robert and Ellie Haan make up a significant portion of the collection today. The entire collection boasts more than 870 works of American art, with a focus in Indiana artists. The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette is the only art museum accredited by the American Association of Museums in northwest Indiana.

As the permanent collection continued to grow under the guidance of Judge Henry Vinton and founding member Laura Anne Fry, the Association utilized members’ homes, local schools, the YMCA, and the Tippecanoe County Courthouse for classes, meetings, exhibitions, and programs to store works. In 1928 David Linn Ross, founder of Ross Gear Tool, offered a building at 628 Main Street rent free to both the Association and the Tippecanoe Historical Society. This site would provide much needed gallery space for the ever expanding Lafayette Art Association.

After thirty-two years in the Ross building the Association started to outgrow their space and a piece of land on the grounds of the Fowler House from the Tippecanoe County Historical Society between south Ninth and Tenth Streets was built. The new building was dedicated in 1960, as the Lafayette Art Center. In the early 1980’s a new wing was opened adding 3,000 square feet to the Art Center. This wing was dedicated as the Weil Wing in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Louis A. Weil, Jr., to provide space for permanent collection galleries. Two years later, after accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the Lafayette Art Association was re-incorporated as the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art. The Mickey K. Shook Community Service Wing was added in 1988, to provide a community room and office space to honor of the memory of Mickey K. Shook.

The Greater Lafayette Museum of Art was awarded re-accreditation by the AAM in 2010. In 2000 the Board of Directors ratified a new name and mission for the Museum, and it became the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

Place Categories: Art MuseumPlace Tags: fiber, illustration, paintings and sculptures

Related Listing

Place Your Review

You must be logged in to post a review.

Report this?

Claim Listing

Click to see claim process.