The newly remodeled Clowes Pavilion reopens 3/25 in the IMA Galleries

Joey Amato | March 15, 2022

The Clowes Pavilion Reimagined at the Indianapolis Museum of Art will open to the public on March 25, 2022. The Pavilion will reopen 50 years after its inauguration in 1972, following an extensive renovation that included infrastructure repairs, updated electrical and lighting, refinished floors and new accessibility features. The Pavilion will debut with two entrance points, making the space easily available to guests wanting to view the beloved Clowes Collection of European Old Masters. The reinstallation follows Embodied: Human Figures in Art as the second recently opened space organized thematically.

“The opening of the newly renovated Clowes Pavilion is the first in a series of reinstallations that will transform how we experience art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. After nearly four years, we are elated to share the newly installed Pavilion with the Indianapolis community and beyond,” said Katie Haigh, Chief Operating Officer. “From extensive renovation and conservation of the Clowes Collection, to unveiling new research and reinterpreting the artwork, this installation is sure to become a favorite of our guests.”

The reinstallation will showcase a total of 100 objects spanning various times, places, cultures and media that offer a fresh perspective on significant social and historical themes. Artwork is intermingled with innovative and engaging interpretive elements. Guests can expect to see their favorite works from the Clowes Collection, such as Rembrandt van Rijn’s Self-Portrait, alongside works from other parts of the IMA’s permanent collections like Bidou Yamaguchi’s Nō Mask (“Rembrandt”). Another stunning pairing located at one of the entrances will be the Raphael-designed tapestry, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes shown alongside the large-scale contemporary sculpture, Duvor (Communal Cloth) by Ghanaian artist El Anatsui.

“The Clowes Pavilion and its contents have been refreshed and reimagined in many ways. Our Newfields team of curators, interpretation specialists, conservators, designers, collection support and facilities departments have worked for more than three years to bring this extensive project to completion, and we are thrilled to be able to unveil it to our guests this coming March” said Curator of European Art, Dr. Annette Schlagenhauff.

New to the Clowes Pavilion is a state-of-the-art LED digital ceiling in its courtyard that evokes an outdoor space in the heart of the museum. The ceiling has 522 ultra-high definition HDR LED panels, with 8K screen resolution and a high-fidelity audio system that complements the visual content. This project was designed, sourced and installed by Blockhouse Studios, Tyler Truss, Neoti and Dodd Technologies, which are all local Indiana vendors.

“The goal of this reinstallation is to celebrate and invigorate the Clowes Collection by putting Clowes works into thoughtful, one-on-one ‘conversations’ with objects from other parts of our permanent collection, including artworks by African, African American, Asian, and female artists,” said Dr. Kjell Wangensteen, Associate Curator of European Art, who co-curated the reinstallation with Dr. Schlagenhauff. “I use the word ‘conversation’ because it implies that the works can enliven each other through mutual interaction; one doesn’t overpower another. We want these conversations to enliven and inspire our visitors, too.”

Guests can celebrate the reopening of the Clowes Pavilion with activations all weekend long. On March 23 and 24, Newfields members will be the first to see the exciting reinstallation during Clowes Member Preview Days. Kick off the opening weekend with Reimagining the Clowes Pavilion, a free curator talk, on March 24 at 6 p.m. in DeBoest Lecture Hall by Dr. Wangensteen. Learn about works on display from ASK ME! Docents inside the Pavilion Thursday through Sunday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and enjoy daily musical performances at 1 and 3 p.m. throughout the weekend presented by Indy Baroque. Take a selfie under the breathtaking digital ceiling and in front of a stunning orchid display, by Newfields’ own horticulture experts, filling the Clowes fountain inside the gallery. If you miss the curator talk opening weekend, don’t worry you can catch Dr. Wangensteen for an intimate conversation at Art Conversations in Clowes on April 5, 10, 21 and May 5.

The Clowes Pavilion Reimagined is made possible with support from Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation and The Clowes Fund.

Funding for the conservation of The Miraculous Draught of Fishes was generously provided through a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. Additional funding for the conservation was provided by The Clowes Fund, in honor of longtime president of the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, William Marshall.