Visionary leaders founded the Art Museum in 1909 as the Lafayette Art Association, with the purpose “to stimulate and encourage interest in art and to give annual exhibitions, and to establish and maintain permanent collections of works of art.”
The Permanent Collection began with the acquisition of F. Louis Mora’s painting “Cruise of the Ellida” in 1911. Today the collection includes over 1,400 objects and focuses on 19th, 20th and 21st century American art with a special emphasis on the art of Indiana and surrounding states.
The museum has acquired works of art through gifts and purchases. Works that are accepted into the museum’s permanent collection are selected by the Executive Director and approved by the Curator. Final approval is by the Collections Committee. Investment distributions from two restricted endowments have funded purchases in recent years. The Mickey Shook Endowment at the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette, started in 1992, and the Connie and Richard Grace Endowment held by the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette Foundation, Inc.
Indiana Artists Collection
The collection includes works by pioneer Indiana artists Jacob Cox and George Winter; members of the Richmond Group, including John Elwood Bundy and Frank Girardin; members of the Hoosier Group, including T.C. Steele, William Forsyth, Richard Gruelle and Otto Stark; and members of the Brown County Art Colony, including Will Vawter, Carl Graf, Georges LaChance, and Edward K. Williams. Between 1998 and 2001, Robert L. and Ellen E. Haan donated 53 works of Indiana artists to the Art Museum’s collection.
Laura Anne Fry Rookwood Pottery Collection
The Museum holds a special collection of Rookwood pottery by Laura Anne Fry, founder of the Lafayette Art Association, precursor to today’s Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. Today the Art Museum has the single largest collection of her pottery, including Rookwood works from 1885 to 1896.
The Alice Baber Collection of American Contemporary Art
In tribute to the life of this New York artist, works of the artist and her contemporaries were donated to the Art Museum. Other artists represented include Ann Chwatsky, Connie Fox, Jean Reynal, T. Barick, J. Bogley, Jeanne Reynal, Thomas Sills, Elaine De Kooning, Yun James Yohe, Paul Jenkins, Rosa Sanin, Daniel Weldon and Manoucher Yektai.
The Edward and Anna Stowe Akeley Collection of Mexican Modernists
The Akeley’s contributed many of the works collected by them on trips to Mexico to the Art Museum. The collection includes works by Leonora Carrington, Guillermo Meza, Jose Clemente Orozco, Raul Anguiano and Rafael Coronel.
The Hasegawa Collection of Southwest Pottery
During an exhibition of the Hasegawa Collection in 2012, Paul Michael and Mary Lou Hasegawa announced a gift of 87 pieces of Native American pueblo pottery. The pottery pieces were created by 20th and 21st century potters. The collection includes extraordinary examples from each of the nineteen pueblos in New Mexico and one in Arizona.
The Albert Ewell Collection of Inuit Art
In 2008, Albert Ewell donated his collection of thirty-seven stone Inuit sculptures to the Art Museum. In 2015, another sculpture was donated from the estate of Albert Ewell bringing the total number of pieces to thirty-eight. Since then several other donations of important Inuit paintings, carvings and prints have been made by Mona Berg and from the estate of Derek Davenport.
The Rudy and Doti Pozzatti Collection
The largest collection of work by a single artist contains over one hundred and seventy prints and collages by Rudy Pozzatti. According to the artist, the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette has the most complete retrospective of his work spanning the years from 1955 to 2016. Rudy Pozzatti and his wife Doti donated the majority of the works to the museum from 2014 to 2015.
If you are interested in donating of a work of art, please contact the Executive Director.