Monday, March 8, 2010

Art at Indiana University

I have recently joined the University Club at Indiana University.

Though I am not affiliated with the university

(other than the fact that I have given them a lot of money

as a parent of children who have attended IU),

I am eligible to join as a community member.

This past week I attended my first luncheon

as a member.*

The subject was "Art at the IMU."

The Indiana Memorial Union, or IMU,

was dedicated in 1932

and with 500,000 square feet,

is one of the largest student unions in the world.

I believe it as my daughter and I spent 45 minutes walking

the building on Sunday and still only managed to

tour just a fraction of the building.

*I had attended a luncheon last spring as a non-member

and had greatly enjoyed the experience.

But first we dined.

We were served salads of

baby spinach,

red onion,


and hard boiled egg

with a creamy ranch style dressing.

The featured entree was

a grilled chicken breast

with sherried mushroom jus

served with rice.


Obviously, that was not going to work for me,

so I opted to have the vegetarian entree instead.


Here I have a

baked acorn squash

filled with bulgur wheat,

spinach and mushrooms

and surrounded by carrots and potatoes

in a creamy sauce.


This was very good,

but it was a lot of food and ultimately

I couldn't eat but half of it.


My compliments to the chef.

For dessert we had

a mousse over a chocolate brownie base.


Rich and satisfying.


And now, back to the show.

These pictures are not very clear as there was too much

ambient lighting in the room.

I attempted to seek out the actual items

and photograph them so you can see them better.

In some cases, this was not possible,

so I have tried to find links to the art where possible.

"The Flight into Egypt"

1290 A.D.

"Adoration of the Kings"

Middle-Late 15th century

These were some of the pieces that

the author Booth Tarkington had
collected over the years and that were later

donated to the museum by another family.

I tried and tried,

but could not find a link for this painting,

nor could I get in to photograph it.

This is T. C. Steele's

"Early Spring on the Jordan."

It depicts a scene on the IU campus.

Theodore Clement Steele was an important artist from this area

who lived from 1847 to 1926.

"Strength of the Hills"

by T. C. Steele.

"The Cabin"

by T. C. Steele.

"Spirit of the Garden"

by T. C. Steele.

"The Student Building"

by T. C. Steele.

Yet another IU campus scene.

This painting of former IU president,

William Lowe Bryan,

hangs in the University Club President's Room

at the IMU.

William Lowe Bryan served as the 10th president of IU

from 1902 to 1937.

Next to it is a portrait of his wife,

Charlotte Lowe Bryan.

President Bryan took his wife's maiden name

as his middle name when they married.

This large painting of Brown County in Autumn

by T. C. Steele also hangs in the President's Room.

A portrait of the 11th IU president,

Herman B. Wells, hangs over the fireplace

in the President's Room.

This plaster replica of "Uglino and Sons"

by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux sits outside the entrance

to the University Club.

We learned that the pained expressions signify the

horror and starvation that the men suffered

while imprisoned.

This statue was a gift to the state of Indiana from the

French government after World War II.

It arrived as part of the "Merci Train,"

often incorrectly called the Mercy Train.

There was a box car for each state

and this statue was included in the treasures

bound for Indiana.

A plaster replica of the Aphrodite of Milos
(more commonly known as the Venus De Milo)

stands in the lobby of the IMU.

Soul represents the spirit of unification

as one foot rests in the USA and the other

in the former USSR.

This statue was created in 1989.

Ornately carved bench.

Russian Icon

thought to date to 990 A.D.



* ORDER * * LIFE * * MAN *



Note that some pundit wrote "WO" before the "MAN."

Painting of the Constitution Elm

Hoagy Carmichael was a Bloomington native

who was best known as a composer.

Among his many songs are


Georgia on My Mind,

The Nearness of You


Heart and Soul.

A slice of the Constitution Elm.

The Indiana State Constitution was signed

undeneath this elm in 1816.

Brass seal in floor of the Memorial Room.

"Voice of the Silence"
by Adolph Robert Shulz
and donated by
Dr. Albert and Virginia Higdon.

Sherry Rouse, who is the curator for campus art,

estimates that the university owns approximately

5,000 pieces of art.

She also states that there are over

1,200 pieces in the IMU.

That is an impressive collection by anyone's standards.

And that doesn't even include the considerable collection

housed at the acclaimed

Crystal chandelier hanging in the University Club stairway.

This is not part of the collection,

but I liked it.

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