The Clowes Collection
The Clowes Collection has been exhibited for more than a quarter of a century in the Clowes Pavilion at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). The IMA's acclaimed collection of European painting and sculpture comprises more than 500 works from the 12th through the 18th century, ranging in style from the Romanesque to the Rococo. Nearly one-fifth of these works constitute the Clowes Collection, recognized for its concentration of masterworks of the Italian, Spanish, Netherlandish and German schools. Notable pieces within the Collection include Self-Portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn, Triumphant Entry of Constantine into Rome by Peter Paul Rubens and The Flight into Egypt by Claude Lorrain.
Dr. George H.A. Clowes and Edith Whitehill Clowes developed the Collection through purchases dating back to the 1930's. For several decades, these paintings and objects graced their home, Westerley, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Following Dr. Clowes's death in 1958, the Collection became the property of The Clowes Fund and was first exhibited to the public at the John Herron Art Museum in 1959. Public viewings at Westerley followed until April 1972, when the Clowes Pavilion at the IMA was dedicated in memory of Edith Whitehill Clowes.
Alec Clowes, President of The Clowes Fund, recalling his active involvement in the creation and design of the Clowes Pavilion, says "With a goal to recreate the original setting of the pictures at Westerley, we spent time replicating the study and drawing room—the two main rooms where art was displayed." He has a special affinity for the Clowes Pavilion because it was his first and most memorable experience as a Clowes Fund Director. Alec said the Fund "made sure to spend the time, money, and effort necessary creating an interior to house the Collection rather than distribute art pieces around the museum."
The Clowes Fund's Board of Directors decided to transfer its entire interest in the Collection to the IMA over the next decade or so. The value of pieces transferred to the IMA to-date is over $22 million; approximately $32 million remains to be transferred.
In addition to the collection, the Fund's contributions to the IMA over the years have included approximately $5.3 million for construction of the Clowes Pavilion, its and the collection's ongoing maintenance, plus an endowment of $500,000 in 1999 to establish the Allen Whitehill Clowes Curatorial Fellowship.
The Allen Whitehill Clowes Curatorial Fellowship
The Allen Whitehill Clowes Fellowship supports the scholarship and professional development of outstanding junior scholars who wish to pursue curatorial careers in art museums. Since 1999, Clowes Fellows have conducted scholarly research related to the Collection and gained curatorial training in the field of European painting and sculpture.
Dr. Lars Kokkonen, 2010-2011 Clowes Fellow, focused on British paintings in the Collection, and planned and oversaw the reinstallation of the second floor balcony of the Clowes Pavilion. The Clowes Fund thanks Dr. Kokkonen for his contributions, and welcomes the 2011-2012 Clowes Fellow, Dr. Katie Hanson. Dr. Hanson received her Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and she holds a concentration in 18th and 19th century French painting.
A special thanks to Ronda Kasl, Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture before 1800, who has been integral to the collection's preservation. Her dedication to overseeing the Clowes Fellows and her work as editor of the book Giovanni Bellini and the Art of Devotion, has exposed a new generation to the Clowes Collection. Giovanni Bellini and the Art of Devotion is available in hardcover or paperback at the IMA. Ronda carried on the tradition of care set by the Collection's first curator, Ian Fraser. Listen to Ian's reminisces about the Collection, and the story of his own origins as a collector of silver pieces made by female artisans.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art
For more than 125 years the IMA has served the community of Indianapolis through its collections and programs. Most recently it completed the development of the 100 Acres: Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park which includes woodlands, wetlands and a 35-acre lake. Adjacent to the Museum, 100 Acres is one of the largest museum art parks in the country, and the only one to feature the ongoing commission of site-specific artworks.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art is among the largest and oldest general art museums in the United States. Founded in 1883, the Museum now boasts a permanent collection of more than 50,000 works of art that span the range and scope of art history. In addition to housing its world-class art collections, the Museum is also a premier showcase for national and international exhibitions.