Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), 1970, 2005

4000 Michigan Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46208

Architects/Designers:  Ambrose Richardson, architectSasaki, Dawson, DeMay & Associates, landscape architect Jonathan Hess, Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf, 2005 expansion architect


The Indianapolis Museum of Art is an extensive complex including the main structure which includes the Toby Theater and all gallery space; a separate pavilion structure for event space; Oldfields, also known as the Lilly House and Garden, a National Historic Landmark property previously owned by the Eli Lilly family; the 100 Acre Wood, an outdoor artist collective which also houses the Ruth Lilly Pavilion. The entrance of the museum lies within a half cylinder structure with a glass curtain wall which allows the interior to have constant access to natural light. The exterior of the structure is punctuated by five rings of steel that project outward horizontally.  Adjacent to the glass entrance is a rectangular stone structure which houses IMA offices. The rectangular office space juxtaposes the circular entrance while also complimenting its horizontal lines with its own set of steel beams running along the front of the building.


The Indianapolis Art Museum prides itself on its emphasis not only on fine art but on design, architecture and landscape architecture as well as supporting the theater arts. The IMA owns a number of architectural sites including the Miller House, designed by Eero Saarinen in Columbus Indiana, the Lilly House and Gardens and the Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion, both located on the IMA grounds. Featuring an ever expanding collection of the art, the IMA is not only a cultural fixture in Indianapolis but a prime example of the evolving field of architecture. Originally located downtown in the now Herron High School building, the museum moved to the north side of Indianapolis in 1970 into a strong midcentury designed structure. In the early 2000s the IMA expanded its sites and its main structure; redesigning the museum into the striking contemporary building it is today.


National Historic Landmark, Oldfields (Lilly House and Garden), 2003

Style:  Modern

Owner (past/present):  Indianapolis Museum of Art

Materials:  Glass, Limestone, Steel

Additions and/or changes with date:  2005: Extensive expansion of the main structure including a new entrance and reconfiguration of gallery space

Historic use/current use:  Art Museum

Is building open to the public?:  Yes with an admission fee

Condition :  Excellent

Website and/or sources of information:

Website and visitor information:

 Research Sources:

 Indianapolis Museum of Art. “History.” Accessed November 20, 2015.




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