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A Trip to the Art Museum for Father's Day

Updated on September 16, 2014

Taking Dad to the Museum

My son asked me where I think dad would like to go for a holiday outing and I said, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA).

The IMA is the largest, encyclopedic art museum in the state of Indiana. It has a great deal to offer even if your father does not like art.

There are acres of gardens and grounds with lush foliage and beautiful flowers for a picnic. The museum also has an Art and Nature Park that contains outdoor sculpture that can be touched, sat on, eaten on or just admired.

A new exhibition about photography and painting will have opened only the week before Father's Day.

Photographs: Taken by the Indianapolis Museum of Art staff photographer unless otherwise noted.

Indianapolis Museum of Art - Oldfields
Indianapolis Museum of Art - Oldfields

What to Do at the IMA

More Than You Might Think

The IMA has a vast collection that includes, American, European, African and Asian art, as well as a prints and drawings collection, textiles and design arts.

It would take a lot more than one day to cover this museum, so choose an indoor or outdoor activity and plan a trip for another occasion to see something that you missed.

Decide whether your father would like a tour of the art or a tour of the grounds. Perhaps he likes historic houses. There is one on the museum grounds that is pictured here.

There is a self service restaurant at the IMA that offers locally grown organic food cooked by an expert chef. Lots of seating is available both inside and outside the restaurant.

Next to the restaurant there is a large gift shop with books, shirts, ties and decor for any father who likes to shop or for the rest of the family, if dad wants to explore while they shop.

If you spend the day outside, stop at the Greenhouse for all your garden needs.

Denis Family
Denis Family

Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard

New Exhibition for Father's Day

This exhibition will open June 7, the week before Father's Day. It is about the influence of photography on French painting in the late nineteenth century. If your father loves to take photographs or likes to paint, he will enjoy this exhibition.

The exhibition contains 200 photographs and 60 paintings, prints and drawings from seven artists.

Today we take photography for granted. But when photography was first invented it opened up a new avenue for artists who would now be able to capture a scene at the moment it happens and paint it later. No need to come back day after day or night after night looking for the right light or the same scene. To say this was a revolution in art is putting it mildly.

Photograph: C 2012, Artists Rights Society, (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

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American Galleries at the IMA
American Galleries at the IMA

Me and the IMA

We Have a History

Not only am I proud of having the Indianapolis Museum of Art in my city, I am also quite proud that I was once its Curator of American Art. For twenty-five years I worked at the museum and enjoyed its art collections, its country house and its grounds.

I developed the museum's first collection of African American art and wrote several catalogs, including "A Shared Heritage: Art by Four African American," "Edward Hopper's Hotel Lobby," The Herron Chronicle: The Early Years," and numerous articles for American Art Review.

I am pleased that during my tenure at the IMA, I curated exhibitions and developed many areas of the American collection.

I tell you this, because I speak from the heart, when I suggest the IMA as a place to spend Father's Day. It feels more like a resort than an art museum. The grounds are spectacular and the Art and Nature Park is a sight you will not see at any other art museum. Not only will dad enjoy his experience, but so will the whole family, even the children.

Books on American Museums

Most of you will not be able to take your fathers to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, so here are a few guides to American museums. I also included the catalog to the exhibition Snapshot and another book on photography and painting.

Will You Take Your Father to a Museum - Which Museum

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    • PeterStip profile image

      PeterStip 4 years ago

      To the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid to show him the great painting by Picasso : The Guernica.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      We should all take advantage of the museums... They are such a great resource.

    • biminibahamas profile image

      biminibahamas 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Would gladly take him! Great lens!