What started 130 years ago amongst a few passionate local citizens as a desire to bring artistic culture to the Indy area has evolved into one of the largest art museums in the country. Newfields is a cultural mix featuring the Indianapolis Museum of Art, coupled with historic landscapes and gardens, wetlands and woodlands, performing spaces, a nature park, and outdoor sculptures.
The history of Newfields dates back to 1883 when well-known suffragette May Wright Sewall, along with 17 other residents, founded the Art Association of Indianapolis. Over time, other prominent community members became supporters, and the collection grew along with the properties around the original museum.
Some 20 years later, in 1902, The John Herron Art Institute opened, thanks to a $225,000 donation from the estate of real estate investor John Herron. The Herron School of Art later became a part of Indiana University in 1967.
In 2017, the entire campus was unified under the single name of Newfields. The Newfields property now includes IMA and Fairbanks Park, The Garden, Lilly House, and the Elder Greenhouse.
You can trace the history of art worldwide, from early antiquities to modern-day pieces, by visiting Newfields. Their vast collection of objects is constantly updated and can be explored on their website. You can see what pieces and exhibits are on display, what’s currently on loan, and even what acquisitions are new to Newfields.
Today, visitors to Newfields can enjoy art exhibits, visit the Lilly House, spend time in the Garden and the Beer Garden, explore Fairbanks Park, and check out Miller House and Garden. Newfields also features shops and a cafe. Newfields also offers tours for adult groups, mobile tours, and field trips.
Advanced general admission tickets are required for all Newfields guests and members. Some attractions are open seasonally. All updated admission ticket details and a calendar of events can be found online.
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