"Jane Fortune's interest in women artists was profoundly inspiring to me," Gealt said. "When she asked me to undertake A Space of Their Own in 2016, I was honored and delighted. I believe her gift to the Eskenazi Museum will leave a permanent legacy by providing substantive information on historic women artists. I deeply miss Jane and am thrilled to be part of this project."
In August 2018, the museum began placing its collections online to allow people around the world to explore the breadth of the museum's holdings and use them for research, teaching and more. This new portal will feature up-to-date information about each item in the collection, as well as high-quality images, presented via the museum's accessible and informational website.
An initial launch with 500 select items from each of the museum's five curatorial areas is planned in conjunction with the reopening of the building this fall. A Space of Their Own will enhance these efforts by providing the most comprehensive resource to date of information on female painters, printmakers and sculptors active in the United States and Europe between the 16th and 19th centuries.
"Jane Fortune is one of the great women of IU," said Laurie Burns McRobbie, IU first lady and founder of the Women's Philanthropy Leadership Council at IU. "Her tireless efforts to shine a light on Renaissance women artists and her beloved city of Florence are admired by her fellow alumnae as exemplifying the power of passionate philanthropy in action.
"Jane was a founding member of the Women's Philanthropy Leadership Council, and we were honored to support A Space of Their Own with a WPLC grant last year. It is wonderful to know that her legacy will live on at the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University."
As the museum enters a new phase with a renovated building that includes new areas for learning and teaching, it is committed to providing unprecedented opportunities for engaging with art. The renovation enhanced the museum's mission as a preeminent teaching museum through the creation of four new centers that will provide more space for educational resources for university students, faculty and preschool through high school students. Fortune's generous endowments will further enhance the museum's ability to broaden its outreach.
"Jane's passion and dedication to the arts, especially the under-recognized achievements of women artists, will live on at Indiana University through the seeds that she has planted with her generous gifts," said David A. Brenneman, the Wilma E. Kelley Director of the Eskenazi Museum of Art. "The Eskenazi Museum of Art is extremely proud to be handed Jane's torch and to continue Jane's mission into the future."
This gift counts toward the $3 billion campaign, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.
About the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art
Since its establishment in 1941, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art has grown from a small university teaching collection into one of the most significant university art collections in the United States. A preeminent teaching museum on the Indiana University campus, its internationally acclaimed collection includes more than 45,000 objects representing nearly every art-producing culture throughout history.
The museum just undertook a $30 million renovation of its acclaimed I.M. Pei-designed building. When it reopens in the fall, the museum will be an enhanced teaching resource for Indiana University and southern Indiana. The museum is dedicated to engaging students, faculty, artists, scholars, alumni, and the wider public through the cultivation of new ideas and scholarship.
About For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign
For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign is taking place on all IU-administered campuses including IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. The campaign will conclude in June 2020 to coincide with IU's bicentennial year celebration. To learn more about the campaign, its impact and how to participate, visit forall.iu.edu.