Celebrating the transformative generosity of Sid and Lois Eskenazi

Announcement of the Renovation and Renaming of the IU Art Museum
IU Art Museum
IU Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Announcing a landmark gift to the IU Art Museum

Good morning and thank you for joining us for what is a truly momentous occasion for Indiana University, and an historic milestone for one of Indiana University’s most iconic buildings.

IU’s superb museums and performance venues are a large part of its glorious tradition in the arts.

Nowhere is this more evident than here in IU’s treasured art museum, a building designed by one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, I.M. Pei. For 75 years, the IU Art Museum in Bloomington has been one of the premier university art museums in the world, and home to an acclaimed collection of works of art and other important artifacts from nearly every culture throughout history that has produced art. The museum has been a superb complement to IU’s internationally renowned programs in the arts and humanities, and has enabled IU to share these riches with the world. It has provided countless students, faculty, staff, and members of the community with unparalleled opportunities to engage with the arts.

I am delighted to announce this morning that philanthropists and IU alumni, Sid and Lois Eskenazi, have made an extraordinarily generous gift of $15 million to the Indiana University Art Museum.

Their generous gift is the largest cash gift in the history of the museum and will be used in support of an extensive renovation of the museum’s interior and an enhancement of its galleries.

I am also very pleased to announce that in honor of this landmark gift, the museum will be renamed the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, effective immediately.

In addition, thanks to the matching gift program and other generous philanthropy of the “For All Bicentennial Campaign,” another $20 million will be invested by the university for the complete renovation and gallery enhancements at the museum. These will be designed by the renowned New York architectural firm, Ennead, and Browning, Day, Mullins, and Dierdorf, of Indianapolis, and are anticipated to be complete by Indiana University’s Bicentennial in 2020.

In addition to their support for the renovation, the Eskenazis are also donating a collection of nearly 100 works of art, consisting primarily of prints by 20th century European and American masters. The Eskenazi collection includes 34 etchings, lithographs, and drawings by the Spanish master, Joan Miró, from later in his career, which will complement IU’s existing Miró collection of 35 works. Other artists represented in the Eskenazi collection include Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Sam Francis, Tom Wesselman, Jean Dubuffet, Salvador Dalí, and Pierre Auguste Renoir. Their gift also includes the first works by Keith Haring and Paul Jenkins to enter IU’s collection.

A legacy of generosity: Sid and Lois Eskenazi

Sid and Lois Eskenazi are, of course, among Indiana’s greatest philanthropic leaders.

Sid has been a member of both the Indiana and the Illinois Bar Associations for more than 50 years. In the early 1960s, Sid established the Sandor Development Company, which now manages properties across the country and is one of the nation’s leading real estate development companies.

Sid and Lois have been extraordinarily generous supporters of Indiana University for many, many years, beginning in 1970 when Sid established a scholarship fund. Sid and Lois have also generously supported the arts and art students through their support of IU’s Herron School of Art and Design on the Indianapolis campus. The school’s home, Eskenazi Hall, is named in their honor.

In 2011, Sid and Lois also made one of the largest gifts to a public hospital in the United States when they contributed $40 million to build new hospital facilities in downtown Indianapolis to replace the aging Wishard Memorial Hospital, now known as the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health.

On behalf of Indiana University, I want to offer our most sincere thanks to Sidney and Lois Eskenazi for their extraordinary generous gift for the much-needed renovation and restoration of this magnificent building, and also for the gift of their own superb art collection that they have so painstakingly and lovingly collected over many years. In light of these gifts, we are delighted that IU’s iconic Art Museum will now be known as the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art.

Over the years, the Eskenazis have been great supporters of Indiana University, and this remarkable gift is yet a further example of their wonderful commitment to IU.

Their generosity will touch the lives of countless students, faculty, staff, and community members. It will strengthen the standing of Indiana University’s art museum as an invaluable cultural resource, not just for Bloomington, but for the state and the region.

All of us are profoundly grateful.