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Museum Posts Record Attendance


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The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis broke records in 2010. The museum says it welcomed nearly 140, 000 visitors, and Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure was the most attended exhibit ever in its history.

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art had a record year in 2010 with nearly 140, 000 visitors to the museum. Additionally, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, which is in its last week (closes Jan. 9), has set the museum’s record for its most attended exhibit, posting nearly 50, 000 visitors. In addition, the museum has doubled its admissions revenue and increased attendance by 40 percent over 2009.

“We are very excited to see so many people attracted to the museum by Jingle Rails and then enjoying the other wonderful collections and exhibitions we have to offer, ” said John Vanausdall, Eiteljorg president and CEO. “This year is a great start to what is becoming a wave of great new changes to the museum and making it a more engaging and interactive experience.”

The museum took a couple of years to reinvent itself during the 2009 recession, developing a new strategy to propel the institution into the future, Project New Moon. 2010 was the first year of implementation of the new strategy. In the past year, the museum hosted the popular exhibit Pistols: Dazzling Firearms, which explored the history of handgun decoration in America. Then in June, the museum opened the R.B. Annis Family Western Experience, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the West through the lives of four different families. Finally, in November Jingle Rails opened, setting a new attendance record for the museum.

The Eiteljorg Museum beat its previous annual attendance record, set back in 2001, by more than 15, 000 visitors. The museum’s Ansel Adams show was held that year and was attended by more than 38, 000 people.

Jingle Rails will return with new features on Nov. 5, 2011.

About The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art 

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. The museum, which opened in 1989, is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call (317) 636-WEST (9378) or visit

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