New Exhibitions

Garden Sculpture Safari

“Garden Sculpture Safari” is designed to be an exhibit-within-an-exhibit that features 45 ceramic garden sculptures regarded originally as lawn ornaments. This approach of showing these works within the context of the MMAA Permanent Collection is an effort to reanimate the familiar and create a fun experience for the visitor. These garden sculptures were created during the 1920s & 1930s by the American Art Pottery Companies, Weller, Fulper, Reed & Peters, & Rookwood. There are frogs, turtles, birds, and even gnomes included. All of these works have been generously loaned from the renowned collection of R. Douglas & Barbara Grant of Indiana. As the Elkhart County Quilt Garden Tour begins this season, don’t miss this opportunity to re-visit your museum’s permanent collection galleries to see if you can find all of the garden sculptures on display. Some will be challenging to discover so look closely! This exhibition will run May 1-September 4, 2016.

Under the Big Top: The Circus as Art in America


The Midwest Museum of American Art is pleased to present an exciting look at the Circus as a theme in American Art over the past century. The exhibit opens on Friday, April 1 and will continue on view through the museum’s 37th Anniversary and conclude on Sunday, July 10.

Utilizing the museum’s permanent collection as a starting point, and works never-before-seen, the exhibit “Under the Big Top”, will feature over fifty pieces. Augmenting the MMAA collection will be works by artists invited to interpret the subject matter of the circus. Paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture depicting clowns, acrobats, animals, & other circus performers will be displayed. Other works that are inspired by the circus without being a literal interpretation will present the energy and dynamics of the Big Top through the innovative use of color and shape.

Artist’s selected from the museum’s holdings represent those of notoriety on a local, regional and national level. Some of them include Alexander Calder, Charles Demuth, Walt Kuhn, John Steuart Curry, and Adam Grant. Contemporary Indiana artists invited to participate include, Todd Hoover (South Bend), Marcia Sindone (LaPorte), Jackie MacKenzie (Elkhart), & Kathy Zienty (Goshen). These are but a few of the 35 artists represented. Finally, vintage circus posters and other artifacts of circus and carnival life will add another folk art or material culture dimension to the exhibition.

MMAA is excited to present this exhibition to our membership and to the general public during the Bi-Centennial activities of our State in accordance with the historical connections of the circus and Peru, Indiana, where the International Circus Hall of Fame Museum is located. Join us Under the Big Top! This exhibit has been officially endorsed by the Bicentennial Commission of the State of Indiana for its 200th Anniversary Celebration!

Click Here for a superb article of the Midwest Museum running away with the Circus featured in the "In the Bend" edition of the South Bend Tribune