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home : most recent : arts November 16, 2018


10/14/2018 12:33:00 PM
Priceless: Collector, former art teacher gifts extensive collection of African art to IU museum
William “Bill” Itter, a retired Indiana University professor, recently donated more than 500 handmade ethnographic pieces to the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at IU. Courtesy photo
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William “Bill” Itter, a retired Indiana University professor, recently donated more than 500 handmade ethnographic pieces to the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at IU. Courtesy photo
Bill Itter’s exceptional collection of more than 500 ethnographic objects has been gifted to the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University. Courtesy photo
+ click to enlarge
Bill Itter’s exceptional collection of more than 500 ethnographic objects has been gifted to the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University. Courtesy photo

Jenny Porter Tilley, Herald-Times Arts Editor

When David Brenneman began working as director for the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University, he was on the lookout for collectors.

That’s how he met Bill Itter, IU professor emeritus of fine arts, and eventually found himself in Itter’s home, checking out his collection of African ceramics, textiles and baskets.

“His home is filled to the brim with works of art that he collected over the years,” Brenneman said. He described Itter’s collection as a library of art. “He’s collected these things, he’s lived with these things, he’s had a chance to compare and contrast these things in a way even a museum curator wouldn’t be able to.” 

Last week, the museum announced that Itter would be gifting more than 500 handmade ethnographic pieces, valued at close to $4 million. The gift will enhance the art museum’s internationally recognized sub-Saharan African art collection.

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