During this past summer's road trip for the Roadshow that took me by car from Dallas through Rapid City and Cincinnati, I visited Bloominton and the Indiana University Art Museum. I was hopeful that at a minimum some of these very valuable works would at least be secured and safely exhibited. Unfortunately the installation was something I would have expected from a poorly funded University in the late 1950's. The lighting is extremely poor making it difficult to even see some of the objects. Many of the objects are completely exposed creating a major security problem. This extraordinary Sepik River standing figure, which is illustrated above, is 80" in height and valued far in excess of a million dollars. It is just standing next to a pillar in poor lighting and totally exposed. There are a number of Wielgus objects that are displayed in this way. It is inconceivable to me that this gallery meets minimum AAM guidelines. It is at best incompetent that any museum curator or director entrusted with the safety of these works could sign off on this installation. In my world if I were the President of this University I would fire both the curator and the director and close this gallery until the works could be displayed safely. I probably failed to mention in these past articles that Ray also gave the university almost $2,500,000 in cash.
We live in a very strange world that demands that we think the unthinkable. For three large galleries displaying African, Pre-Columbian, American Indian, and Oceanic art, there was one very young guard that could not possible adequately cover this very large area. The men that made this possible, Roy Sieber and Ray Wielgus, would be disappointed and appalled that their desire to do something special for Indiana had been so callously taken for granted. We can only hope that nothing bad happens before the museum gets its act together.