IU Art Museum honors Director Emerita Adelheid Gealt with renaming of gallery wing

Adelheid Gealt

Director Emerita Adelheid Gealt retired from the Indiana University Art Museum this year.

The Indiana University Art Museum has dedicated a wing of the museum’s first floor Gallery of the Art of the Western World in honor of Adelheid “Heidi” Gealt, who retired in July 2015.

Director Emerita Gealt began working at the museum as a graduate student in 1973 and held various other posts until becoming curator, interim director and ultimately the museum director starting in 1989.

The Adelheid M. Gealt Gallery of Medieval through 18th Century European Art was officially named Oct. 27 at an intimate gathering of museum staff, board members and several of Gealt’s close friends.

Adelheid Gealt and David Brenneman

David Brenneman, the Wilma E. Kelley director of the Indiana University Art Museum, honors his predecessor, Adelheid Gealt at a private ceremony.

Anthony Moravec, the director of the IU Art Museum’s National Advisory Board, and the museum’s current director, David Brenneman, introduced Gealt at the ceremony.

After a short acceptance speech, Gealt treated the attendees to a tour of the gallery, where she told stories about some of her favorite works of art.

Gealt’s career as director of the IU Art Museum included the establishment numerous endowments and the founding of the museum’s education department, which offers museum tours to students of all ages from all over southern Indiana.

During her tenure, Gealt also published extensively and served as guest curator of the exhibition “Domenico Tiepolo (1727-1804): A New Testament” at the Frick Collection in New York City. The 2006 exhibition was the culmination of a decade of research on more than 300 of the artist’s ink-and-wash drawings.

At the time of her retirement, Gealt wrote a farewell column for the museum blog and newsletter, which included this passage: “I have had the opportunity to meet truly remarkable and generous people who, because they love IU, have reached out to the art museum and have become lifelong and treasured friends … To quote Dr. Herman B Wells, a steadfast friend of the IU Art Museum, whose vision launched our museum, I’ve been truly lucky.”

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