Why Did Indianapolis Museum of Art Change Its Name?

Art|Art Museum

The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) recently announced its decision to change its name, officially becoming the Newfields: A Place for Nature and the Arts. The name change was made to better reflect the museum’s mission, which prioritizes a comprehensive approach to art and nature.

The IMA has been a staple of Indianapolis since 1883, when it was founded as the Art Association of Indianapolis. Over the years, it has grown into one of the country’s largest and most acclaimed art museums, with a collection that includes works by some of the world’s greatest artists.

In recent years, however, IMA has shifted its focus from exclusively displaying art to offering a more holistic approach that incorporates nature and outdoor experiences. This “all-in-one” approach is embodied in Newfields, which features both traditional gallery spaces and outdoor gardens and trails. The new name is meant to better convey this expansive mission of combining art and nature.

IMA officials believe that this shift in focus will help attract new audiences who may have previously been intimidated by traditional museums. Newfields is meant to be an accessible space where visitors can explore both art and nature in unique ways. In addition to its galleries and gardens, Newfields also offers educational programming such as classes on gardening or how to appreciate art in different contexts.

The IMA/Newfields is just one example of how museums are evolving in order to meet the needs of modern visitors. By embracing a multi-disciplinary approach, museums are able to reach out to wider audiences and offer them experiences that are both educational and enjoyable.


The decision by the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) to change its name reflects how museums are changing with the times in order to offer a comprehensive experience for modern audiences. By uniting art with nature under one roof as Newfields, IMA provides visitors with unique opportunities to explore both disciplines while enjoying educational programming along the way.