National Art Museum of Sport Finds a New Home at The World’s Largest Children’s Museum

5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A rich and varied collection of more than 900 works of art (drawings, paintings, works on paper, sculptures of bronze and stone) related to sport has just been given to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The National Art Museum of Sport (NAMOS) will now reside permanently in the Efroymson Pavillion within the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, opening in March 2018. The goal of NAMOS is to share the best in fine art depicting sport with the public and encourage the creation of art depicting sport by inspiring visitors to create their own works of art.

“The works of art in the NAMOS collection are significant and will inspire generations to see and understand how the arts and humanities provide context for the world of sport,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president & CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “Visitors will be able to not only view and interpret NAMOS works, but draw, paint, and sculpt their own works inspired by the NAMOS collection.” The reimagined NAMOS will be designed as a visitor-centered space with a variety of activities to engage children and families, including a special studio space. In addition, the museum’s professional interpreters will offer important historical and cultural context to the works and moments in time they represent.

The National Art Museum of Sport presented by the Rapp Family captures the eternal spirit, endurance, and resilience of humankind. The National Art Museum of Sport will feature works by noted international, national and regional artists. Action-packed works by American masters Winslow Homer, George Bellows, Frank Benson and O.M. Pleissner are represented alongside works by American Golden Age illustrator John Groth. The collection includes distinguished oil portraits and limited edition prints by artists LeRoy Neiman, Donald Moss, and Ray Ellis of world-renowned athletes, including Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Bobby Orr, Arthur Ashe, Sam Snead, and Arnold Palmer. It also features sought-after sculptures by German dissident sculptor Rudolf Belling and contemporary American satirist Daniel Edwards. American photorealist painter Rob Kleeman’s Start Your Engines captures the excitement of the Indy 500. Muhammad Ali’s Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee and a rare collection of photographs of Jacki Robinson (No. 42) contribute to the exceptional value of the NAMOS collection. Works by local artists of national reputation, such as C.W. Mundy, are also included.

“I’ve always found these opportunities are so important for children and families. They’re bonding opportunities as they learn what it will take to be an athlete, to study the history of various teams and athletics, celebrate great achievements and be inspired by new sport opportunities in the spirit of health, wellness, fitness and learning. So I think it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that The Children’s Museum has to connect the art and humanities with the science of health, fitness and sport through NAMOS,” said Sharon Theobald, ASA, Appraisal Associates International. 

The original NAMOS organization and its board are dissolving and have given its entire collection to The Children’s Museum. “The NAMOS Board of Directors has been looking for a permanent home where the collection can be viewed and enjoyed. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is one of the top children’s museums in the world. We are thrilled that the NAMOS collection will be seen by millions of visitors, fostering conversations between children, parents and grandparents for many years to come,” said Kathleen McNeely, Board Chair, NAMOS.

NAMOS was founded in New York City by Germain G. Glidden and its collection was shown for a time in Madison Square Garden. It eventually went on display at the 1968 Winter Olympics as well as the 1987 Pan Am Games in Indianapolis. After that, it was on display at various institutions in Indianapolis before finding its final home at Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. NAMOS will be presented within the Efroymson Pavilion in the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience, opening March 2018.

*Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is able to copy and show the artwork in this press release because it is an educational, nonprofit institution. But there are still copyright rules that must be adhered to for works dated after 1923. For that reason, we humbly ask that you help us by producing 3-4 images together as provided for editorial purposes only instead of focusing on one specific image, cropping, or rearranging the images. In addition, we ask that you not allow any of these images to be distributed or repurposed in a larger file format that could be reproduced. Also, these images cannot be sold in any format. Thank you very much for understanding.

About The Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience

The Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience is an immersive learning experience that allows children and families to participate in health and fitness activities through sports as they are inspired by some of the greatest athletes of all time. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis partnered with experts from Riley Children’s at Indiana University Health, which operates the only nationally ranked children’s hospital in Indiana, to bring this experience to life. For more information about Riley Children’s Sports Legends Experience, visit www.childrensmuseum.org/sports-legends For more information about Riley Children’s Health or The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, visit www.rileychildrens.org and www.childrensmuseum.org respectively.