- Bicentennial Medal (2019)
BIOGRAPHYAnn Harrison, and her late husband Rusty, assembled an extensive art collection and shared a lifelong interest in the arts. Graduates of Indiana University, they settled in Attica, Indiana. Ann studied textiles and metalsmithing at IU and later focused on painting. During Rusty's service in the U.S. Navy, he spent extensive time in Vietnam, Kyoto, and Tokyo, Japan, and developed a passion for bamboo art and its significance throughout Japanese culture and history.
Over the years, the Harrison's accumulated a significant collection of 43 remarkable Japanese bamboo baskets and sculptural forms. In 2019, Ann Harrison donated this exquisite collection to Indiana University's Sid and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art. The Harrison collection illustrates the transformation of Japanese artisan-made baskets used in tea ceremonies in Japan after the fifteenth century, leading to the emergence of artist-signed sculptures during the nineteenth century. This beautiful collection now supplements the museum's holdings of Japanese art that can now be shared with students and visitors for years to come.
Harrison's close relationship with Indiana University extends beyond art collections; she is a founding member of the Women's Philanthropy Council, whose mission is to lead fundraising and engagement efforts that inspire women to give of their time, talent and resources. She also generously dedicates her time to serve on the IU Foundation Board of Directors and the Eskenazi Museum of Art National Advisory Board. Her extensive dedication continues to contribute tremendously to advancing the arts at the university. In 2019, Ann received the university's Bicentennial Medal in recognition of her distinguished contributions and support of the university.