Editor's note: The
Indiana State Museum provided source material to Resource Library for
the following article or essay. If you have questions or comments regarding
the source material, please contact the Indiana State Museum directly through
either this phone number or web address:
Heartland Art: Selections
from Your Indiana Collection
May 1, 2010 - February 13, 2011
Selections from Your Indiana Collection is an exhibit
of 40 artworks chosen from the permanent collection of the Indiana State
Museum. The show takes place from May 1, 2010 to February 13, 2011 in the
NiSource Gallery at the museum. Although the works are conventionally exhibited
in chronological order from 1835 to 2010, the specific pieces display styles
or subjects not usually associated with the Indiana artists who created
them. For example, the paintings included by T. C. Steele, now known for
his bucolic landscapes, are a portrait and monochromatic scene completed
while a student at the Royal Academy in Munich, and a floral still life.
The following are words included in the spring issue of
the Indiana State Museum newsletter, Expectations:
- One of my most delightful tasks as fine arts curator
is to select artwork for public display from the museum's exceptional permanent
collection. I feel new appreciation for individual paintings and sculpture
when examining them for a different purpose. It's an opportunity to spruce
up and possibly re-frame new "stars" of the show, and help other
people recognize what the artist may have had in mind.
- The Indiana State Museum takes care of one of the most
impressive state-owned art collections in the nation. Since the permanent
collection is in the public trust, it is essentially owned by all Hoosiers.
- The quality and size of the museum collection, which
consists of artwork exclusively by Indiana artists*, has developed through
the generosity and efforts of many people. More than 200 paintings by T.
C. Steele (1847-1926) were bequeathed by his second wife. Indiana dunes
painter Frank V. Dudley (1868-1957) paid the State one painting each year
in place of rent for his cottage in Dunes State Park. Former Governor Branigin's
1967 Contingency Fund was used to purchase selected artwork, including
our painting by nationally known William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). Other
state agencies contributed their artwork, including the significant collection
of Indiana governors' portraits. The Indiana State Museum Foundation acquired
pieces chosen from the annual Hoosier Salon exhibitions. Perhaps most importantly,
generous citizens, including artists themselves, have donated paintings
and sculpture to the museum.
- But the art collection would not have become one of such
distinction if the art made by Hoosiers had not been first-rate. The museum
collection is particularly strong in historical works from the turn of
the last century, when the best art being made in the Midwest, if not America,
was that of the "Hoosier Group" (T. C. Steele, William Forsyth
(1854-1935), J. Ottis Adams (1851-1927), Otto Stark (1859-1926), and Richard
- Momentum from the Hoosier Group's depictions of their
home state birthed the next generation's Brown County Art Colony, the largest
Midwestern art colony in the United States. Brown County firmly established
landscapes as Indiana's preferred style. Quality pieces by artists such
as Adolph Shulz (1869-1963); Ada Walter Shulz (1870-1928); nationally recognized
woodblock artist Gustave Baumann (1881-1971); African-American artist John
Hardrick; and accomplished landscapists Edward K. Williams(1870-1950) and
C. Curry Bohm(1894-1971) are featured in the show.
- During the Great Depression the American mood, funding,
and aesthetic direction encouraged every artist to paint every-day life,
bringing Indiana in sync with national art trends. Today's artists use
diverse genres and subjects that reflect our state's shifting population
and culture. The absence of a dominant school of art and wide disparity
of styles are indicators of the varied social currents in Indiana and beyond.
Building a collection to represent our changing demographics and bring
it up to date, our recent collecting efforts focus on works by women and
minorities, in addition to artwork made after 1960.
- Heartland Art: Selections from Your Indiana Collection traces 175 years of Indiana art created at home and elsewhere
by Indiana natives. From early portraits of our Statesmen to abstract impressions
of the 21st century, Indiana's history and culture are discovered through
the eyes of our own. Admire an old favorite or discover a new one from
YOUR Indiana collection!
- Rachel Perry, fine arts curator
- Indiana State Museum
- * For collecting purposes, Indiana artists are those
who were born in Indiana, or have made their names in the State.
(above: Ada Walter Shulz (1870-1928), Grey Goose,
Oil on canvas, c. 1925. Donated by Mrs. Richard Crane and Charles Beall)
(above: Theodore Clement Steele (1847-1926), Black Man,
Oil on canvas, c. 1883. Donated by Selma Neubacher Steele)
(above: Angel Mercado (born 1959), Morning at Lighthouse,
Oil on canvas, 2000. Indiana State Museum Foundation Purchase)
Resource Library editor's
Resource Library readers may
For biographical information on artists referenced in this
article please see America's Distinguished
Artists, a national registry of historic artists
Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional
source by visiting the sub-index page for the Indiana
State Museum in Resource Library.
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