Travel, Etc. --> A Visit to T.C. Steele
A Visit to T.C. Steele
A must see when in Brown County
The T.C. Steele Historic Site is nestled on a high ridge top, almost halfway between Bloomington and Nashville on SR 46. Situated on 211 scenic acres, this is the site where T.C. Steele built his studio and home in 1907. Arguably the most famous painter that Indiana has ever produced, Steele was famous for his Impressionist landscapes, after a successful portrait painting career that made him a wealthy man. We had always admired Steele's paintings at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and you can also view them at many locations on the IU campus, most notably the University Club in the Student Union. A high school buddy of mine who majored in art at IU first turned me onto Steele, but the magnitude of his impact was really brought home by the knowledgeable docent who guided our visit to his studio and home.
After a pretty drive up the ridge, the grounds are breathtaking and include his studio, his home, "House of the Singing Winds," lily ponds, gardens and feature five hiking trails ranging in length from 1/4 to 3/4 miles, ranging in difficulty from easy to difficult. Our tour began in his studio, where he painted the last 20 years of his life. Over 50 paintings are displayed in the studio and house and offer a glimpse of how Brown County looked 100 years ago. By the time we left the studio for the house, we had been given insight into the progression of his painting career, as well as an understanding of what it was like to make your way as an artist in the 19th century. The tour of the small home was fascinating and the home was filled with interesting personal objects reflecting the level of sophistication that Steele's residence brought to what was a very primitive location at the time.
Now part of the Indiana State Museum of History, this Indiana history destination is a trip back in time. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 AM to 5 PM, and Sunday 1 PM to 5 PM, with tours given hourly at 15 minutes after the hour. Admission is $5.00 per person.
T. C. Steele Historic Site