T. C. Steele State Historic Site in Brown County, Indiana, allows you to step back in time and witness a revolutionary period in art through the Steeles’ lives and their deliberate design choices. The exhibition, Arts & Crafts Moments,; highlighting artifacts and architecture from the Arts and Crafts movement, runs from 2 November 2010 through 30 March 2012.
Theodore Clement Steele (1847–1926), noted Indiana artist and member of the Hoosier Group of American regional impressionist painters, was inspired by the picturesque scenes that he encountered in Brown County. In 1907, Steele and his second wife, Selma Neubacher Steele, purchased property in Brown County and began construction of their home, which they named “The House of the Singing Winds.” They built the Large Studio to accommodate Steele’s work and landscaped the surrounding hillsides to enhance the beauty of their property. Selma created several acres of gardens around the home. From 1907 to 1921, the Steeles wintered in Indianapolis. They established a home in Bloomington when Steele became artist in residence at Indiana University in 1922. Each spring they returned to their Brown County property.
As Steele’s popularity grew, an increasing number of visitors were attracted to Brown County to meet the artist and to see his work and estate. Steele was at the forefront of the state’s art movement and is still one of Indiana’s most honored artists. His appreciation of nature, combined with his intelligence and capacity for concentrated study, raised his works to an extraordinary level.
Guided tours are offered through “The House of the Singing Winds” and the Large Studio where changing exhibits display paintings done throughout Steele’s life. The 211-acre site includes five hiking trails, the Dewar Log Cabin and the 92-acre Selma Steele Nature Preserve. The site offers many seasonal activities and events.