Gustave Baumann was born in Germany in 1881. His family immigrated to the United States in 1891, settling in Chicago. At the age of 17, Baumann was working for a commercial engraving house while attending night classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Returning to Germany in 1905, Baumann enrolled in the Kunstgewerbe Schule in Munich where he studied wood carving and mastered the European technique of color wood block prints. After a year in Munich, Baumann resettled in Chicago, supporting himself in the commercial art field while searching for a place to inspire his fine art. In 1910, Brown County, Indiana offered him such a place. Being a village of few distractions, the hills, valleys and people of Nashville became his subjects. Gustave Bumann produced a portfolio of color woodcuts entitled “In the Hills of Brown” and five large format color woodcuts. His largest woodcut, The Mill Pond, measures 25″ x 33″ and was the largest color woodcut produced at the time. These works were shown at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, where Baumann won the gold medal for printmaking. His color woodcuts had already been included in the 1911 Paris Salon and numerous exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago and the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, where his first solo exhibition was held in 1913.
Many of these artists were either native to Indiana or lived, worked, and studied around the Midwest in the early 20th century, specifically in Indiana locales such as Indianapolis, Brown County, Muncie, Nashville, Portland, Richmond, South Bend, and southern Indiana.
Several artists studied or were integral figures at Indiana institutes such as the Fort Wayne Art School, Muncie Art School, Indiana School of Art, and the Richmond School. Others were associated with entities such as the Brown County Art Colony, Hoosier Group, Hoosier Salon, and the Richmond Art Museum. The artwork we are seeking includes impressionist, landscape, oil, still life, and watercolor paintings from these Indiana artists.
Brown County Art Colony
The Brown County Art Colony was formed in the early 1900s by artists who were attracted by the undisturbed picturesque landscape known as Peaceful Valley. T.C. Steele was the first to become a resident of the county when he purchased 200 acres near Belmont. Adolph Shulz is considered to be the founder of the Brown County Art Colony. He began visiting Brown County in 1908 and in 1917 became a permanent resident. Both Adolph Shulz and T.C. Steele influenced other artists and many began building cabins and moving to the area.
Will Vawter and Gustave Baumann were among the first to make Brown County their home. Other artists such as Charles Dahlgreen, Lucie Hartrath, and L.O. Griffith came from Chicago and by the early 1930s there were at least eighteen artists with permanent homes in Brown County.
Artists such as C. Curry Bohm, Edward K. Williams, Ada Walter Shulz, Carl Graf, V.J. Cariani, Gustav Baumann, Will Vawter, Dale Bessire, Georges LaChance, Marie Goth, Leota Loop, Adam Emory Albright, Olive Rush, and Alexis Fournier flourished and created the Brown County Art Colony nearly 100 years ago.
- Letsinger-Miller, Lyn. The Artists of Brown County. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994.
- Nesbit, M. Joanne, ed., Barbara Judd, comp. Those Brown County Artists: The Ones Who Came the Ones Who Stayed the Ones Who Moved On. Nashville: Nana’s Book, 1993.
Sell Us Your Indiana Art
If you are interested in selling us your Indiana art, please contact us online, give us a call or SMS at 812-327-0401.