This book chronicles the Society of Western Artists from its inception in 1896 to its last sponsored exhibit in 1914. Comprised of the top artists from Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, the annual traveling exhibition enhanced the stature of the work of Western artists through exposure to a wider public and by garnering reviews in the nation's art periodicals. A founding and active member of the society, Hoosier Group artist T. C. Steele executed some of his best landscape works during the years the society was active. Rachel Berenson Perry examines Steele's thoughts on plein air painting, his role as a catalyst for the development of regional Midwest impressionism and the Brown County Art Colony, his painting techniques, and his unwavering devotion to nature. The volume features 60 color reproductions of artworks by the society's major artists, complete annual catalog listings, and original exhibition reviews.
Rachel Berenson Perry is Fine Arts Curator for the Indiana State Museum. In addition to being a prolific author of articles in magazines such as American Art Review and Traces of Midwest and Indiana History, she wrote the introduction to The Artists of Brown County (IUP, 1994) and is author of The Life and Work of Ada Walter Shulz. She lives in Nashville, Indiana.
Contents Preface Acknowledgments List of Donors List of Painting Lenders Introduction: The Society of Western Artists 1. The Top of His Game, 1896 2. Getting Organized, 18961897 3. Making a Splash, 18971898 4. Critics of the Hoosier Group, 1898 5. Documented Rules and National Recognition, 18981899 6. Going West, 19001903 7. The Louisiana Purchase Exposition and New Herron Art Institute, 19041906 8. Moving to Brown County, 19071910 Portfolio 9. Plein Air Painting under Ominous Skies, 19111914 10. The Demise of the Society of Western Artists, 19151916 Conclusion Appendix A: Annual Exhibit Catalogs Appendix B: Society of Western Artists Membership Lists Appendix C: Complete Dates of Society of Western Artists Annual Exhibitions Appendix D: Recipients of the Fine Arts Building Prize Appendix E: Paintings Exhibited by T. C. Steele, 18961915 Notes Index