The Historic Brown County Indiana Art Gallery Downtown Nashville, Indiana

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The Brown County Art Gallery was established in 1926 by the early members of an important regional art colony who began exploring rural southern Indiana in the 1890s. These early artists had been trained in the best art schools of Europe and America and were attracted to the rolling hills of Brown County because it offered both dramatic landscapes and interesting people to serve as subjects for their work.

Visitors to the Brown County Art Gallery will still find the work of today’s top Indiana artists for sale and can learn the history of those who came before through special exhibits, video presentations, books, and historic programs. For those who collect early Indiana art, expertise is available along with the Gallery Consignment room where paintings by the early Hoosier Masters are available for purchase.

It is all part of an ongoing history that began more than eight decades ago when Hoosier Group Master, Theodore Clement Steele, bought property in Brown County in 1907. He encouraged many other prominent artists to visit Brown County including Adolph Shulz and his wife, Ada Walter Shulz. They fell in love with the rugged land, declaring it their “perfect painting ground” and when railroad service and lodging came to the tiny county seat of Nashville, the Shulzes and others opened studios in Brown County, knick-naming it “Peaceful Valley”.

In 1926, they formed the Brown County Art Gallery Artists Association and set up a gallery in a former grocery store donated by a patron. For over eight decades, the Gallery has managed to survive wars, depressions, recessions, fire and relocation, making it one of the oldest galleries in the United States.

The Gallery also put together an important Permanent Collection of early Indiana art thanks to donations from artists and collectors alike, making the need for protecting these valuable paintings along with the property, a priority, thus the Brown County Art Gallery Foundation was formed.

Under its auspices, the Gallery provides first class exhibition space, vault storage and art conservation as well as historic programs and exhibits. Every October, early Indiana art collectors loan rarely seen paintings for the annual “Collector’s Showcase” an exhibit that dazzles visitors and raises money for the Foundation. The Gallery also owns a large collection of antique tea cups, which are used at the Annual Victorian Tea, another popular Gallery tradition.

The Foundation promotes Indiana’s living artists by providing them with subsidized exhibit space and a professional staff. Along with the Brown County Art Gallery Artists Association, the Gallery is also home to Indiana Heritage Arts, Inc. a separate non-profit group that stages one of the largest annual art competitions in the Mid-west. The next generation is supported as well, through the annual Mabel B. Annis Student Art Competition. All are part of a full calendar of events that are scheduled throughout the year.

Paintings displayed in order of
appearance on this page:

“Daisy” by Theodore Clement Steele, daughter of T.C. Steele, who moved to Brown County, Indiana in 1907, from the Permanent Collection.

“Quiet of Eventide” by Adolph Robert Shulz, founder of the Nashville, Indiana art colony in the early 1900s, from the Permanent Collection.

Contact Us

Brown County Art Gallery
1 Artist Drive
PO Box 443
Nashville, In 47448

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For more information call Brown County Art Gallery at 812-988-4609

~ Home ~ Calendar of Events ~ Permanent Collections ~ Consignment Art for Sale ~ Special Events ~ Contact Us ~
~ Victorian Tea ~ Collectors Showcase ~ West Baden ~ Membership ~ Fund Raising ~ Links to Brown County ~

Our Partner Websites

~ Indiana Heritage Arts ~ Brown County Art Association ~

Support for this website provided by the Brown County Community Foundation

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