ANDREA NEAL: T.C. Steele celebrated Hoosier landscape

He was educated in Europe and trained to emulate the brushstrokes of the Great Masters, yet Theodore Clement Steele’s greatest gift was in depicting and interpreting the Indiana countryside.

T.C. Steele — Indiana’s most famous painter — was born in Gosport in 1847, raised in Waveland and died at his “House of the Singing Winds” in rural Brown County in 1926. He loved Indiana, and Indiana still loves him. His paintings sell for upward of $25,000.

“It boils down to the images,” says art dealer Jim Ross of Eckert Ross Fine Art of Indianapolis. “He painted local subjects and scenes in an agreeable impressionistic style that has wide appeal to Hoosiers.”

Steele was the lead character in the Hoosier Group, five acclaimed painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who studied abroad to hone their skills and returned to Indiana to paint scenes en plein air – in open air.

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