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Adams, Forsyth and Steele: Indiana Paintings from the Lilly Endowment Collection 


(above: J. Ottis Adams, American 1847-1925, Butler's Hill, 1901, oil on canvas. Loaned by Lilly Endowment Inc.)


Paintings from the Lilly Endowment collection by three of Indiana's most prominent artists are on display through January 2, 2005 at Minnetrista. Organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art with funds from a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant, this exhibition provides an opportunity to see important works by J. Ottis Adams, William Forsyth and T.C. Steele.

Fifteen works by Munich-trained Hoosier artists Adams, Forsyth and Steele will travel to Indiana art institutions from October 2002 through April 2005. (right: William Forsyth, American 1854-1935, Untitled (Alice Picking Flowers), about 1900, oil on canvas. Loaned by Lilly Endowment Inc.)

Over the years, Lilly Endowment has sought to recognize, encourage and develop creativity in the state. It takes great pride in Indiana's heritage of cultural accomplishment. To ensure that significant examples of the work of Hoosier artists stayed in Indiana for the benefit of its citizens, the Endowment acquired the works to be presented in this exhibition.

This exhibition highlights works by J. Ottis Adams, William Forsyth and T. C. Steele-the three most prominent members of the Hoosier Group, which also includes the Paris-trained artist Otto Stark and the self-taught painter Richard Gruelle.

Unlike many American artists who studied in Europe and then abandoned their hometowns for New York City, Adams, Forsyth and Steele returned to Indiana from their training at the Royal Academy in Munich to focus on the Hoosier landscape. Early works by all three artists focus on the customs and pastimes of the German people and are executed with a dark palate and broad brush strokes. By the 1890s, they had all adopted an Impressionist style and their paintings of American scenes became brighter and filled with texture.

Adams, Forsyth and Steele features familiar Indiana landscapes rendered by these accomplished artists, including tranquil scenes from Brown County and Butler's Hill, as well as paintings representing the artists' travels outside of Indiana.

This exhibition is supported by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. and is organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. (right: Theodore Clement Steele, American 1847-1926, Munich Haying, about 1884, oil on canvas. Loaned by the Lilly Endowment Inc.)


About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation based in Indianapolis that was created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family: Josiah K. Lilly Sr. and his sons, Josiah K. Jr. and Eli, through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although gifts of stock in the company remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location.

In keeping with the wishes of its founders, the Endowment exists to support the causes of community development, education and religion. It affords special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and that promote leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit sector. The Lilly family's foremost priority was to help the people of their city and state build a better life. Although the Endowment supports efforts of national significance and an occasional international project, it remains primarily committed to its hometown and home state.


About Minnetrista: East Central Indiana's Center for Natural and Cultural Heritage

Located along historic White River, Minnetrista includes 40 acres of beautiful gardens and grounds, a state-of-the-art museum facility, an historic home, Nature Area, numerous sculptures, and a portion of the White River Greenway. Minnetrista's exciting array of programs, festivals, changing exhibits and more tell the stories of East Central Indiana's natural and cultural heritage. Adults, families and children, and teachers and students find that Minnetrista is a beautiful and exciting place to be year-round.

Since its opening in 1988, Minnetrista has been recognized as an attractive and active contributor to the cultural, educational, and economic development of East Central Indiana, and there is broad recognition and appreciation of the founding Ball family's civic and philanthropic importance. The street address of Minnetrista is 1200 N. Minnetrista Parkway, Muncie, IN


Editor's note: RL readers may also enjoy this earlier article:

rev. 11/3/04

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Copyright 2003, 2004 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.