My favorite painting in the History Center’s newest exhibit Impressions: The Art of T.C. Steele is Fall in the Ravine (1915). The colors and light make it feel as if you are standing there in the woods of Brown County by a ravine in the middle of Autumn.
This stunning landscape was one of many Steele painted in 1915. At an exhibition in San Francisco that same year, a newspaper reporter wrote: “The simple, natural beauty of Indiana woods and fields, broken occasionally by hills and streams, had never been interpreted. This task Mr. Steele among others undertook. It was the sunshine and its buoyant, cheerful influence on the native landscape, which appealed strongly to the artist…It is the sunshine that makes Mr. Steele’s art notable. “
While Fall in the Ravine was not in the exhibit the writer mentions, I do feel the writer’s words perfectly describe what I think of Fall in the Ravine. There is nothing extraordinary about the painting. What makes it so noteworthy is how Steele captures the natural beauty of nature. Steele’s use of sunlight makes the golden leaves pop and the water look as if it is really flowing down the ravine.
To view Fall in the Ravine and 42 other paintings by Steele, come visit the Rosemary McKee Lanham Gallery on the fourth floor of the History Center. Open through July 9.
Melissa Brummett is an intern in the Marketing Department at the Indiana Historical Society. She loves history, reading, photography and sports.