Indiana Statehouse walls are palette for Hoosier artists

‘The Golden Fields of Home’ by Adolph R. Shulz. Collection of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

‘The Golden Fields of Home’ by Adolph R. Shulz. Collection of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – State Auditor Tim Berry has an eclectic mix of art in his Statehouse office, from a traditional T.C. Steele landscape to a vibrant piece of modern art punctuated with purples and reds.

Then there is a portrait of him painted by his son at age 8.

The portrait obviously has sentimental value and gets the most attention from children taking tours of his office. But Berry also enjoys showcasing pieces of art from the state’s collection.

“I think it’s important to have this art on display because they truly are treasures,” Berry said. “It’s a very historical building and much of this art is a part of Indiana history as well.”

The state owns several thousand pieces of art. About 100 are displayed in various offices at the Indiana Statehouse.

The collection is managed by the Indiana State Museum and made available to the governor, lieutenant governor and other statewide officeholders.

Berry recently rotated the pieces. He gave up Al Pounders’ Sunny Hillside for a river landscape of the Wabash by Thelma Confer. And he switched Spring in the Orchard by T.C. Steele for another well-known Hoosier artist Adolph Shulz’s Golden Fields of Home.

Museum staffers come around once a year and conduct condition reports on the state’s art. Depending on how long a piece has been on display, it may have to “rest” in a climate-controlled facility, while others may need minor repair or maintenance.

Recently, Kara Vetter, Indiana State Museum registrar, and Meredith McGovern, culture collections manager, spent several hours in the governor’s suite of offices.

They first removed a piece with a Hoosier cardinal and replaced it with a portrait of Abraham Lincoln that the museum obtained from the former Lincoln collection in Fort Wayne. They also added a print of Lincoln’s Illinois home to the general counsel’s office.

Both then took detailed notes of a dozen other paintings spread throughout the suite of offices. They reported cracks in the frames; flaking paint; as well as buckling and warping.

But most of the art was in good shape – partly because it is kept away from direct sunlight and heating and air-conditioning vents.

McGovern said most of the art the state owns is the work of Indiana artists, depicts Indiana scenes, or both.

She also noted that Berry isn’t the only state official who likes some of the more non-traditional pieces.

“People are choosing from our contemporary collection too, which helps keep stress off the historical collection,” McGovern said.

Information from: The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette,

http://www.journalgazette.net

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-01-02-11 0102EST


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


‘Spring in the Orchard’ by T.C. Steele. Collection of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

‘Spring in the Orchard’ by T.C. Steele. Collection of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

‘The Golden Fields of Home’ by Adolph R. Shulz. Collection of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

‘The Golden Fields of Home’ by Adolph R. Shulz. Collection of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.