Welcome to the Brown County Art Gallery
An important project is wrapping up at here the Gallery, one that takes a major step in preserving our Permanent Collection. Thanks to a sizable grant from the Indiana State Historical Society, funded by Lilly, the Gallery Foundation began the work of creating a comprehensive inventory of the entire Foundation owned Permanent Collection, and the Henshaw Trust Collection. Beginning last August, with the hiring of IU Grad student Leslie Winter and the purchase of a special computer and museum cataloguing software, we began digitizing information about every painting, print, and artifact in the two collections. Entries include artist biography, description, and history of each item, condition report and donor information.
The final work phase has been completed with Leslie, Leo Miller, and Lyn Letsinger-Miller photographing every single item, numbering over 450. All the information is stored in hard drives and backed up in Cloud servers. New painting labels, with a new numbering system will be printed along with new informational walltags and a binder, making our Collections more accessible. The digital inventory allows us to sort through the collections, print photos or share on the web. We will also be able to add more items as they arrive.
The Lilly Grant was attached to the Bicentennial Celebration with a purpose of archiving Indiana history and administered through the Indiana State Historical Society. The project is ongoing and we plan to apply for funds to conserve and reframe the pieces we identified during the cataloguing process. The Historical Society is also funding the conservation and framing of 12 rare Will Vawter sketches that we're created in Brown County for the James Whitcomb Riley books. They were purchased at auction and donated to the Foundation by Tom Cornwell of Bloomington, a friend and supporter. We are grateful for this partnership with the Indiana Historical Society and the generosity of Lilly. This important work would not be possible for small organizations like the Gallery. Next on the list....New storage racks for the vaults! And our dear Leslie is graduating with her new new Masters in Library Science...to go with her Masters in Art History. She is beginning her job search and some employer out there is going to get a real treasure.
Some events to look forward to this summer include the Indiana Heritage Arts Exhibition and Sale in June, an exhibit of early Brown County Pottery in July, and "Art with a Purpose" featuring Brown County baskets in August.
We are also featuring our Permanent Collection this summer and the Art Association has a full schedule of new work. Lots of reasons to visit the Gallery. We do have some road construction underway and you will find more info below.