In 1926, they formed the Brown County Art Gallery Artists Association and set up a gallery in a former grocery store donated by a patron. For over eight decades, the Gallery has managed to survive wars, depressions, recessions, fire and relocation, making it one of the oldest galleries in the United States.
The Gallery also put together an important Permanent Collection of early Indiana art thanks to donations from artists and collectors alike, making the need for protecting these valuable paintings along with the property, a priority, thus the Brown County Art Gallery Foundation was formed.
Under its auspices, the Gallery provides first class exhibition space, vault storage and art conservation as well as historic programs and exhibits. Every October, early Indiana art collectors loan rarely seen paintings for the annual “Collector’s Showcase” an exhibit that dazzles visitors and raises money for the Foundation. The Gallery also owns a large collection of antique tea cups, which are used at the Annual Victorian Tea, another popular Gallery tradition.
The Foundation promotes Indiana’s living artists by providing them with subsidized exhibit space and a professional staff. Along with the Brown County Art Gallery Artists Association, the Gallery is also home to Indiana Heritage Arts, Inc. a separate non-profit group that stages one of the largest annual art competitions in the Mid-west. The next generation is supported as well, through the annual Mabel B. Annis Student Art Competition. All are part of a full calendar of events that are scheduled throughout the year.