The Brown County Art Gallery Foundation has 500 paintings and artifacts in its Permanent Collection. When the Gallery was founded by the early artists in 1926, many of the artists donated paintings and other items to the Gallery to create an ongoing exhibit. And 90 years later, the Brown County Art Gallery is still exhibiting the work of the early Indiana artists.
The Permanent Collection has continued to expand with generous gifts from donors. A rotating exhibit of the early paintings, along with a number of fascinating historical displays are on display in the Permanent Collection Gallery on a daily basis.
Dr. Robert E. Sexton Gallery
The Indiana Collection
Explore the incredible work of famous woodblock artist Gustave Baumann, who started his career in Brown County in the early 1900s. Baumann was working as a commercial artist in Chicago when he heard about the Art Colony forming in Brown County. This German immigrant had long wanted to experiment with his woodblock art form by transitioning from a commercial artist to fine art. He paid a visit to Brown County and stayed for several years, perfecting his craft.
The Gallery’s Baumann Collection shows nearly all of Baumann’s work in Indiana. It is clear to the viewer that he was highly influenced by the painters who were working in the same area. Eventually Baumann moved to Santa Fe, where he became world famous. But he always had “Indiana on his mind,” he once said.
This permanent exhibit is open daily and is a fascinating look at the Hoosier work of a famous artist. The exhibit rotates and also features interesting artifacts and lots of history.
Wm. Zimmerman Studio
sponsored by the Johnson Family
One of America’s greatest bird artists spent the bulk of his career in Brown County surrounded by nature and the birds that he loved. On a scale with Audubon, William Zimmerman illustrated a host of important books, including The Birds of Indiana and Waterfowl of North America, along with the woodpecker volume of The Life Histories of North American Birds. He also spent a great deal of his career working with environmental groups to protect the habitats of the birds and wildlife that he loved.
The work of this meticulous artist will amaze. He used brushes with as few as three hairs. The Gallery has recreated his studio, giving the visitor an insight into the intricacy and accuracy of his work.
The exhibit is open daily and rotates continually. It is a step into nature through the eyes of a great artist. William H. Zimmerman (1937–2011)
Glen Cooper Henshaw
Glen Cooper Henshaw arrived in Brown County in 1941. He was at the end of a long career that began in Windfall, Indiana and took him to Paris, London, New York, and Baltimore. While he was born in Indiana, he is best known for his dazzling New York scenes. He was very influenced by the mystics and a dreamlike quality is reflected in his work, particularly his compelling figure studies.
His arrival in Nashville brought great fanfare as he was a very famous artist. But the trends were turning modern in the major East Coast cities and coming home to Indiana seemed his last chance to continue his work. He died a few short years later and his Permanent Collection has made its home in the Brown County Art Gallery since the late 1940s.
There are 86 paintings in the Collection that rotate on a continual basis.