by David E. Steele, President and Board Chair
On April 29, Steve Aker and Vicki Timm hosted a brunch to raise funds for the recreation of T.C. Steele’s Traveling Studio Wagon at their historic home in Putnam County, near DePauw University. The home, known as Highnote House was built in 1869 in southern Putnam County by John Highnote, who settled in Indiana from Charleston, South Carolina following the Civil War.
The brunch included several DePauw graduates, faculty and Greencastle Mayor Bill Dory and his wife Kathryn.
Cate Whetzel, program developer for T.C. Steele State Historic Site provided a short presentation on the Traveling Studio Wagon history and progress on the re-build. The fundraiser was a successful event and guests were able to view a wide collection of Indiana Artist’s original paintings hung in the historic home. We were also happy to link the fundraiser location at Highnote House to T.C. Steele’s time spent in the area as a young boy. “When just 16 years old in 1863, he spent a summer in private study with Joseph Tingley, professor of natural sciences, at the young Indiana Asbury College (now DePauw). As a naturalist, Tingley also “dabbled in photography and drawing,” which was the likely focus of young Steele’s lessons”.
During his lifetime, Steele would return several times to Greencastle to paint portraits of DePauw University faculty, donors, and trustees. In addition to painting a portrait of Professor Tingley’s two children, Steele was also commissioned to complete the portrait of former University trustee and namesake, Washington C. DePauw.
DePauw University “From Munich to Brown County: The Life and Artwork of T.C. Steele at Peeler”, January 27, 2017