Theodore Clement Steele, American, 1847–1926
Oil on canvas
76.83 cm x 115.57 cm | 30.25 x 45.5 in
Framed: 95.88 cm x 133.35 x 7.62 cm |37.75 in x 52.5 x 3 in
Signed and dated I.I.: T.C. Steele / Indianapolis 1889
With permission, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Gift of Rosemary A. Gatewood and Kenneth Gatewood
Accession Number: 2011.132
Schofield Mill once located on Fall Creek, Indianapolis, Indiana, was just west of Keystone Avenue at the present day juncture of Fall Creek and 42nd Street. This location would have been the northern border of Indianapolis when T.C. Steele was living at Tinker House and painted this landscape. This parcel of land was set aside as a mill in 1835 and a dam constructed within the next two years. The Indianapolis Water Company purchased the dam, mill and land in 1900 and later built its pumping and purification plants north of the road to Allisonville Road, now Fall Creek Parkway. The original mill burned in the early 1900’s and was rebuilt, but again first destroyed it in 1967.1
When comparing this painting with Pleasant Run, Steele’s palette has become noticeably lighter and brighter, and his brushstrokes much looser.2
Steele believe this painting to be one of his finest to date in capturing Indiana’s natural beauty and charm. And put a steep asking price of $400 on the painting when first exhibited.2
Like many of his landscapes painted during his time in Indianapolis, Steele often trekked out to the city’s edges, such as he did with Pleasant Run, and painted scenes in what was then rural countryside in Indianapolis.
1“Schofield Mill on Fall Creek, Indianapolis IN.” Allen County Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 28, 2020. http://contentdm.acpl.lib.in.us/digital/collection/coll6/id/6693/.
2“Morning – Old Schofield’s Mill.” Indianapolis Museum of Art Online Collection, January 1, 1889. http://collection.imamuseum.org/artwork/37770/.