T.C. Steele Historic Trail

Friends of T.C. Steele

preserving his art, his life, his legacy

Friends of T.C. Steele is a group of dedicated volunteers, incorporated as a not-for-profit organization on August 16, 1991.

Supporting Indiana historic sites

Recreation of T.C. Steele’s Studio Wagon (installed 2018)

The Friends provide financial, in-kind, and volunteer support to Indiana historic sites. Key fundraising and financial support over the past few years have included: Restoration of Selma’s Gardens (2016), Indiana State Historical Marker (2017), Recreation of T.C. Steele’s Studio Wagon (installed 2018), Singing Winds Visitor Center (2019), purchase of two new golf carts for transport of visitors at historic site (2021), financial contribution for exterior painting of buildings on historic site (2021).

Connecting today’s artists

Annual member Art Show: 10th Consecutive Year (introduced 2012); (L to R) Garrett Adams (president), 2022 Youth Category Winner Sarah Stonerock (student), and Lisa Sears (art teacher) in the classroom at Greenfield-Central High School.

The Friends annual member art show not only continues to grow in participants each year, but also in expanding entry categories. In 2022 a youth category was added, and in 2023 a professional category will be added to separate these painters from amateurs providing a better balance in awards and prizes. 

Curating the world’s largest archive of T.C. Steele paintings

Virtual Gallery (introduced 2020)

The Friends have established the largest online collection of professionally photographed images of Steele paintings, with provenance and stories behind the art when available. Many of these paintings reside in art museum storage, and private collections, making the virtual gallery a showcase for Steele paintings which were inaccessible to the public prior to the launch of the virtual gallery.

Sharing Steele’s legacy with new generations

Indiana Historical Society Grant for T.C. Steele Historic Trail App (launch 2023) underwritten by Lilly Endowment, (L to R): Jeannette Rooney, Assistant Director, Local History Services, Indiana Historical Society; David Steele, Board Member Emeritus, Friends of T.C. Steele; Tamara Hemmerlein, Director, Local History Services, Indiana Historical Society.

The Friends have launched the T.C. Steele Historical Trail App, which will provide digital access to the history and location of the sites where T.C. Steele lived and painted during his lifetime in Indiana.  This App is available on smartphones, tablets and desktops enabling digital connection for new generations on their smartphones, while continuing to provide digital access through traditional desktops and tablets.

Looking Ahead

Today, the Friends of T.C. Steele continues as a volunteer support group with a much broader mission of “preserving his art, his life, his legacy”. The recent expansion of the annual Member Art Show and the launch of The T.C. Steele Historic Trail are examples of the continuous evolution of this organization. Please join us a member!

The Friends of T.C. Steele is a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code.

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Special thanks

We would like to recognize the following organizations, sites and individuals who helped make the T.C. Steele Historic Trail a reality.

Organizations & Sites

Special thanks to Eli Lilly and Company for their generous financial contribution.

Bethany Church • Bethany/Surber Cemetery • DePauw University & Richard E. Peeler Art Center • Franklin County Historical Society / Brookville • Franklin County Public Library • Green Hat Media LLC • Haan Museum of Indiana Art • Hermitage Bed & Breakfast • Herron Classical Schools • Historic Preservation & Heritage Consulting • Hoosier History Live • Indiana Department of Natural Resources • Indiana Historical Bureau • Indiana Historical Society • Indiana Landmarks • Indiana Memory • Indianapolis Propylaeum • Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites – T.C. Steele State Historic Site • Indiana University – Franklin Hall & Indiana Memorial Union • James R. Ross Fine Art • McCormick’s Creek State Park • Media Nouveau • National Register of Historic Places / National Park Service • Newfields – Indianapolis Museum of Art • Owen County Courthouse • Owen County Heritage & Culture Center • Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society • Owen County Public Library • Riverside Cemetery • Shades State Park and Pine Hills Nature Preserve • Steele/Fain Cemetery • T.C. Steele Boyhood Home • Ten O’clock Line Treaty Museum, a.k.a. Gosport History Museum • Turkey Run State Park • University Icons • Wabash College • Waveland Methodist Cemetery • Waveland Public Library • Whitewater Canal State Historic Site • Yountsville Mill & Inn


Special thanks to Garrett and Mallorie Adams for their generous financial contribution.

Christie Y. Anderson • Garrett & Mallorie Adams • John Brzezinski • Jenny Chapman • Marti L. Crouch, PhD • Andrea Smith deTarnowsky • Fred Drescher • Nolan Eller • David Ernst • James A. Glass, PhD • Bob & Ellie Haan • Ron Hopkins • Tina Huff • Linda Kimmel • Ginger Kohr • Martin F. Krause • Tony Neff, PhD • Pat Newforth • Tom & Carol Parker • Laura Pence • Rachael Berenson Perry • Nelson Price • Garrett J. Poortinga • Dixie Kline Richardson • Alyssa King Rice • Christy Roark • James R. Ross • Mark Ruschman • Julie Schlesselman • Martha Shea • Tim & Meg Shelly • Jessica Sparger • David & Lynne Steele • Robert E. Steele, PhD • Jessica Stephens • Laura Wilkerson • Cate Whetzel