Hoosier Group

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Four of the five Hoosier Group artists in the painting "The Art Jury" by Wayman Elbridge Adams. From left to right are Steele, Stark, Adams and Forsyth. Gruelle was deceased at the time the picture was painted.

The Hoosier Group was a group of Indiana Impressionist painters working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They are primarily known for their renditions of the Indiana landscape. Although they had disparate backgrounds and training, the Hoosier Group gained its cohesion from the determination of the five to attend art school in Munich in the late 1880s. Following their return to Indiana, the group dominated Indiana's art scene through the 1920s. Forsyth, Steele, and Adams all taught art at academies in the state and spread the group's ethos. They all exhibited regularly in the state for several decades, and were instrumental in forming the Society of Western Artists.

Following the 1913 Armory Exhibition in New York and Chicago, the Hoosier Group's visibility and sales declined dramatically. By this time the members of the group were aging and found themselves trapped in what would quickly become an old-fashioned style of painting. Artists considered members of this group include T. C. Steele, Richard Gruelle, William Forsyth, J. Ottis Adams, Carl Graf and Clifton Wheeler, and Otto Stark. While works by these artists are found in private and public collections around the United States, a number of collections, primarily in Indiana include the works of all five artists. These include the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana State Museum, and the Columbia Club, Indianapolis; Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington; the Richmond Art Museum, Richmond; Ball State University Museum of Art, Muncie; the Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute; and DePauw University, Greencastle.

See also[edit]


  • Burnet, Mary Q. Art and Artists of Indiana. New York; The Century Co., 1921.
  • Gerdts, William H. Art Across America: Two Centuries of Regional Painting, Vol. 2. New York: Abbeville Press, 1990.
  • Gerdts, William H. and Newton, Judith Vale. The Hoosier Group: Five American Painters. Indianapolis: Eckert Publications, 1985.
  • Krause, Martin. The Passage: Return of Indiana Painters from Germany, 1880 – 1905. Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1990.
  • Morton, Elizabeth. "Martinus Andersen and the Hoosier Group of Artists, 1910-15." 1915.
  • Martinus Andersen and the Hoosier Group of Artists (Working Paper)

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