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Harden Hollow

Gustave Baumann was one of the first printmakers associated with the Brown County Art Colony. In 1909, he became a part-time resident of Nashville, Indiana, and a close friend of painter T. C. Steele. Baumann continued to travel between southern Indiana and Chicago until 1916, because as he said: “I went to investigate art possibilities. Brown County was easy to commute to and I found that restful something we all yearn for. Life was simple; I could stay two months for $100.” In 1911, Baumann began a series of four large-scale, five-color woodcuts as a tribute to his adopted home. Produced on the press of the Brown County Democrat newspaper, these impressionistic prints were intended for display in schoolhouses because Baumann felt that rural children should find beauty and inspiration in imagery derived from familiar settings rather than having to learn art by copying soup can labels.

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection includes another color woodcut The Night after Christmas (Eskenazi Museum of Art 89.5.6) from his Brown County period and a set of progressive proofs for Hoosier Garden (Eskenazi Museum of Art 2009.64.1–.7) depicting an Indiana subject, although produced after his move to Santa Fe.

Gustave Baumann
American (born Germany), 1881–1971
Harden Hollow
1912
Color woodcut on paper
Image: 19 3/4 x 26 5/8 in. (50.1 x 67.6 cm); sheet: 26 x 32 in. (66.0 x 81.2 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Elaine Ewing Fess and Stephen W. Fess, 94.87

Large image not available.