Hoosier painter T.C. Steele and his wife Selma built their home in 1907 amongst rolling hills, scenic vistas and majestic trees in Brown County, Indiana. Now known as T.C. Steele State Historic Site, you can visit the house and grounds that inspired the noted Indiana artist’s beautiful impressionist paintings.
Activities to enjoy:
4220 T.C. Steele Road
Nashville, IN 47448
Once you turn left on T.C. Steele Road in Nashville, you’ll see T.C. Steele State Historic Site on your right, about 1.5 miles up the road. Free parking is available on the site grounds, including spaces for buses and RVs.
Tuesday – Sunday
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
T.C. Steele is closed Mondays, with the exception of Monday holidays, including Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day. It is open Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents Day, but closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
Guided building tours are scheduled every hour at quarter past the hour. Guided tours are available for The House of the Singing Winds and the Large Studio, where changing exhibits display paintings done throughout Steele's life. The first tour begins at 10:15 a.m. The last tour begins at 4:15 p.m. Contact the site to schedule a special tour for your group. Special staff-guided tours of the beautiful grounds and gardens can be scheduled for a small additional charge.
Members of the Friends of T.C. Steele also receive free admission and a 10 percent discount in the gift shop.
For groups of 15 or more, adult tickets are $9, senior tickets are $7 and youth tickets are $4.
Special discounts are available for educators and education groups, military, Access Pass holders and more. View all discounts >>
Become a member and receive free unlimited admission to T.C. Steele State Historic Site and all 12 statewide locations of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. Members also receive 10 percent discount in the gift shop and free admission to more than 300 museum and science centers worldwide. Learn more about membership options.
Field trip admission is free for pre-scheduled, accredited schools and homeschool groups of 10 or more Indiana K-12 students. Call 812.988.2785 to schedule your visit.
Academic topics covered include visual arts, early 20th-century culture, natural history, science and language arts.
Learn more about field trip and school program offerings in the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites PreK-12 Education Program Guide. View guide >>
T.C. Steele K-12 programming is supported by:
We hope to see you at our upcoming events. Visit our calendar for a list of events happening at all 12 Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites locations.
Saturday, July 27, 2019
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Magic in Midsummer (ages 21+)
Join a historic gardens specialist for a walk in ...
Consider hosting your special event at T.C. Steele State Historic Site. Learn about available spaces and event details in our Planning Guide. Please fill out our inquiry form to receive information.
If you are a photographer looking to book a shoot at T.C. Steele State Historic Site, please review our commercial photography policy and application process. Learn more >>
Theodore Clement Steele (1847-1926), noted Indiana artist and member of the Hoosier Group of American regional impressionist painters, was inspired by the picturesque scenes that he encountered in Brown County. Steele was at the forefront of the state's art movement and remains one of Indiana's most honored artists.
In 1907, Steele and his second wife, Selma Neubacher Steele, purchased property in Brown County and began construction of their home, which they named The House of the Singing Winds. They built the Large Studio in 1916 to accommodate Steele's work. Selma created several acres of gardens around the home and landscaped the surrounding hillsides to enhance the beauty of their property.
As Steele's popularity grew, an increasing number of visitors came to Brown County to meet the artist and to see his work and estate. Steele’s appreciation of nature, combined with his intelligence and capacity for concentrated study, raised his works to an extraordinary level.
THE HOUSE OF THE SINGING WINDS
The home that the Steeles built in 1907 and expanded in 1908 featured high ceilings and screened porches, in contrast to the simple log homes of the area. Selma decorated the home with an eclectic mix of arts and crafts — the desk and chair in Steele’s office — and Rococo Revival — the settees and chairs in the living room— furnishings and objects.
The home’s vernacular architecture features a pyramidal roof with a central fireplace. The Steeles’ friend and artist Gustave Baumann engraved the words, “Every morning I take off my hat to the beauty of the world,” below the mantel.
Today, you can experience the home much like T.C. and Selma’s visitors did when the couple lived there. Pause on the porch to appreciate the spectacular views before venturing inside the home to hear music from that time. See scrapbooks that Selma kept for gardening, and explore the transformed kitchen featuring some of Selma’s stencil art.
SINGING WINDS VISITOR CENTER
In the Singing Winds Visitor Center, opened June 2019, begin a tour of the site with an orientation video about the history of the location and find out why so many people have been drawn to the Steeles’ hilltop home for decades. Here, you’ll also find classroom space, restrooms, the gift shop and other amenities.
T.C.’S OUTDOOR STUDIO
In this space, learn about T.C. Steele’s preferred painting style: en plein air, or painting outdoors. Explore a recreation of the studio wagon Steele used while traveling throughout Indiana as a plein air painter, create your own sketches of the surrounding area, and work en plein air as Steele used to do. Plus, play games with friends and family while discovering more about Steele’s art and life.
THE LARGE STUDIO
T.C. Steele’s first studio was in what is now the living room of the home. In 1908, they added the west wing which served as his studio for seven years. The Steeles then built another building which was used as his studio until 1916.
Built in 1916, Steele designed this studio to display his work in an atmosphere consistent with the surrounding landscape. The barn-like structure and wall of north-facing windows provide a fitting and spacious backdrop for Steele’s paintings.
As Steele was primarily a plein air painter, he used this space primarily to exhibit his work, as well as for sales and entertaining.
DEWAR LOG CABIN
Brown County settler Peter Dewar built this cabin around 1875, five miles south of its present site. The cabin faced destruction in the early 1930’s, but realizing that it represented part of Brown County’s heritage, Selma Steele bought the cabin, moved it and filled it with natural history displays.
During Selma’s lifetime, the cabin contained a collection of moths and butterflies. In 1934, she dedicated the “Trailside Museum” in memory of her brother Walter, an amateur naturalist. Today, though not currently open to the public, it houses an interactive photo display of wildlife, a display box of bird nests and the like found around the property, and exhibits on pioneer life and log cabins.
SELMA N. STEELE STATE NATURE PRESERVE
Selma Steele asked that her property remain ‘a tribute to natural beauty.’ In keeping with her wish, this 92-acre preserve was dedicated in 1990. The topography of the preserve varies enough to support different types of trees and plants. Deep ravines with seasonally flowing streams cut through soft bedrock. Rich undergrowth provides a wealth of wildflowers throughout the spring.
Wildlife that call the preserve home include deer, squirrels, chipmunks, raptors, woodpeckers and other birds. Wildflowers enthusiasts should be sure to look for whorled pagonia orchids and shining clubmoss.
Visitors may access this natural area via two of the site’s hiking trails.
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