Experience the rolling hills, scenic vistas, majestic trees and landscape that inspired noted Hoosier painter T.C. Steele and his wife Selma to build their home and cultivate beauty and art in Brown County.
T.C. Steele State Historic Site
4220 T.C. Steele Road
Nashville, IN 47448
T.C. Steele State Historic Site is open year-round.
T.C. Steele is closed on New Year's Day (Jan. 1 and 2), Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Jan. 16), Easter Day (April 16), Columbus Day (Oct. 9), Veterans Day (Nov. 11), Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23), Lincoln's Birthday (Observed on Nov. 24), Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and Washington's Birthday (Observed on Dec. 26).
Indiana State Museum members receive FREE admission and a 10 percent discount in the gift shop.
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 9:15 a.m. (1:15 p.m. on Sundays). The last tour begins at 4:15 p.m. Contact the site to schedule a special tour for your group. Gardens, grounds and hiking trails may be enjoyed at no cost.
Children under 3: FREE
*Seniors: Ages 60 and older, Child: Ages 3 through 17
Members of the Friends of T.C. Steele also receive FREE admission and a 10 percent discount in the gift shop.
Free parking is available on the site grounds, including spaces for buses and RVs.
Receive $1 off of regular admission with a group of 15 or more.
Interested in scheduling a school tour? Students can visit the site for FREE! Call 812.988.2785 to schedule your visit.
Academic topics covered include early 20th century culture, visual arts and natural history.
Steeles: Technology Pioneers in Brown County // Discover how the same binary code in today’s computers was used during the Steele’s time. Students discover the math and science behind this theory while playing games, decoding messages and creating their own paisley design. Grades K-5. Fee: $2.50 per student. $3.50 for site tour and program.
Interested in scheduling a group tour? Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more.
Adult Group: $6
Senior Group*: $5
Children Group*: $3
Children under 3: FREE
*Senior: Ages 60 and older, Child: Ages 3 through 17
Please view our calendar for upcoming events.
Consider hosting your special event at T.C. Steele State Historic Site. Please fill out our inquiry form to receive information.
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.
Restoration work in Selma’s kitchen continues. When completed, visitors touring the home will be able to experience its circular flow.
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, 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 STEELE 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.