Gustave Baumann: Views of Brown County
In his later years, Arts and Crafts woodblock printmaker Gustave Baumann dreamed of telling the story of the origins of the Brown County, Indiana, art colony. He lamented the absence of written records from the storytellers of those early days, so he set about writing his own account.
To that end, Baumann recalled anecdotes about the townsfolk of Nashville, Indiana; memories of his fellow artists, many of them transplants from Chicago such as he; and tales told in the Hoosier tongue, all illustrating his sojourn in the wooded hills of southern Indiana from 1910 to 1916.
Baumann's drafts, which he titled "Of a County Called Brown," took shape in the hands of editor Martin Krause, curator emeritus of the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, who gathered Baumann's notes, reminiscences, and other writings into a narrative whole.
Baumann's development as an artist and as a young man finding his place in the world is colorfully revealed in Baumann's own voice, "as if it just happened, sort of casual like." Gustave Baumann: Views of Brown County is thoroughly annotated with details of personal, cultural, and historical significance and includes an essay by Krause and a chronology of Baumann's time in Brown County. More than fifty color reproductions of Baumann's artworks and over two dozen historical photographs accompany the text.