Gustave Baumann at the Art Institute

I just had to ask during a recent visit. Did the Art Institute have any of Gustave Baumann’s works?

Sadly, the museum person I spoke with didn’t seem to recognize the name Gustave Baumann.

His workshop was at the top of a building across from the Art Institute, I feebly added. And then thought to myself: It’s where he made a woodblock of a skyscraper being built two buildings over.

Perusing the museum’s website, she located the gallery where some of his prints were being shown—in a special exhibit of Art Institute alumni.


I dashed off to see what the Art Institute had of Baumann after my visit (not once but twice) of an exhibit of his works at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Ohhh. The Art Institute has about a dozen of his prints on display, along with the colored wood blocks that were used to make one of the prints.

Many of the prints are the identical subject matter to ones being shown at the IMA. (Kind of amazing seeing how he sometimes recarved blocks, resulting in slightly different images…like Harden Hollow with or without a horse and buggy.)

The Mill Pond and Harden Hollow are prints from his Brown County, Indiana days. I took in Harden Hollow again. The carve marks. The vibrant autumn colors.

As I walked away, I turned to look over my shoulder one last time at Harden Hollow. A young girl of six or seven dragged her mom to it and exclaimed that this was one that she really liked—as if she had already looked at all the prints and was excitedly telling her mom about them. I stood and watched her then go to the The Mill Pond print next and express her liking of this print too.

I couldn’t help myself. I had to tell the mother about the Gustave Baumann exhibit at the IMA (open until February 14, 2016). I thought her daughter might really like it. In hindsight, I neglected to mention the toys and marionettes that Baumann also crafted…which are also on display at the IMA.

Clearly, Baumann had worked his magic on me.

The Baumann prints on display (until February 14, 2016) at the Art Institute:


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