Tips by Dr. Lori

Theodore Clement Steele

Theodore Clement Steele

Steele's Beginnings

Born in Owen County, Indiana in 1847, Theodore Clement Steele began painting at an early age. He studied art in Chicago, IL and Cincinnati, OH and moved to Indianapolis, IN in 1870.

Steele married Mary Elizabeth Lakin and lived in Battle Creek, MI where the artist produced commissioned portraits as well as landscape compositions. By 1873, the couple returned to Indianapolis, where Steele set up a studio. Steele, like numerous important artists of his day, traveled abroad to study art in Munich with the European masters and the American painters, Frank Duveneck, William Merritt Chase, and William Trout Richards.

American Impressionism

Steele studied at the Munich Art Academy and lived abroad with his family from 1880 to 1885. Steele was associated with the preeminent landscape painters of American Impressionism in famous artist colonies located in Cos Cob, CT, Long Island, NY, Cape Cod, MA, and New Hope, PA. In 1885, the Steele family relocated to Indianapolis, IN. 

Steele gave instruction in art and established an art school in cooperation with Sue Ketcham and William Forsyth from 1889 to 1895. By this point in his career, Steele realized that he could earn a living from portrait commissions, but his most important compositions and primary interest was landscape paintings. 

By the 1890s, Steele was a nationally recognized artist. Exhibition record includes shows at the Hoosier School at Huntington, IN and the Society of Western Artists at Chicago, IL. After the death of Steele’s wife, he purchased two hundred acres of land in Brown County, the site of many of Steele’s most important and highly sought after landscape paintings. Theodore Clement Steele was associated with Indiana University at Bloomington, IN and was made an honorary professor there. Steele continued to make art until his death in July 1926.

Request an online appraisal of your Theodore Clement Steele from Dr. Lori.

Schedule a Dr. Lori Event

Dr. Lori events
Dr. Lori presents her popular Antiques Appraisal Comedy Show around the world at 150 shows a year entertaining audiences. Ask us how to book an event for you.

Dr. Lori's Blog

Dr. Lori reveals insider information and tips about the world of antiques. Subscribe here »
3 Best Times to Sell Antiques

3 Best Times to Sell Antiques

Do you sell antiques like Spode only at Christmas? A Joe Namath print by Leroy Neimen during the Super Bowl? Maybe you don't rush and you wait to sell the wicker furniture in two years for the most value? Does it depend on the antique you are selling? How do you use the news and social media? Find out with my guidelines for all types of antiques.

Read More »