It was Will Vawter's introduction in 1893 to poet James Whitcomb Riley that would put Vawter’s art in the public eye.
One of the first serious studies of Indiana art sidestepped the state's Impressionist painters for its bookplate designers.
In 1900, T.C. Steele’s landscape The Bloom of the Grape , painted on-site in Indiana’s Muscatatuck Valley just a few years earlier, won an honorable mention at the Paris Universal Exposition. The painters who were putting Indiana on the map at the turn of the twentieth century were members of a transitional generation.