Small world

What do 19th-century painter T.C. Steele, Harvard philosopher Ralph Barton Perry, and Kurt Vonnegut have in common? I discovered some fascinating connections while researching a story about Steele and the Arts & Crafts Movement for Bloom Magazine.

1

Richard Lieber

1869-1944

Cousin of Hermann Lieber, who was T.C. Steele’s close friend and patron

Founder, Indiana State Parks system

Great-grandfather of Frederic Lieber

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Lieber

2

Hermann Lieber

1832-1908

Bookbinder from Dusseldorf who opened and then operated H. Lieber & Company Art Emporium in Indianapolis

Premier patron of T.C. Steele

(Photo is reproduced from The House of the Singing Winds at the first link below)

http://shop.indianahistory.org/SelectSku.aspx?skuid=1000220

http://maxkade.iupui.edu/indianapolis.html

3

Theodore Clement Steele

1847-1926  

Painter

Founder of the Portfolio (often called the Portfolio Club) in Indianapolis, an organization for artists and writers

http://www.tcsteele.org/site.asp

4

Bernard Berenson

1865-1959

Art historian

Brother-in-law of Ralph Barton Perry, the grandfather of Rachel Perry, author of T.C. Steele and the Society of Western Artists: 1896-1914 (Indiana Press, 2009), and so…

Great-uncle of Rachel Perry

http://www.itatti.it/

5

Ralph Barton Perry

Philosopher at Harvard University

Brother-in-law of Bernard Berenson

Grandfather of Rachel Perry

http://www.giffordlectures.org/Author.asp?AuthorID=137

Glass and cabinetry designed by Brandt Steele for sons of Hermann Lieber

6

Herman P. Lieber

Son of Hermann Lieber

In 1909 Brandt Steele designed a set of stained glass windows for Herman’s home. Brandt’s design appears on page 20 of Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, Winter 1994.

Herman P. was also the grandfather of Peter Lieber, aerial photographer (see below)

Robert Lieber and Carl Lieber

Sons of Hermann; patron and friend, respectively, of T.C. Steele’s son, Brandt

Circa 1905, Brandt Steele designed a cabinet for Robert Lieber’s home. The design appears on page 20 of Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, Winter 1994.

7

Brandt Steele

Brandt Steele (Photo from Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, Winter 1994)

Son of T.C. Steele and his first wife, Libbie Lakin

Artist and designer

For an informative article about Brandt, see “Work Worth Doing: Brandt Steele, Designer and Potter” by Barry Shifman (Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, Winter 1994; available from http://shop.indianahistory.org/ 

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=35956249

 

 

8

Herman B Wells

(1902-2000)

11th president of Indiana University

Chancellor of Indiana University

Founded the Indiana University Press

http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?products_id=794746

http://newsinfo.iu.edu/OCM/releases/wellsrem.htm

9

Bernard Perry

Hired by Herman B. Wells as Founding Director of Indiana University Press

Father of Rachel Berenson Perry

http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/pages.php?pID=27&CDpath=13

10

Frederic (Fritz) Lieber

Great-grandson of Richard Lieber

Cousin of Kurt Vonnegut

Friend of James Capshew

http://www.nrhillerdesign.com/press/pdfs/Kitch_Oak_SalvagedGlass.pdf

Peter Lieber stands in front of a painting by T.C. Steele

11

Peter Lieber

Aerial photographer

Cousin of Frederic (Fritz) Lieber

James Capshew stands next to a bust of Wells

12

James Capshew

Professor of History and Philosophy of Science

Friend of Fritz Lieber

Biographer of Herman B Wells, Indiana University’s visionary educator (forthcoming from the Indiana University Press)

http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?products_id=794746

13

Image from alternativereel.com

Kurt Vonnegut

Author and artist

Cousin of Fritz Lieber

Kurt’s parents, Kurt Sr. and Edith, were invited shortly after their wedding to join the Portfolio (often referred to as the Portfolio Club), an arts related organization founded by T.C. Steele.

Forthcoming biography of Vonnegut by Charles J. Shields: http://us.macmillan.com/andsoitgoes

14

Rachel Berenson Perry

Artist and art historian; author of T.C. Steele and the Society of Western Artists:1896-1914, published by the Indiana University Press, of which her father was the Founding Director

Member of the Portfolio (often called the Portfolio Club) in Indianapolis, an organization for artists and writers founded by T.C. Steele.

http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?products_id=84462

3 responses to “Small world

  1. Wonderful! In my book, I talk a bit about Kurt’s parent’s interest with the Arts & Crafts Movement. I blog about being Vonnegut’s biographer, if you’re interested at http://www.writingkurtvonnegut.com

    Best,
    Charles J. Shields
    And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life (Holt, November)

  2. Thanks for your meticulous research and fascinating connections.

    Rachel Perry

  3. Looking up a vintage art deco style painting/collage, (a fairy, painted with black on glass, over a background of milkweed silk and dried flowers) I was given, label in back of frame, “H. Lieber Co. Indianapolis.” Read about his store and the “Hoosier Group” of painters (T.C. Steele being one) on site of “The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis.” Search led me to your site. Again, T. C. Steele and you connect Lieber and Steele to Kurt Vonnegut !! Love the connections. Also, looked into the “Hoosier Group” artists and enjoyed the art. (And not to mention, my sister and her family live in New Palestine, IN. ) Did not find out anything about my painting, however.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s