Pioneer Painters of Indiana digital collection features items from the Wilbur D. Peat Research Papers, 1878-1958 part of the Indianapolis Museum of Art Archives . The collection contains research materials for Peat’s book Pioneer Painters of Indiana, including notes and index cards on Indiana artists and collectors, article clippings, bibliographies, exhibition catalogs, photographs of artworks, and correspondence with art collectors, curators and artists’ families. While the book covers roughly one hundred years of Indiana’s art history through 1885, Peat’s extensive research papers cover additional artists and extended years beyond the book’s final content. Peat served as director of the John Herron Art Museum (now the Indianapolis Museum of Art) for 36 years from 1929-1965 and was one of the first historians to research and publish about Indiana Art. In addition to his numerous articles and books on art and architecture, Peat was also an artist himself, gave frequent lectures, and taught numerous classes and workshops.
Founded in 1883, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is among the 10 largest and 10 oldest general art museums in the nation. With an encyclopedic collection of more than 54,000 works spanning 5,000 years, the IMA offers significant holdings of African, American, Asian, European and contemporary art, textiles and fashion art, as well as a growing collection of design arts.