Washington Street, Indianapolis at Dusk

Theodor Groll (German, 1857-1913)

Not Currently on View
Image Licensing

This cityscape features the State House, the brilliantly lighted Park Theatre, and Washington Street's bustling commercial life. The tower of the old Marion County Courthouse can be seen in the distance.

Groll, a German artist, came to judge the German paintings at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and also spent time visiting relatives here.

A Visit to Indianapolis

Theodor Groll was a noted landscapist and architectural painter in Düsseldorf, Germany. He was well known in his own time and he exhibited widely in Germany. Groll made a three-year visit to the United States, beginning in 1892. He judged the German entries at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. During his American sojourn, Groll visited his Lieber family relatives in Indianapolis. Frederick Herman Lieber's sister, Laura, had married Groll's father in 1923. Lieber had founded the most important art gallery in the city and was an early patron of Indiana's most famous artist, T.C. Steele.

Groll's magnificent view of Washington Street was completed in Germany, presumably from sketches and photographs he took during his Indianapolis visit. The painting shows the Statehouse at the left and the Park Theatre in the center illuminated by gaslight and electricity with hansom cabs queued up in front. To the right is a dramatically receding vista of the skyline of the city with the tower of the old Marion County Courthouse in the far distance. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument does not appear in the picture as it was under construction at the time. At the center of the painting, the Blake Street trolley is hailed by a bearded gentleman, Jacob Metzger, Frederick Lieber's brother-in-law. The painting was unknown until a German art dealer consigned it to auction at Sotheby's London in 1972. It was acquired by the Indianapolis Museum of Art that year through the generous gift of Eli Lilly and Ruth Lilly, who chose to be identified as “A Couple of Old Hoosiers.”

The best source for further information on Theodor Groll is the artist's file in the IMA library.

The artist;
(Edgar Jetter, Verden, Germany);
sold through (Ben Weinref Ltd. and Sotheby's, London, England) on 8 November 1972, lot 95;
purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana in 1972 (72.133).

Object Information

Theodor Groll (German, 1857-1913)
creation date
oil on canvas
76 x 98-1/2 in. (canvas)
87-7/8 x 107 x 4 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
Gift of a Couple of Old Hoosiers
Public Domain
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945

You May Also Like