Swope Art Museum is an Italian Renaissance-style building situated on South Seventh Street in downtown Terre Haute, Indiana. It aims at collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the best of American art. The museum, stylishly decorated in grays, golds, reds, and greens, has an outstanding collection of l9th- and 20th-century art emphasizing works by Wabash Valley artists.
The museum was built to honor Terre Haute jeweler Sheldon Swope (1843-1929), who left his fortune to establish an art gallery in his adopted hometown. The second floor of the Swope Block, a commercial building erected by Swope, was emptied in 1901.
Ten years after his death, planning commenced for the new gallery and collection, to be housed at the building. In 1942, the Swope Block was rebuilt as a modern exhibition space in streamlined Art Deco style.
The museum showcases major works by hundreds of significant American artists, including Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Andy Warhol, and Paul Manship. It also exhibits works by “Hoosier School” artists, such as T.C. Steele and William Merritt Chase, who made Indiana one of the country’s liveliest regional art centers in the early 1900s.