The Portfolio is one of the oldest active social clubs in Indianapolis. It was founded in 1890 at the suggestion of Mrs. Mary Steele, wife of Hoosier Group artist T. C. Steele, who wanted to form a club of congenial spirits and practitioners of the various arts. The object of the Portfolio is to bring the various art interests in the community together, promote a spirit of comradeship and foster the appreciation of all the arts. Membership of the Portfolio included men and women on an equal basis, as well as couples, and many illustrious members of the Indianapolis art scene have been members. The annual Portfolio booklets not only serve as a roster of members and the club’s calendar of supper meetings and programs, but also exhibits the yearly cover artistry of a member.
This nearly complete collection of 120 annual booklets spans from the first 1890 issue to the present and provides a unique catalog of Indianapolis writers, artists, and intellectuals. In addition to Mary and T. C. Steele, other notable members include William Forsyth, Bernard and Kurt Vonnegut, Sr., Eliza G. Browning, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra founder Ferdinand Schaefer, and many more.
Made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.