University of Southern Indiana

About Us

The gallery features
  • rotating exhibitions 
  • educational programming for school children
  • co-sponsorship of a visiting artist program with 
    the University of Southern Indiana Art Department
  • specialized art tours of the gallery and Historic New Harmony
  • consignment space featuring works by more than 100 regional artists
  • conservation framing

A Brief History

The Gallery was founded in 1975 as part of Jane (Blaffer) Owen’s revitalization project of the town.


“Born out of the same optimism that allowed houses to move down streets to return to their original locations and reassemble where they had been built but were later deconstructed and scattered, New Harmony in 1975 was experiencing a renewal of the utopian dream that had inspired its founding. This parade of houses slowly rolling down Main Street that occurred in the fall of 1975 on the same day as the New Harmony Gallery opened and the first beams were raised for a “theatre” barn, (only New Harmony was likely to conceive of such a curious occurrence as building a barn for a theatre) is a phenomenon I see as related to New Harmony continual quest to find the “perfect place” to build a better world. The fact that opening contemporary art galleries, having fine dining restaurants, a boutique inn with original art decorating the rooms, gourmet food shops and independent bookstores in a small rural Hoosier outpost in between local banks, drugstores and oil rigs seemed natural, expected by its history, certainly not impossible if not likely.”
~John P. Begley


In 1985, the University of Southern Indiana assumed management of Historic New Harmony [NHGCA is part of Historic New Harmony], encouraging cultural and educational programs, while maintaining historic properties. Within the USI Foundation, the Historic New Harmony Advisory Board supports the mission of Historic New Harmony.


“Happily today the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art continues this search [for continuity and change], still offering artists a place to exhibit their vision for a new world. In the period that has transpired since that October day in 1975 change has been a constant in the evolution of the town, of Historic New Harmony and its residents, old and new. New players, both organizations and people have continued to explore and experiment in this search to be different, new and improved. New Harmony, while an historic site, has remained a living town, using its legacy but probing possibilities to re-invent itself.”
~John P. Begley

New Harmony Print Workshop
Conditional to John Begley’s acceptance to be NHGCA’s founding director, was the understanding that he would have the opportunity to establish an artist’s press. The NHPW was a utopian dream that lasted about 8 years. In that times, JP Begley worked with Numerous artists in that time including Richard Meier, the architect of the Atheneum (New Harmony’s visitor center).


“…forty years later the NHPW dream has become even more dreamlike, scattered and disassembled like old Rappite houses, residing mostly in the closed print drawers, forgotten portfolios and memories of the now scattered artists who came to a lithographic workshop at Tavern and Brewery Streets to escape from the world, to Utopia.”
~John P. Begley

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