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Barbara Stahl collection

Identifier: L524

Scope and Contents

The Barbara Stahl collection is the first donation of abstract work by a female artist to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division. It comprises 6 cubic feet of material, including clippings, photographs, undergraduate artwork slides, wax paintings on wood panels, screen and intaglio prints, charcoal drawings and mud paintings completed in Caracol, Belize. Also included are exhibition posters, publications and newspaper clippings where Stahl and her work where featured.

"Consciousness Rising", one of six paintings from her Skybridge series, was purchased by the Indiana State Library Foundation in 2017.


  • 1987-2017


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote from the collection must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts. The publisher must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Barbara (Burnett) Stahl was born in Vincennes, Indiana and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1976. She attended Vincennes University where she "was memorable for her vigor and fluid creativity". She moved to Indianapolis in 1992 after finishing her MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania. There, she received an Advanced Studies in the Arts Scholarship and was in the last class to study with Neil Welliver, who is best known for his large-scale landscape paintings. While earning her BFA in painting from Indiana University in Bloomington, she received an Honors Division Research Grant to study in Florence, Italy. She was awarded Chancellor and Harry Engels Art Awards for excellence in her field.

In addition to being an accomplished fine artist, Stahl is the founder and owner of Stahl Studios Inc., which specializes in commercial and public art, through which she is best-known for the larger-than-life Indiana Pacers schedule wall near Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Her large-scale mural work always begins with a grid, enabling her to scale the original, smaller mural design to the massive size required for the wall. After many years, the concept of the grid has come to play an important part in her abstract fine art pieces. For Stahl, this grid represents the connectivity of all matter, including all of us.

Stahl was awarded a 2017 Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship through the Arts Council of Indianapolis. She continues to serve the Indianapolis and surrounding area as a professional muralist and fine artist.


Stahl Studios website:

"Coming Home-Painting by Barbara Stahl", Art Space Vincennes, LLC website:


6 Cubic Feet (1 half-size manuscript box, 1 large oversize box, 2 custom extra-large oversize boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Barbara Stahl on 2017/07/20; 2017/08/09; 2017/11/21; 2017/12/18 and 2018/01/10. The watercolor, "A Bavarian Fantasy" was donated by Aleta Burnett on 2018/01/10.


The repository continues to add materials to this collection on a regular basis.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2018/03/09 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid created 2018/03/20 by Bethany Fiechter.
Barbara Stahl collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.