A famous painting recently housed in a Winona, Minnesota gallery is headed to auction at Christie's in New York, where it's expected to sell for between $15 million and $20 million.
Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze is considered one of the most important American paintings to ever hang in the White House, according to Christie's. The 1851 painting will go for sale at Christie's 20th Century Evening Sale on May 12.
According to Barron's, the piece sold privately to the founders of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in 2014 and was displayed at the museum in Winona until last month. The museum opened in 2006 with the initial collection provided by Mary Burrichter and her husband, Bob Kierlin.
Devin Henry, a deputy communications director with the State of Minnesota's COVID-19 response, pointed out the Minnesota connection to the famous artwork on Twitter.
Leutze began painting the first version of Washington Crossing the Delaware in 1849 — 73 years after the Revolutionary War battle depicted in the artwork.
Leutze produced three known versions of the composition, according to Christie's. The first was destroyed by an air raid during the World War II, the second is displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the third is the version offered at Christie's.
"Today, Washington Crossing the Delaware remains as relevant in America as when it debuted," Christie's writes. "Exhibited in such renowned institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institutions in Washington D.C., the present version comes with notable exhibition history underscored by its tenure in the White House, where it hung from the Nixon and Carter administrations through President Obama’s first term."