Iconic painting of American history now hangs at Winona museum

Author:
Updated:
Original:

One of the most iconic images in American history is joining the Minnesota Marine Art Museum's permanent collection.

"I can't even describe the excitement to bring something that substantial to our audience here in Winona," MMAM Executive Director Andrew Maus told MPR News. "We've unveiled a lot of really great things, but this takes the cake."

It's the painting that has been republished in history books as a symbol of the American Revolution – George Washington leading Continental army soldiers across the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776.

German artist Emanuel Leutze painted several versions of "Washington Crossing the Delaware" – the first was destroyed in a fire, so he simultaneously painted two new versions, which were both completed in 1851, the MMAM said on Facebook.

One is large – 21 feet wide – and hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where it is one of the most visited works, the Winona Daily News reports.

The smaller version has spent the last several decades on the wall in the West Wing of the White House, but now finds its permanent home in the American Gallery at the MMAM in Winona.

MMAM founders Mary Burrichter and her husband Bob Kierlin purchased the painting from a private collector, who for the past 35 years had loaned it to the White House, the Star Tribune reports. The museum declined to say what the painting cost.

Leutze, a German artist, painted "Washington Crossing the Delaware" to inspire German reformers, the National Endowment for the Humanities notes. Leutze's painting isn't historically accurate, but what has become a symbolic image of the American Revolution embodies the spirit of that cold Christmas night, which was his intention.

He painted the smaller version as a composition study before starting on the giant masterpiece – a common practice for artists. Collection adviser John Driscoll told the Winona Daily News the smaller painting always ends up looking neater, with more intricate brush strokes.

The painting is expected to draw many visitors to the museum, the Winona Daily News notes.

Other paintings unveiled at the weekend event include: “The Thrilling Moment” by John George Brown, “The Parlor on Brooklyn Heights” by Edward Lamson Henry, “On the Beach” by Julius LeBlanc Stewart, “Water Lilies” by Edward Henry Potthast, and “Summer at the Shore” by Henry Ossawa Tanner, the newspaper says.

Next Up

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Watch: Gopher alums Antoine Winfield Jr., Tyler Johnson make key plays in Bucs' playoff win

The Minnesota greats had a pair of highlights as Tampa Bay advanced to the NFC Championship.

Er-hgw7XYAQup5n

Crews respond to fire at Gertens in Inver Grove Heights

It's reported that a greenhouse on the grounds was on fire.

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.

police tape

Authorities ID man fatally struck by 'errant bullet' in Willmar

The man was working in his garage when he was fatally shot.

ambulance

1 dead, 1 critically injured in head-on crash on Highway 169

The State Patrol says driving impaired may have been a factor in the crash.

Richard Pitino

Gophers game against Nebraska postponed due to COVID outbreak

The Cornhuskers have had 12 members of its team test positive for COVID-19.

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Related

Financial conflict halts construction on Minnesota's African American Museum

A mansion renovation in Minneapolis that will be the home of Minnesota's only African American museum came to halt after construction workers walked off the job. KSTP reports the state-issued bond to fund the work fell through after the mansion's mortgage lender would not comply with the requirements of the bond.

Minnesota Museum of American Art finds new space in St. Paul

Since losing its previous home three years ago, the Minnesota Museum of American Art has been "without walls." But a diet of traveling exhibits only leaves audiences hungry to know where they can find the collection. Now they'll be directed to the Pioneer-Endicott Buildings in downtown St. Paul.