On Sunday evening, October 2, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) unveiled three major new works in front of a large crowd of the Museum’s most generous supporters. These paintings will find their home in the Museum’s growing collection of American and European masters and will be available for public viewing on Tuesday, October 4.
The first of these new acquisitions is a rare oil painting by American ornithologist, naturalist and painter John James Audubon (1785–1851) (bottom left). Audubon, known for his monumental publication The Birds of America, completed a few oil paintings as a way to promote subscriptions to his book. As the symbolic emblem of the United States, White-Headed Eagle is an iconic Audubon masterpiece.
Arles, the Arena before the Rhone II (1960) (bottom middle), the second painting by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) to join MMAM’s collections, is the final in a series of five paintings he did of the bullfighting arena. Picasso captures the buzz of the crowd through vivid color and expressive lines while downplaying the long-contested sport of bullfighting. Perhaps the best known artist of the 20th-century and renowned for his revolutionary artistic ideas, the MMAM is thrilled to have another Picasso to share with its visitors.
The acquisition Spring on the Hori Overlooking Steckborn (1946) (bottom right) by Otto Dix (1891–1969) is a departure from the often dark and challenging images of war and its effects for which for which he is known. Painted right after World War II came to an end, Spring on the Hori is a pastoral landscape depicting a scene near Steckborn, Switzerland and is a reflection of Dix’s exhilaration that the war and his exile have come to an end.
MMAM Director Nicole Chamberlain-Dupree stated, “These newest additions continue to grow MMAM’s collections and our reputation for housing one of the finest collections of American and European paintings in the Midwest. New and regular visitors to the museum will be surprised and excited to see these new paintings. We thank the collecting partners for continuing to build such an impressive collection and the great community of MMAM advocates whose support allows the museum to house, exhibit, and provide education on such great works inspired by water.”