Marine artwork attracts visitors to Winona’s art museum

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Michaela Gaffke / Winonan

From now until November, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum will be displaying contemporary and historic marine artwork, as it celebrates “150 Years of Marine Art.”

The work includes European, Canadian and American marine art of seascapes, harbors, ports, river scenes and portraits of a variety of steam and sail powered ships. The pieces currently on display range in time from 1850 to 2000, and are either oil or watercolor paintings.

Barb Whitney and Cindy McDonnell traveled from the Twin Cities with friends to the exhibit. McDonnell is an artist who chose to come to the museum for her birthday.

“There’s such intense detail,” Whitney said, commenting on “Robert E. Lee Leaving New Orleans,” a piece by Roy Cross in 1870.

“Three Schooners at Anchor, Gloucester,” a painting by Winslow Homer, which was painted in 1880, is one of the many paintings on display. Accompanied with the art is a plaque with a brief history. Homer is considered to be one of the most prominent figures in American art.

Canadian artist Randolph Parker’s work “Up and Away” from 2012 is displayed as well. He creates panoramic vistas inspired by the Canadian landscape.

“Under Easy Canvas Clipper Ship ‘Wild Ranger’” by Montague Dawson is another one of the featured pieces. The Wild Ranger was built in 1853 and was a fast clipper ship. Dawson had been a naval officer assigned to painting battle scenes in WWI and naval scenes in WWII.

John Steven Dews, a British artist, has his work on display, titled “Shamrock V.” “Shamrock V” was the last of racing yachts built for Sir Thomas Lipton, a tea magnate. He raced the yacht in America’s cup in 1930, but lost.

Artist Terry Bailey’s 1941 oil on canvas piece “Magic and Cambria,” is another piece of art on display. It depicts the 1870 American cup race between members of the New York Yacht Club.

“I’m absolutely blown away,” McDonnell said about the display.

Artist Don Demers’ oil on canvas work, “After the Transfer, New York Pilot Schooner ‘Joseph Pulitzer’” is also displayed. The water is extremely realistic and draws eyes closer in to see that it is not a photograph.

Along with these paintings, six more are on display in the exhibit. The Marine Art Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Student tickets cost $3 but are free on Tuesdays. Adult tickets cost $7. Guided tours are also offered.

The Marine Art Museum strives to engage visitors in art through exhibits and education that explores the human relationship with water in the past and present. The Museum is home to one of the most unique and historical collections of marine art in the Midwest. Not only is marine art displayed, but also many other works by artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet.

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