“Reconciling History: Views on Two Minnesota Paintings,” Opening Aug. 11, 2017

For immediate release

Release dated: 
August 2, 2017
Media contacts: 

Lauren Peck, 651-259-3137, lauren.peck@mnhs.org
Jessica Kohen, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

“Reconciling History: Views on Two Minnesota Paintings,” Opening Aug. 11, 2017

(UPDATED Aug. 2, 2017) Two paintings that once hung in the Governor’s Reception Room, “Father Hennepin Discovering the Falls of St. Anthony” and “The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux,” are moving to newly created exhibit space on the third floor of the renovated Capitol where expanded interpretation can be provided.

The new exhibit “Reconciling History: Views on Two Minnesota Paintings,” opening Aug. 11, 2017, focuses on multiple perspectives on the paintings and on their history, meaning and context within the Capitol.

Visitors will be able to see the paintings up close and explore interpretive panels that feature biographical information about the artists, a description of each artwork, and multiple current perspectives on the pieces. The exhibit was developed by conducting video interviews with historians, Western art experts, Ojibwe and Dakota community members and settler descendants. Transcribed excerpts from the interviews will be featured in the exhibit, and edited video interviews will be accessible online at www.mnhs.org/capitol by the Grand Opening weekend.

Media can preview the videos here:

The renovation of the Minnesota State Capitol provided an opportunity to address issues relating to the Capitol’s extensive artwork and conservation—specifically, its historical significance and how it reflects who we are as Minnesotans. Following public input, decisions were made in December 2016 to relocate these two paintings from the Governor’s Reception Room to another location in the Capitol where they could be better interpreted.

Another painting “Attack on New Ulm” was removed from display. This fall, visitors can see "Attack on New Ulm: One Painting, Many Perspectives" on exhibit at the James J. Hill House art gallery, Sept. 16, 2017-Jan. 18, 2018. The painting will be supported by additional historical context and multiple interpretations, and visitors will be asked to share their own thoughts about its meaning.

The painting “The 8th Minnesota Infantry (Mounted) in the Battle of Ta-Ha-Kouty” was also removed from the Capitol. It is not currently on exhibit.

About the Minnesota Historical Society
The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history. Visit us at www.mnhs.org.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.