Iconic painting makes its way from the White House to Winona
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - A Winona museum is now in possession of one of the most recognizable paintings in American history.
This painting spent the last several decades hanging in the West Wing of the White House before coming to Winona, the museum said on its Facebook page.
"I can't even describe the excitement to bring something that substantial to our audience here in Winona," said Andrew Maus, the museum's executive director, according to a report by MPR News. "We've unveiled a lot of really great things, but this takes the cake."
German-American artist Emanuel Leutze painted several identical versions of the masterpiece during the middle part of the 19th century. The painting in Winona is about a quarter of the size of its larger counterpart, which is owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
A third version of the painting was destroyed during World War II when a British warplane accidentally attacked a German art museum.
"The painting is smaller than the one at the Met, but it has the same presence," said museum benefactor Bob Kierlin, according to a report by the Winona Daily News. "George Washington looks so determined; the water is so icy and it’s Christmas night. But you see right there in the picture that it’s a turning point in the Revolutionary War.”
Kierlin and his wife, Mary Burrichter, purchased the panting for an undisclosed amount of money. Kierlin is the founder of Fastenal, a Minnesota-based hardware supplier. The company is worth about $15 billion, according to Bloomberg Business.
The Minnesota Marine Art Museum, which opened in 2006, also features masterpieces from the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet.
Click here for the museum's hours and costs of admission.
(Cover graphic: Minnesota Marine Art Museum)