Minnesota Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Minnesota Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

TFAO welcomes volunteers to further the broadening of knowledge related to this topic. To learn more about TFAO's many volunteer opportunities please click here. Volunteers are welcome to contribute suggestions for additional content in this catalogue. Please see Catalogue and database management for details.


Resource Library essays listed by author name in alphabetical order, followed by articles:

"Minnesota Painters" from Noble Dreams & Simple Pleasures: American Masterworks from Minnesota Collections; text by Sue Canterbury

An Artist's Paradise: Minnesota Landscapes 1840-1940

We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information. As of April, 2015 Resource Library contains 309 pages including the state's name.


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

American Society of Classical Realism

Atelier du Nord: A School of Classical Realism

Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art

Bell Museum of Natural History

Bougie Studio

Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota

Hennepin County Historical Society

Hillstrom Museum of Art

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Minnesota Museum of American Art

Tweed Museum of Art

Walker Art Center


(above: Entrance, Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, University of Minnesota. Photo: John Hazeltine. © 2012 John Hazeltine)


Other online information:

Artists from Minnesota in Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Minnesota (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

MniSota: Reflections of Time and Place, an exhibit held May 29 through August 26, 2012 at the Tweed Museum of Art. Includes artist biographies. Accessed April, 2015.

"Minnesota Painters of Norwegian Background, 1870-1970" by Marion J. Nelson, 2000, Vol 57, Isssue 2, Minnesota History Magazine, pp 74-85 (.pdf download). Accessed August, 2015.

Minnesota Historical Society Paintings, Online video episode #230. from MN Original Accessed May, 2015.


TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

Minnesota Prints and Printmakers, 1900-1945, By Robert L. Crump. 194 pages. Published by Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2009. ISBN 0873516354, 9780873516358. Google Books says: Prior to World War I, printmaking in the United States was, with a few exceptions, primarily the domain of commercial enterprises that produced largely picturesque European scenes or depictions of popular towns on the East Coast. Prints of Minnesota scenes, especially by Minnesota artists, formed a very small part of American art exhibits. Robert Crump relates the fascinating story of Minnesota's graphic arts world and its growth from provincialism to part of a national movement, showing how art printing--etchings, woodcuts, lithographs, drypoints, monotypes, and silk screens--blossomed after the turn of the last century. He chronicles the support of the federal government during the 1930s and the important role played by local organizations such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Minneapolis School of Art (now the Minneapolis College of Art and Design). Minnesota Prints and Printmakers offers short biographies of and sample prints by nearly two hundred printmakers, including Wanda Gag, Adolf Dehn, George Resler, Miriam Ibling, Syd Fossum, Gilbert Fletcher, and Gustav Goetsch. Crump's eye for memorable images makes the handsome volume a pleasure to behold for collectors and readers interested in Minnesota art. Notes on printing techniques and several appendixes help newcomers appreciate the challenges of printmaking. Robert L. Crump is a print collector and former superintendent of the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition. He has been a designer and an art director for companies in Minneapols and the Midwest.

Minnesota Impressionists by Rena Neumann Coen. 96 pages. Publisher: Afton Historical Society Press; 1st edition (October 1996). ISBN-10: 0963933868. ISBN-13: 978-0963933867. Product Description: "AN UNEXPLORED CHAPTER in American art is treated with eloquence in this beautiful book. The period covered is pre-1940. Twenty-seven artists including Nicholas Brewer, Elizabeth Chant, and Alexis Jean Fournier and their paintings are addressed in separate essays, arranged alphabetically for easy reference." (text courtesy of Amazon.com)

Minnesota 1900: Art and Life on the Upper Mississippi, 1890-1915, By Michael Conforti. Published by University of Delaware Press, 1994, ISBN 0874135605, 9780874135602. 333 pages. Google Books says: "This work examines advances in architecture, design, and painting in a region now recognized for its contribution to the Arts and Crafts and Prairie School movements. The work of many well-known American artists is featured, including the architects Cass Gilbert, Harvey Ellis, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Purcell and Elmslie, ceramicist Ernest Batchelder, and the painters Homer Dodge Martin and Alexander Fournier.."

Monumental Minnesota: A Guide to Outdoor Sculpture, By Moira F. Harris. Published by Pogo Press, 1992. ISBN 096177679X, 9780961776794. 146 pages

Their Splendid Legacy: The First 100 Years of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, By Jeffrey A. Hess. Published by The Society, 1985. ISBN 0912964170, 9780912964171. 101 pages

Painting and Sculpture in Minnesota, 1820-1914, By Rena Neumann Coen, University of Minnesota University Gallery. Published by Published by the University of Minnesota Press for the University Gallery of the University of Minnesota, 1976. ISBN 0816607710, 9780816607716. 146 pages. "Also serves as a catalogue for one of the components of the University Gallery's major Bicentennial exhibition, The art and architecture of Minnesota." Source: Google Books

Accomplishments: Minnesota art projects in the depression years: essay and catalog, by Nancy A Johnson. Publisher: Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota, Duluth (1976).

A Century of Art and Architecture in Minnesota, By Donald R. Torbert. Published by University of Minnesota Press, 1958. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Jan 22, 2007. 62 pages

History of the Arts in Minnesota, by Grace Lee Nute, Donald R. Torbert John K. Sherman. 62 pages. Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (1958).

History of Minneapolis: Gateway to the Northwest, By Marion Daniel Shutter, Published by The S.J. Clarke publishing company, 1932. Original from the University of Virginia. Digitized Jan 16, 2008

A Half Century of Minneapolis, By Horace Bushnell Hudson. Published by Hudson Pub. Co., 1908. Original from Harvard University. Digitized Feb 1, 2008. 569 pages. Full View available via Google Books.

History of the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota, By Isaac Atwater, Published by Munsell, 1893. Item notes: v.2. Original from Harvard University. Digitized Sep 15, 2006. 1021 pages. Full View available via Google Books.




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