“Commerce of Nations Rendering Homage to Liberty,” by Edward Moran.

Edward Moran’s massive Lady Liberty anchors MMAM unveiling


“Source of the Lison,” by Gustave Courbet.
“Source of the Lison,” by Gustave Courbet.

“Boats,” by Jane Peterson.
“Boats,” by Jane Peterson.

On the evening of Sunday, October 15, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) unveiled three paintings at a fundraising event. Anchoring the unveiling was a massive, eight-foot-tall rendition of the Statue of Liberty by Edward Moran. The other new paintings to MMAM’s collection include works by Gustave Courbet and Jane Peterson. The works by Moran and Courbet will be on view immediately while the Peterson will premier as part of an exhibition in 2018.

American landscape painter Edward Moran created the monumental “Commerce of Nations Rendering Homage to Liberty” in 1875, more than a decade before the statue was constructed in New York Harbor. He created the painting at the request of artist Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi whose statue was to be a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States. The painting was used to raise funds to complete the statue dedicated in 1886 that became a welcoming sight for millions of immigrants processed at nearby Ellis Island.

Gustave Courbet led the French Realism movement of the 19th century. Courbet rejected painting historic or religious scenes, choosing to paint the sights familiar to him as he did in the newly unveiled “Source of the Lison” (1864). The rocky cliffs of the River Lison were close to his childhood home and Courbet kept the painting until he died, passing it on to his sister. Courbet’s piece marks an important addition to MMAM’s European collection as he was a significant influence on artists on display in the museum such as Claude Monet, James McNeill Whistler and Paul Cézanne.

Jane Peterson’s “Boats” (Gloucester, c. 1917) features bright, lively color and fluid brushwork, and is an endearing image of boats at harbor in Gloucester, Mass. American artist Jane Peterson’s work is hard to put into a single category of art. Often characterized as an Impressionist, Fauvist or an Expressionist, Peterson had a love of the bold colors and loose brushstrokes exemplified in “Boats” (Gloucester).

Of the fundraiser event, MMAM Executive Director Nicole Chamberlain-Dupree thanked the museum donors, whose “support helps make this outstanding collection available to an ever-growing audience, including a great number of students from our region.” MMAM relies on donations, memberships, admissions and grants for its operating funds. MMAM Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Jon Swanson is excited for the additions to the museum’s collections. “All three of these paintings are welcome additions to the museum. The Courbet in particular is an important addition to our existing European collection,” Swanson said.


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