Minnesota has a long history of paintings that tell the story of the land and its people. According to Brian Szott, curator of art at the Minnesota Historical Society, it’s one of the most accessible ways to learn about the past, the locale, and the history of where one lives.

In the basement of the Minnesota History Center are over 6,000 paintings, prints, and drawings, either by Minnesota artists or of Minnesota scenes, dating from pre-statehood to the present. Szott shows us highlights from early Seth Eastman works (1860’s) through the 1940′s. The collection also includes a large number of paintings from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which employed a number of well established and younger artists to paint the scenes of daily life in Minnesota in the 1930′s and 1940′s.

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MNHS Art Collection