Blue Earth County Historical Society has been collecting, preserving and presenting the history of the county since 1901. Its museum houses an art collection of more than 300 objects created by painters who lived in the 19th Century as well as contemporary artists.
The Society is offering a peek into its collection during a show in the Heritage Center Art Gallery through March. The exhibit highlights the people, places and events that have shaped Blue Earth County. The exhibit includes a diverse group of paintings, photographs, drawings and prints, including BECHS' showpiece treasures and several works by local talent.
Over the years, the Society's fine art collections have grown significantly. The exhibit emphasizes this growth while highlighting new additions to collection as well as favorite pieces.
The Heritage Center gallery is open to the public during regular hours, which have recently expanded (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays).
BECHS operates two facilities in Mankato: The Heritage Center, located at 415 Cherry Street, is open year-round and houses exhibit space, a research center and a gift shop. The historic R.D. Hubbard House is open seasonally, May through September.
Artists represented include John Willard, who was a captain of industry in Mankato during the late 1800s, and A. R. Hall, who worked at the G. E. Keene Photography Studio.
Landscapes include "Minneopa Falls: 1953," painted by John Turner, who was a display manager for Brett's.
Several works by Emma Miller are featured, including paintings of Hubbard Milling Company and North Front Street created during the 1950s.
F.A. Rinehart's portrait of Good Eagle, painted in 1901, was displayed in the Saulpaugh Hotel. An 1851 view of the pioneer town of Mankato, by A.A. Anderson, once hung in the office of Herman W. Miller, who was president of Miller Motors.
One of the highlights of the show is Gilbert Fletcher's "Ship & Whirlpool, 1920s." Fletcher was a printmaker who also is represented in the Metropolitan Museum's permanent collection.
Examples of wood burning art, needlework and a wreath made from human hair. Hair art was used for a variety of functions from recording family history to tokens of affection.
If you go What BECHS art exhibit "Art and Artists of Blue Earth County" Where Heritage Center Art Gallery, 415 Cherry St. More info Gallery is open to the public during regular hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdaya. No admission fee to gallery; museum and research center general admission is $5 for adults and $2 for ages five to 17.