Hennepin painting recommended for removal from Capitol room

| February 26, 2016 | 0 Comments
“Father Hennepin Discovering the Falls of St. Anthony” by Douglas Volk, c. 1905. Courtesy the State of Minnesota

“Father Hennepin Discovering the Falls of St. Anthony” by Douglas Volk, c. 1905. Courtesy the State of Minnesota

A legislative committee has recommended the painting “Father Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony” in the Governor’s Reception Room in the Minnesota State Capitol be relocated to another part of the Capitol with “appropriate interpretation.”

The Subcommittee on Capitol Art submitted its preliminary report to the Minnesota State Capitol Preservation Commission Feb. 23 after studying the building’s current art. “Father Hennepin,” which shows explorer Father Louis Hennepin blessing St. Anthony Falls, was painted by Douglas Volk around 1905. It was flagged among controversial Capitol artworks because of its depiction of Native Americans.

In a Jan. 8 letter to the subcommittee co-chair Senator David Senjem (R-Rochester), Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, expressed opposition to the painting’s removal because it represents an important moment in the history of Christianity in the state.

“Although we oppose the removal of the painting from a place of prominence in the Capitol, we are open to solutions that reasonably address the legitimate concerns of some of those who do not like the painting’s continued residence within the Governor’s Reception Room,” Adkins wrote. “Such alternatives could include better resources to contextualize the art, or slight modifications to the original artwork; even a new painting depicting the same historical moment could be installed as an alternative.”

Related

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Local News