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October 10, 2008

Modern American Regionalism

Filed under: Our Favorite Things — Lori Williamson @ 7:58 am

Often, my favorite things are our most recent acquisition. This is certainly the case this time. These three untitled watercolors by renowned Minnesota artist Mike Lynch (b. 1938) were just acquired in September of this year. Lynch’s realist painting style is rooted in American Regionalism of the 1920s and 30s. His subjects include the urban landscapes and small town streets painted at dusk or dawn. Completed in the mid-1980s, two of the paintings capture familiar scenes of St. Paul, and the third depicts the beach in Grand Marais. All three paintings represent Mike Lynch at his absolute best and we are thrilled to include them in Historical Society’s collection of more than 6,000 works of art.

This is the second important acquisition of Lynch’s work in recent years.  In 2002, Lynch completed a major commission for the Minnesota Percent for Art in Public Places Program. The ten-foot by eighteen-foot painting View of St. Paul from Indian Mounds Park is located in the Stassen Office Building in St. Paul. MHS acquired an archive of more that 50 items that document in detail the artist’s step-by-step process of its creation.

Mike Lynch was born in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1938. He studied painting and drawing with Birney Quick at the Grand Marais Art Colony and attended the Minneapolis College of Art. Over the past thirty years, Lynch has exhibited throughout Minnesota, including solo exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and group shows at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, Duluth Art Institute, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Lynch has been awarded artist fellowships from the McKnight and Bush Foundations, as well as the Minnesota State Arts Board.  In 2003, Lynch received the McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist Award.

Brian Szott, Curator of Art

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5 Responses to “Modern American Regionalism”

  1. Lori Williamson Says:

    Mike Lynch is completely amazing and these are some of his finest I’ve seen yet. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Chalmers Hardenbergh Says:

    I love the industrial landscapes! I wish the depiction of these had more information. At least the date and the subject. Maybe even a map of the location.

    And the website should direct me to type the captcha! I missed it the first time.

  3. Pete Mathison Says:

    Mr. Chalmers the last picture of the three. Is the former
    GTA Terminal Elevator that was located on Shepard Road. Was torned down many years. You could call CHS in Inner Grove
    Heights for more information.

    Bob Frame reply on November 10th, 2008:

    Although the huge GTA elevator bins on the left were demolished (I recorded them as part of the mitigation package), the smaller reinforced-concrete “head house” structure at center/right remains. There have been various plans for its restoration. Shepard Road has been moved to the west and the GTA elevator property is now occupied by large condominium structures.

    Mike Lynch also painted the historic Pioneer Steel Elevator complex in Minneapolis. It too was demolished in recent years. One of his Pioneer Steel Elevator paintings hangs in the lobby of the Mn/DOT Central Office building in the State Capitol Complex in St. Paul.

  4. scott Says:

    Are there any better quality photos of the first painting by Lynch?

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