Published on : Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Ashley for the Arts will recognize Bob Kierlin and Mary Burrichter with their prestigious “Patron of the Arts” award on Friday, August 13, on the main stage, before Kip Moore’s performance at 8:00 PM. The Patron of the Arts award was created to recognize an individual(s) or organization who have demonstrated extraordinary support for the arts.
Bob and Mary have made significant philanthropic contributions in the arts area. In 2005, they co-founded the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, Minnesota. The Burrichter/Kierlin collection is on loan to the museum and includes works by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Mary Cassatt and Robert Duncanson. Also included are works by local artists Leo and Marilyn Smith. Perhaps most famous in the collection is the 1851 oil painting by Emanuel Leutze of “Washington Crossing the Delaware”.
When asked about how the couple began their passion for fine art, Burrichter explained “we had a house with a large, white wall. We purchased a marine painting for that space and we were hooked! We have loved the hunt and discovery of fine art ever since.” The Minnesota Marine Art Museum was created from this passion for art. “We have always enjoyed paintings with water. You will see each painting has an element of water in it to tie back to the theme of the museum.” This jewel box of a museum, with its six galleries, has provided the city of Winona and the entire area the joy and discovery of fine art. It has become a destination point for travelers.
“I want to do something worthwhile for the people in this area, because I love the area,” Kierlin said. “I work to see that other people have the same opportunities I had. Now, I’m working to foster economic development in this area, which has been very important to me, ” he concluded.