A group of historians will attend a special art opening July 27 at Madden’s Resort’s Stable Gallery to view paintings that tie Brainerd’s Upper Mississippi River to the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
The event, the 210ths Anniversary Art Show, is free to the public. The oil paintings entitled “Our French/Indian Key to the Louisianan Purchase” by Robert Perrizo are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, July 27 through Aug. 23.
In a gallery of more than 40 original oils, the artist traces the Louisiana Purchase to Minnesota origins from 1660 to 1803. Of particular interest to Minnesota’s lake region views is the fact early explorer Pierre LeSueur probably made the northernmost claim for France on the Mississippi on Crow Wing Island in 1695.
Perrizo’s research into his paintings also gives credit to the early Dakota and Ojibwe Indians who provided much of the guiding service for the French and helped make those claims possible. Other works deal with early Minnesota events that shaped world perception of the unknown lands beyond the Mississippi, such as Father Hennepin’s 1683 European best-selling book that told of his travels with the Dakota Indians in this region .... the 100-year war between the Dakota and the Ojibwe preceding the Purchase ... the arrival of the horse on the prairies beyond the Mississippi in the 1740s ... and more.
Prominent Brainerd native and history booster Jack Mehaffey will serve as moderator for the pre-show gathering of historians at 2 p.m., July 27, at the lower level of Madden’s Town Hall adjacent to the Stable Gallery.