Minnesota Marine Art Museum officials unveiled a big addition Sunday - a painting by Vincent Van Gogh. "The Beach of Scheveningen," an oil painting the world-famous artist completed in 1882, was one of five new works revealed at an invitation-only event for museum supporters.
The paintings are on loan from the collection of Bob Kierlin and his wife, Mary Burrichter.
The Van Gogh further bolsters a collection already featuring works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro, and gives people another reason to visit and support the museum, officials said.
"A lot of people who don't know golf know Tiger Woods," said Jon Swanson, the museum's curator of collections and exhibits. "A lot of people who don't know basketball know Michael Jordan. We have something here that's going to draw people in. You can't get any better than Van Gogh."
Museum officials did not reveal many details about the new paintings before Sunday. They included the names of four of the artists in invitations but only said the fifth artist would rival Monet and Renoir. That curiosity spurred about 80 people to RSVP for the fundraising event, and drove most discussions as attendees waited for the black cloths covering the five works to be removed.
The suspense grew as the other four works were revealed. Frederic Edwin Church's "Autumn." Thomas Moran's "Near Southampton." Winslow Homer's "Winding Line." John Singer Sargent's "Landscape with Trees, near Calcot on River Thames."
Kierlin and Burrichter bought the four paintings in November, adding to their personal collection of about 340 works, in addition to about 120 the couple has donated to the museum.
Each unveiling Sunday prompted "ooh's" and applause.