The Tweed’s mansion was built in 1914. It boasts a Neo-Renaissance architectural style by Francis Fitzgerald, architect, and designed by Frederick W. Perkins. Originally, Captain Marcus L. Fay owned the dwelling before George P. Tweed purchased the property. George and his wife Alice lived there until 1950, prior to turning the home to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In 2017, the Duluth Preservation Alliance invited the public to tour the Tweed’s home. It was an opportunity for the community to catch a glimpse of this Duluth piece of history.
SOURCE OF THE TWEED’S WEALTH
George P. Tweed made his fortune as a banker and mining financier, which afforded the couple to purchase art. George and Alice Tweed began collecting art in their home, located at 2631 East 7th Street, Duluth, MN. In the 1920s and early 1930s, George P. Tweed and his wife Alice started collecting 19th and early 20th century European and American painting. Their collection included French Barbizon School and Impressionist influenced American Landscape painting. The Tweed frequently opened their home to private guests to entertain and to showcase their art collection.
After the death of Mr. Tweed in 1946, Mrs. Tweed saw the potential of the Tweed Collection as an educational resource for the community and the University. Alice Tweed continued to live in the second floor of the home. She moved out in 1953 to marry Dr. Edward L. Tuohy. After an extended European tour, the couple returned to Duluth in 1954. They arranged to turn the home over to the University of Minnesota-Duluth and move their residence to Santa Barbara, CA. Alice Tweed Tuohy generously developed the funding for the present building on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. It was dedicated in 1958. Until then, the university used the home as an art gallery and to house the university’s provosts.
In the early 50s, the Tweed Museum of Art started with a collection of about 475 artworks. The works were mainly American and European paintings. Today, the Tweed has a collection of over 11,000 artworks. It operates in a 33,000 square-foot facility with 15,000 square feet of exhibit space. Between 1965 and 2016, the museum has been renovated five times. This created more space to accommodate a growing collection.
A GROWING COLLECTION
The collection features 15th-21st-century European American and world art in all media. It includes artists of regional, national and international importance, including outstanding work by artists from the Upper Midwest and Minnesota. In 2007, the museum acquired the Richard E. and Dorothy Rawlings Nelson Collection of American Indian Art. In 2016, the museum closed for a period of six months. The closing led to the complete upgrade of its heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. The renovation helped improve air quality for visitors and humidity control to protect the artworks.
TWEED: A REGIONAL ART MUSEUM
The Tweed Museum of Art is a mid-sized regional museum. It is considered the largest fine art collecting institution, north of the Twin Cities. You will find it located in the Humanities building at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The museum is an admission-free institution thanks to the generous support of grantors and private donors. It is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays, and closed on Mondays and University holidays.
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