Richard Rock

About the Artist

History is my passion. Painting is the means of fulfilling it.

Many of my summers of the last 30 years were spent interpreting 19th century American history as a seasonal interpreter for the Minnesota Historical Society and the National Park Service. Dressed in costume as a period artist, utilizing my “period” portfolio of historical landscapes, figures, and artifacts, I interpreted early 19th century American history and demonstrated the use of reproduction painting materials utilizing my atelier and landscape training.

Irresistibly drawn to historical subjects, I enjoy showcasing them in attractive compositions that will both please and inform the viewer. My artifact and interior paintings, depicted from life in museum galleries, were originally painted to help develop visual memory, but I came to paint them for the sheer pleasure of it and for the connections they provided to the past. It was a means to “paint history from life”. My landscape studies keep me in touch with the appearance of life.

Currently, I am researching and painting a series of historical landscapes of Minneapolis and its environs, ca 1800-1860, concentrating on scenes of the old Fort Snelling Military Reservation, where I find the most activity and documentation for that era. Since 2013, I have researched extensively in the archives of both state and county libraries, studying narratives, texts, treatises and topographical maps that will help document the appearance, topography and activities of the era. Dozens of trips were made, period maps in hand, to investigate and visually reconstruct landscapes of historic sites. Much of my time is spent wearing an “historian’s hat” as well as that of a landscape painter.

My fascination with history does not quit. There is no stopping it. This is why I paint.

Art Education

1998-2002 Hurinenko and Paquet Studio, St. Paul MN
1993-94 The Bougie Studio, Minneapolis, MN
1988-93 Atelier LeSueur, Excelsior, MN

Solo Exhibitions

2011 Coldwater Creek, Picturing History II, Maple Grove, MN
2011 Red Wing Art Assn, Picturing History II, Red Wing, MN
2010 Northfield Arts Guild, Picturing History II, Northfield, MN

2008 Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Picturing History: Paintings and Studies of Art, Artifacts and Architecture from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Site Design and Photos 2008-2020 Richard F. Rock