Rourke Art Museum 


Now that we are faced with darker, shorter days and soon-to-be-dropping temperatures, I have started looking for things to do that keep me inside. Summers in Minnesota are meant to be lived outside and I save anything indoors for the chillier months. With that, I found the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead to keep me warm and cultured.

Affectionately referred to as “Rourke” and established in June of 1960, the museum was founded as an art gallery by James O’Rourke. The Rourke Art Museum has been a mainstay in the the Moorhead-Fargo area for more than 50 years. Housed in the historic 1913 Federal Courthouse building, designed by federal architect Oscar Wenteroth as the Moorhead Federal Post Office. The building opened to the public in 1915, and served as the Post Office until 1960, when it became the Moorhead City Office Building. Since 1966, it has been home to the Red River Art Center, the Plains Art Museum and now the Rourke Art Gallery Museum. The neoclassical building,  with original architectural details like the exterior front columned portico and an interior marble staircase, is the last remaining majestic building in downtown Moorhead from its early history.

The Rourke has been been community art institution with many of the region’s most celebrated artists represented in its exhibits. The Museum’s permanent collection of more than 4,000 art works.Temporary exhibitions at the Museum and its sister entity, the Rourke Art Gallery in Moorhead, showcase work by local and regional artists.

Fun fact; there is a buffalo sculpture on its steps that is painted to look like Vincent Van Gogh, a bandage around his ear and all!

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