Move of Lutz paintings to Armory part of Guard’s D-Day observance
Paintings by a well-known mid-century artist kept in the basement of a Stillwater building will go on display next week at the Stillwater Armory.
The Minnesota National Guard marks the D-Day anniversary Thursday with a ceremony at the Armory transferring Jo Lutz Rollins paintings from the Stillwater American Legion Post No. 48 to the Washington County Historical Society for display at the Armory.
The event is 11 a.m. to noon at the Armory and will recognize local veterans, according to Second Lt. Melanie Nelson, Guard public affairs officer.
The Lutz paintings were found about a year ago hanging in the Legion Post basement. The discovery came as post officials were cleaning the little-used basement.
WCHS Executive Director Brent Peterson said the paintings depict scenes from 20th century wars fought by U.S. Troops.
“They were commissioned. There were two sets commissioned after the Korean War,” Peterson said. “The first set depict action shots from World War I, World War II and Korea. The next set were done for Vietnam.”
Peterson, who saw the paintings after they were found, said Lutz did her work in oil on wood.
“They’re painted on board. It’s almost like plywood,” Peterson said. “Some of them are six or seven panels. There are eight or nine, maybe 10 (panels). Some are fairly heavy.”
Peterson said Lutz enjoyed a long career as a painter and art instructor in Stillwater.
“In Stillwater around 1934 to 1950, there were University of Minnesota classes called the Art Colony,” Peterson said. “Jo Lutz was an (Art Colony) instructor. The Art Colony had artists come in every summer. It’s final year was 1950. Jo Lutz Rollins continued to paint into her 90s.”
Peterson said because the murals were in the Legion Post basement they are in relatively good condition.
“They’re not in bad condition. Some of them are banged up,” he said.
Peterson’s one concern is how the murals will be removed from the Legion Post basement walls without damage.
“There were three or four on the wall and they’re trying to figure out how to get them off the wall. I’m not sure how they’re getting them off the wall,” he said.
If You Go
Minnesota National Guard ceremony commemorating D-Day and transferring Jo Lutz Rollins art from the Stillwater American Legion Post No. 48 to the Stillwater Armory.
11 a.m. to noon June 6
Paintings by Jo Lutz depicting scenes from World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War will be moved from Stillwater American Legion Post No. 48 to the Stillwater Armory Thursday as part of the Minnesota National Guard’s D-Day commemoration. (Photo courtesy Minnesota National Guard)