Dolly Fiterman was one of the most renowned art collectors in Minnesota. She amassed a large personal collection of artwork, ran the Dolly Fiterman Fine Arts Gallery, and supported many local museums and collections. Her death in 2017 brought an end to her long-standing support of the arts in the Twin Cities.
Dolly was born in 1924 in Bejou, a small town in northwest Minnesota. She attended a business college in St Cloud, and then went on to study theater at the University of Minnesota. She worked at various jobs around the country in her 20’s, before accepting a position at Dayton’s in Minneapolis. She met and married Edward Fiterman, who was very successful in the financial field.
Once married, Dolly began taking studio art classes and buying artwork. She was especially interested in modern and contemporary art, and collected the work of esteemed artists such as Picasso, Warhol, Rosenquist, and Frank Stella. Yet she was also known for her support of local Minnesota artists. Her personal collection grew to over 1,000 works of art, and even included some African sculptures. In 1977 she decided to open her own gallery in Minneapolis, eventually located in the former Pillsbury Branch Library.
Dolly Fiterman achieved great success as a collector and dealer. She was also very generous in her support of local museums and university art collections, including: the Walker Art Center and its outdoor sculpture garden, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the University of St Thomas collection, and the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota. At the U of M, the “Dolly Fiterman Riverview Gallery” was named in her honor in recognition of her generous support. Dolly left behind a legacy of support for the arts in her native state of Minnesota.