Dave Marshall did not grow up in privilege.
A preacher's kid, he endured "upper poverty" as his family moved every few years to church communities in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.
An art course he took in college inspired a lifelong love.
"This was just an explosion in my mind," Marshall recalled. "We started with the cave paintings and went right straight up to modern art."
After years as a professor of English in North Dakota and elsewhere, he is now enjoying his work as a docent at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, Minn.
The museum's collection includes more than 1,000 pieces of art from realists, impressionists and modernists. It also showcases works by local and regional artists, including Leo and Marilyn Smith, Gaylord Schanilec, Nick Wroblewski, Frederick Somers and others.
Marshall 77, knows a lot about art. But when it comes to art expertise, he defers to museum director Andrew Maus, 35.
Maus is excited about one of the museum's recent acquisitions, a smaller version of the famous painting that shows George Washington with his foot on the prow of a boat crossing the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War.
German painter Emanuel Leutze's 20-foot version hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. But he also painted the smaller work that hangs in the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.
Maus said Leutze gave the historic moment a bit of a rosy treatment, portraying the boat's occupants as well-clothed and fed when, in reality, Washington's revolutionaries were hungry and threadbare.
Leutze also may have tinkered with the makeup of the crew, adding an African-American, an American Indian and a woman in the boat.
Other notable paintings include African-American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner's "Summer at the Shore," painted in 1893, and Max Beckmann's, "Dutch Landscape with Bathers."
Although the super-rich are driving up prices for the limited supply of coveted works, Maus said focusing on the cost of acquiring art puts the emphasis in the wrong place.
What's important, he said, is the opportunity to appreciate an artist's craft and the story behind each work.
"There's a tremendous historical value to understanding the time and place that an object was made and the context for which it was made," Maus said.
Click on the audio to hear more about the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.