The majority of the artwork throughout the Governor's Residence changes with each administration. The artwork currently on display was selected by the Governor and represents a wide range of Minnesota artists. The artwork is on loan from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Minnesota Historical Society. Governor Dayton has also graciously added several pieces from his personal collection.
The home's permanent collection features five portraits, including oil paintings of Harold, Clotilde and Elizabeth Irvine. Recently returned to the Residence and on display on the west wall of the drawing room is James Fairman's piece, Henry Sibley on Horseback, circa 1862. James Fairman was an itinerant landscape painter whose work covered the expanse of the United States. His extensive wanderings rendered him a multifaceted expert on the American terrain, one who played the role of frontiersman, naturalist, and educator, in addition to that of artist.
Several statues are on permanent display on the grounds, including Minnesota artist Doug Forsberg's “Carl.” The bronze sculpture is of a boy on a bicycle and is located adjacent to the Children’s Garden.
On display in the southeast corner of the garden is Dennis Roghair's twin statues of children, hewn from an 80-year-old Norway maple from the Residence grounds that fell during a storm in the late 1980s.
On the west side of the front yard is Minneapolis native Paul Grandlund's "Man-Nam," a memorial to Minnesotans killed in the Vietnam War. Grandlund's design was selected from 42 entries in a competition announced in 1968 by First Lady Iantha LeVander. The memorial was dedicated in September 1970.