Minneapolis Institute of Art

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Minneapolis Institute of Art
Minneapolis Institute of Arts.jpg
Established 1883
Location 2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Coordinates 44°57′31″N 93°16′27″W / 44.95861°N 93.27417°W / 44.95861; -93.27417Coordinates: 44°57′31″N 93°16′27″W / 44.95861°N 93.27417°W / 44.95861; -93.27417
Director Kaywin Feldman
Website artsmia.org

The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), formerly known as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts,[1][2] is a fine art museum located in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, on a campus that covers nearly 8 acres (32,000 m²), formerly Morrison Park. As a major, government-funded public museum, the Institute does not charge an entrance fee, except for special exhibitions, and allows photography of its permanent collection for personal or scholarly use only. The museum receives support from the Park Board Museum Fund, levied by the Hennepin County commissioners. Additional funding is provided by corporate sponsors and museum members.[3] It is one of the largest art museums in the United States.


Rembrandt's Lucretia in Minneapolis and the version from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. were shown together in 1991–1992.[4]

The Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts began in 1883 to bring the arts into the life of the community. This group, made up of business and professional leaders of the time, organized art exhibits throughout the decade. In 1889, the Society, now known as the Minneapolis Institute of Art, moved into its first permanent space inside the newly built Minneapolis Public Library.

The institute received gifts from Clinton Morrison and William Hood Dunwoody among others for their building fund. In 1911, Morrison donated the land, formerly occupied by his family's Villa Rosa mansion, in memory of his father Dorilus Morrison, contingent on the institute raising the $500,000 needed for the building. A few days later they received a letter from Dunwoody who got the ball rolling, "Put me down for $100,000." Well on their way, a fundraising dinner a few days later raised $335,500 more, donated in 90 minutes.[5]

A new museum building, designed by the firm of McKim, Mead and White, opened its doors in 1915. The museum came to be recognized as one of the finest examples of the Beaux-Arts architectural style in Minnesota. Art historian Bevis Hillier organized an exhibition called Art Deco at Mia that took place from July to September 1971, which caused a great resurgence of interest in this style of art. The building was originally meant to be the first of several sections but only this front piece was ultimately built; several additions have subsequently been built according to other plans, including a 1974 addition by Kenzo Tange. An expansion designed by Michael Graves was completed in June 2006. Before the latest expansion, just 4 percent of the museum's nearly 100,000 objects could be on view at the same time; now that figure is 5 percent.[6] Target Corporation, for which the new wing is named, was the biggest donor, with a lead gift of more than $10 million.[6]

In 2015 the museum rebranded itself, abandoning the final "s" in its name to become the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and encouraging the use of the nickname "Mia" instead of its acronym MIA.[1][2]


An exhibit inside one of the many galleries at Mia
Fernand Léger, 1910-11, Le compotier (Table and Fruit), oil on canvas, 82.2 x 97.8 cm
Henri Matisse, 1907, Les trois baigneuses (Three Bathers), oil on canvas, 60.3 x 73 cm

Mia features an encyclopedic collection of approximately 80,000 objects[7] spanning 5,000 years of world history. Its collection includes paintings, photographs, prints & drawings, textiles, architecture, and decorative arts. There are collections of African art and art from Oceania and the Americas, and an especially strong collection of Asian art, called "one of the finest and most comprehensive Asian art collections in the country".[8] The Asian collection includes Chinese architecture, jades,[9] bronzes, and ceramics.[8]

The institute owns the Purcell-Cutts House just east of Lake of the Isles. The house was designed by Purcell & Elmslie and is a masterpiece of Prairie School architecture. It was donated to the museum by Anson B. Cutts Jr., the son of its second owner. The house is available for tours on the second weekend of each month.[10][11]


In order to encourage private collecting and assist in the acquisition of important works of art, the museum has created "Affinity Groups" aligned with the seven curatorial areas of the museum. The groups schedule lectures, symposia, and travel for members.

The museum features a regular series of exhibitions that bring in traveling collections from other museums for display. Local business partners fund many of these exhibitions and some feature the artists themselves leading public tours through the exhibition.

The museum houses the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP), an artist-controlled program devoted to the exhibition of works by artists who live in Minnesota.[12]


The William Hood Dunwoody Fund was endowed with one million dollars when Dunwoody died in 1914, and has been used to purchase thousands of works.[13] Bruce Dayton, a life trustee of the Minneapolis Institute of Art since 1942, insisted that money raised in the $100 million fund-raising campaign for the Target wing, which opened in 2006, be split 50-50 between the building and the acquisitions endowment. That fund, now at $91 million, has allowed the institute to buy a rare early 18th-century Native American painted buckskin shirt and a nine-foot-long topographical View of Venice made by Jacopo de' Barbari in 1500, among other recent purchases.[14] In 2009, the value of the museum's $145 million endowment dropped 21 percent from January 2008. The endowment typically provides nearly one-fifth of operating revenues. Contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations account for a quarter of revenues,[15] Almost half of the museum's operating money comes from the "park-museum fund," a century-old Hennepin County tax dating to 1911 that provides public support in exchange for free admission. That fund, which has risen steadily in recent years, provided the museum $12.6 million in the fiscal year of 2010. In 2011, the museum's annual budget was at $24.6 million, and endowment income was a total $4.3 million.[16]

Works of art[edit]


Near the Minneapolis Institute of Art there is a copy of The Fighter of the Spirit statue of Ernst Barlach also called The Ghost Fighter.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/08/10/feldman-art-museum
  2. ^ a b http://new.artsmia.org/stories/once-at-mia-whats-in-a-name-2/
  3. ^ "Minneapolis Institute of Arts". 
  4. ^ "Rembrandt's Lucretias". National Gallery of Art via Internet Archive. Archived from the original on November 17, 2004. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  5. ^ Gihring, Tim (January 1, 2015). "Mia Stories". Minneapolis Institute of Art. Retrieved August 18, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Kristin Tillotson (June 9, 2006), Minneapolis Institute of Arts opens new wing Star Tribune.
  8. ^ a b "New and Improved: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Reopens". Antiques and the Arts Online. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  9. ^ Among these is a 1784 piece believed to be the largest historic jade sculpture outside of China. "Jade Mountain Illustrating the Gathering of Poets at the Lan T'ing Pavilion". Art de l'Asie. www.framemuseums.org. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  10. ^ "Purcell-Cutts House". Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  11. ^ "Unified Vision: The Architecture and Design of the Prairie School". Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  12. ^ "The Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP)". Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  13. ^ "This fund can only be used for the purchase of works of art." in Handbook of the Minneapolis institute of arts. Minneapolis Institute of Art via Google Books. 1922. p. viii. Retrieved August 16, 2015. 
  14. ^ Judith H. Dobrzynski (March 14, 2012), How an Acquisition Fund Burnishes Reputations New York Times.
  15. ^ Mary Abbe (March 5, 2009), Hard times reach arts world: MIA cuts staff Star Tribune.
  16. ^ Mary Abbe (April 20, 2011), Minneapolis Institute of Arts cuts jobs to salvage budget Star Tribune.
  17. ^ Photo of the copy in Minneapolis

External links[edit]