Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

I hate to admit this, but we hadn’t been to the MIA since they completed their expansion. That’s been awhile. Today was miserably hot, so we figured it was a good day to go somewhere air conditioned – like a museum.

The addition appears to have allowed for an expansion of the Asian galleries – at least, there seemed to be a lot more ceramics on display than I recall seeing before. Thanks in large part to the Dayton’s, the depth and breadth of that collection is just amazing.


We also discovered they’ve acquired more pieces from the Walker, and now the Blue Horse is on display here along with an expanded exhibit of 20th century art.

The two currently featured artists in the Minnesota galleries are wonderful. Mary Griep does mixed media architectural “drawings” of famous buildings. Among those on display are Angkor Wat (which takes an entire wall to display). They are very cool, and this temple from Burma even had Lane wishing we had crossed the border!


The other artist in the Minnesota gallery is Jantje Visscher, who creates amazing light paintings by directing light through clear plastic that has been bent, folded, and/or scored. The result is ethereal and impossible to capture of film.


With the acquisition of the Wells Fargo’s marvelous modernist collection, the museum now has a really wonderful collection in that area too – and expanded display space to show it off.

We also stumbled on a newly opened exhibit The Search to See: Photographs from the Collection of Frederick B. Scheel. This is the first part of a huge and wonderful exhibit. I’ll be looking forward to seeing the second half of the exhibit.

Despite the museum’s lack of materials in the areas of Northwest Coast and Inuit art (the fact that they dump Oceanic, African, and Native American art together says a lot), we always check to see what they have on display. Despite the small quantity of Native American pieces, they do have few fabulous items, like this Tsimshian frontlet from the Northwest Coast. Lovely.

I missed the Uzbek embroidery and the Central Asian textiles, so I’ll have to get back soon!

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