About / Mission and History

Our Vision

Inspiring wonder through the power of art.

Our Mission

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts enriches the community by collecting, preserving, and making accessible outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures.

Our History

In 1883, twenty-five citizens of Minneapolis founded the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, committing them to bringing the arts into the life of their community. More than a century later, the museum they created, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, stands as a monument to a remarkable history of civic involvement and cultural achievement.

Designed by the preeminent New York architectural firm McKim, Mead and White, the original building opened its doors in 1915. A neoclassical landmark in the Twin Cities, the MIA expanded in 1974 with an addition designed by the late Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. In June 2006, the museum unveiled a new wing designed by architect Michael Graves.

The Target Wing was the result of a major renovation and expansion that included thirty-four new galleries, increasing exhibition space by 40 percent. The expansion included a new Lecture Hall, Photographs Study Room, Print Study Room, and an Art Research Library in a more visible location. The Graves design respectfully combined the neoclassical elegance of the original McKim, Mead & White 1915 building with the minimalism of Tange’s 1974 addition.

The MIA’s permanent collection has grown from 800 works of art to more than 83,000 objects. The collection includes world-famous works that embody the highest levels of artistic achievement, spanning 5,000 years and representing the world’s diverse cultures across all continents. The MIA has seven curatorial areas: Arts of Africa & the Americas; Contemporary Art; Decorative Arts, Textiles & Sculpture; Asian Art; Paintings; Photography and New Media; and Prints and Drawings.

The MIA is one of the largest arts educators in Minnesota. More than a half-million people visit the museum each year, and a hundred thousand more are reached through the museum’s Art Adventure program for elementary schoolchildren. The museum’s free general admission policy, public programs, classes for children and adults, and award-winning interactive media programs have helped to broaden and deepen this museum’s roots in the communities it serves.

Museum Support

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is a free museum operated for the benefit of the general public.

Operation of the MIA and its programs is supported by the citizens of Hennepin County through the Park Museum Fund and by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Major annual support for museum operations and programs is provided by individuals, families, and organizations who support the museum annually through memberships and contributions.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts thanks these funders for their generous support of the museum.

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