MIA Affinity Groups are a great way for museum members to connect more closely with special areas of art interest, allowing you to delve deeper into the curatorial area of your choice.
Affinity Group members:
MIA Affinity Groups are a great way for museum members to connect more closely with special areas of art interest.
The vast continent of Africa is home to many peoples, societies, and civilizations, each with unique forms of aesthetic expression. Dramatic abstraction—particularly of the human figure—is often associated with African art, whose radical aesthetic exerted enormous influence on European artists in the first half of the 20th century.
The MIA’s collection of sub-Saharan art began in the 1950s with a magnificent Luba mask and two ancient Benin sculptures. It has grown steadily ever since and now includes Ethiopian paintings, Moroccan silver jewelry, central African textiles, a 600-year-old Djenne horse-and-rider (left), and many other outstanding artworks.
The MIA’s renowned collection of Asian art represents 17 cultures spanning nearly 5,000 years. Best known for the size and quality of its Chinese and Japanese collections, it also has important examples of Indian, Southeast Asian, Korean, Himalayan, and Islamic art.
The museum acquired its first Asian objects several years before it formally opened in 1915, and it has continued to build its diverse Asian collections—through acquisitions and gifts—ever since. Founded in 1977, the Department of Asian Art now oversees over 12,000 objects, including sculptures, paintings, ceramics, furniture, lacquers, jades, and woodblock prints. Its recent acquisition of a 17th century suit of armor (left) owned by a Japanese warlord made worldwide news.
In 2008, the museum founded its first department dedicated to the art of our times. The Department of Contemporary Art brings a fresh dynamism to its galleries by collecting and exhibiting works by living artists of national and international renown. This initiative emphasizes the relationships among historical art, diverse cultures, and contemporary art-making.
Activities include expanding the collection, organizing exhibitions, and working with artists-in-residence to create public and site-specific work at the MIA. Recent acquisitions include Mona Hatoum’s 2008 barbed wire Cube (9x9x9) (left), which conjures feelings of danger and discomfort in an uncertain world, and Yayoi Kusama’s 1967 exuberant painting of dots and interlocking shapes.
The MIA houses one of the nation’s finest collections of European and American decorative arts, including furniture, design, silver, ceramics, and glass. In addition to 12 period rooms housed within the museum, the MIA also owns the 1913 Purcell-Cutts House, a Prairie School-style architect’s home in the historic Kenwood neighborhood of Minneapolis.
The sculpture collection encompasses Mediterranean, European, and post-colonial American works from ancient times until 1960. Recent acquisitions include a superb 18th century silver cup with cover (left) by the Strasbourg silversmith Johann Friedrich Baer.
Established with the museum’s opening in 1915, the MIA’s Art Research & Reference Library is one of the Midwest’s premiere research centers dedicated to the study of art. The library’s holdings provide special collection and rare printed materials as well as digitized texts/images and cutting-edge online research tools. Spanning the world’s history of art, the library’s remarkable collection of more than 60,000 volumes continues to grow.
Two notable recent acquisitions include Edvard Munch: Complete Paintings—Catalogue Raisonné and Vincent van Gogh: The Letters—The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition.
The museum’s Native American art collection celebrates the artistic achievements of America’s first peoples. The collection began with a gift of 25 objects from the Northwest Coast in 1928. The collection now encompasses nearly 1,500 objects from the major cultural regions across the continent, from ancient to contemporary times.
Noted pieces include a Bella Coola frontlet from the Northwest Coast, an Anishinabe beaded blanket from Minnesota, a painted tipi cover from the Plains, and a ceramic and silver collection from the Southwest region. Recent acquisitions include a large, vibrantly painted kachina figure representing the Butterfly Maiden (left), a Hopi symbol of regeneration and renewal.
The MIA’s internationally acclaimed collection of paintings contains nearly 900 European and American works from the 14th century to 1960. It offers a comprehensive survey of both celebrated schools and individual artists and is notable for its concentration of masterworks by such artists as Rembrandt, Courbet, Delacroix, Poussin, van Gogh, Sargent, and O’Keeffe.
Recent additions include Arthur Wesley Dow’s The Destroyer (left), a luminous depiction of the Colorado River cutting through the Grand Canyon, and a small but radiantSeashore by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, the collection’s first painting by this celebrated artist.
Begun in 1973, the MIA’s collection spans the history of photography from the 1840s to the present. Representing more than 800 photographers and 11,500 works of art, the collection consists primarily of 20th-century American work, with particular depth in documentary, photojournalism, and pictorialism.
The MIA is now expanding its holdings of historic avant-garde experiments as well as contemporary photography and new media from all countries. Notable additions include photographs by the Ukrainian artist Boris Mikhailov (left) and a video by American Doug Aitken that poignantly comments on mankind’s encroachment on natural habitats.
The Department of Prints and Drawings cares for a growing collection of some 35,000 works of art ranging from the Middle Ages to the present. Hundreds of artists are represented in this encyclopedic collection, many in considerable depth. Well-known figures include Dürer, Rembrandt (left), Piranesi, Tiepolo, Goya, Daumier, Whistler, Cassatt, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Kirchner, Rauschenberg, and Ruscha.
The hugely varied collection encompasses prints, drawings, watercolors, pastels, illuminated manuscripts, and printed books. The department organizes about ten exhibitions each year and welcomes hundreds of visitors to the Herschel V. Jones Print Study Room.
The Circle gives young professionals (ages 25-44) the chance to experience the MIA in a new way and meet others with similar interests. You and a guest will enjoy the arts in a special way with the MIA as your guide.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
(808) MIA-ARTS (642-2787) (Toll Free)
Tickets: (612) 870-3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org