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Tour of the Month



Treasures of European Art
View masterful works by Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Poussin, and more that trace Europe’s rich history from the Middle Ages, through the Renaissance and Baroque age, to the 18th century. See treasures of the MIA’s collection that complement our current special exhibition, The Habsburgs: Rarely Seen Masterpieces from Europe’s Greatest Dynasty.

Rocking chair


Highlights of the Target Wing:  The Nature of Nature

Artists have repeatedly attempted to capture the grandeur, complexity, and wonder of nature. Experience the natural world through art assembled from every corner of the museum and around the globe. Explore the interactions between humans and nature and how that relationship impacts our lives and the life of the planet.

Tour Topics

Enjoy the diverse collections at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts by participating in an interactive, one-hour guided group tour.

Anishinabe to Zapotec: Native Arts of the Americas
See beautifully decorated garments, feast bowls, and moccasins from North America; sculptures from the ancient ball game of Mexico; and huge gold ear spools from Peru. Explore the art of the indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America, from ancient times to the present.

The Art of Building: An Architectural History of the MIA
From large artistic ideals to fine details, see how three buildings from three unique eras work together to form an art museum. Discover architectural complements and elements that weave through the spaces and create relationships among these architectural gems.

Art Since 1950
Is that art? Discover the many ways modern artists have responded to their environment and challenged conventional notions of what constitutes art. View abstract and photo-realist paintings, minimalist sculptures, modern works on paper, and more.

Bamboo Bridges: Arts of Japan and Korea
From refined porcelains to coarse tea bowls, see how the arts of Japan and Korea bridge cultural differences and similarities. View reverence for both the spiritual and the natural world, as expressed in ceramics, ink painting, decorative screens, and sculpture.

Bucket List
View ‘the best of the best’ of the celebrated works in the MIA’s world-renowned collections. From an Egyptian mummy to master paintings and sculptures, you won’t want to miss out on these ‘must-see’ pieces.

Cherchez la Femme: Women in Art
What have women contributed to the visual arts? Whether creator or inspiration, women have been a power for influence and change in the production of artworks around the world.

Cityscapes, Landscapes, and Escapes
Discover how artists depict the ways in which people live, work and relax in the country and city, as well as their escapes to places and times fantastic or out of the ordinary.

Come to Your Senses
Awaken your five senses to experience works of art: “smell” a summer’s meadow, or a fish market; “feel” textures of fabric, stone, metal, or ceramic; “see” optical illusions, “taste” lemons and lobster; and “hear” musical instruments or noisy events.

Concerning the Spiritual in Art
See Christian saints, Jewish heroes, Buddhas and bodhisattvas, Daoist immortals, Greek gods and goddesses, and Yoruba kings. Explore the varied ways humans have used works of art to express their religious or spiritual beliefs in both western and non-western cultures.

Cultural Encounters/Artistic Exchanges
What happens when groups of people encounter one another and exchange ideas about art and culture? See how Japanese prints affected impressionist paintings, Romans copied Greek sculpture, and Islamic traders changed the color of Chinese porcelain.

Dancing with the Divine: the Arts of India, Tibet and Southeast Asia
Discover why Shiva dances, the Buddha meditates, and Mahavira gives away all his possessions. Examine how Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain artists create art in the service of worship and devotion to their gods.

Decorative Arts: Beauty in the Useful
From a Prairie School house to an Islamic mosque, see how artists create functional objects with aesthetic concerns in mind. View examples from the Institute’s extensive collections of furniture, ceramics, silver, glassware, textiles, and more.

Families Around the World
Families make the world go ‘round! From ancient sculptures to modern paintings and photographs, explore the many ways families are celebrated and remembered in art from different times and places. Families and individuals of all ages are welcome!

Focus on Photography
See why “one photograph is worth a thousand words.” See how photographers use subject matter and technique as vehicles of expression. Examine photographs from the museum’s extensive permanent collection, and visit a current special exhibition.

Gods, Graves, and Genius: Art of the Ancient Mediterranean
See an Egyptian mummy, Assyrian reliefs, Greek ceramic vases, or Roman sculptures. Look closely at objects from the Paleolithic era to the golden age of Greece to learn about the artistic, practical, and cultural concerns of the peoples of the ancient Mediterranean.

Highlights of the Target Wing
Enjoy the MIA’s new post-modern addition designed by Michael Graves, housing galleries dedicated to modern and contemporary design, crafts, textiles, works on paper, paintings, and sculptures, as well as the art of the Pacific Islands. Discover some of the unique architectural features and the treasures that await within.

Highlights of World Art to 1600
Explore the mysteries of the ancient Mediterranean world, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. See how people expressed their feelings and beliefs about life in this world and the next, from prehistory to the Renaissance.

Highlights of World Art 1600-1850
Delight in the splendors of the Baroque, Rococo, and Romanticism in Europe. View tour-de-force expressions of the beauty of the natural world in landscapes and decorative arts from dynastic China and feudal Japan. Discover how Africa and the Americas kept their traditions alive as they responded to contact with cultures outside their borders.

Highlights of World Art 1850-present
See how artists around the globe have responded to their times and places by exploring treasures of the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Learn how European and Euro-American artists have also reacted to their environment, breaking the “rules” and stretching the boundaries of what constitutes art.

How Was It Made?
How did they make that and why? Learn how geography, beliefs, needs, materials, and technology affect the creation of works of art in different times and places. Discover what these objects reveal about the lives of the people who made them and how they were used.

Impressionism: Breaking the Rules
Impressionist art, beloved and popular today, was revolutionary in its own time! Discover how artists Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, and others “broke the rules” of traditional art to capture the eye-dazzling effects of light, atmosphere and movement, in new and fresh ways.

It’s a Classic: The Classical Tradition
Discover artists’ fascination with stories of ancient Greek and Roman gods and heroes throughout the centuries. See classical elements in the museum, the period rooms, and the decorative arts that were inspired by the golden age of Greek and Roman art and architecture.

Learning to Look: Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS)
“What’s going on in this picture?” Through lively, facilitated discussions, look closely at works of art and share your discoveries based on what you see. Discover the rich visual images and multiple meanings that can be found.

Living Arts of Africa Discover objects for daily use and regalia fit for a king from the diverse continent of Africa. Learn about masquerade and divination, as well as customs for settling disputes and initiating young men and women into the community.

Love and Scandal
Inflame your passion for art on a tour that explores the victories and vicissitudes of love. See works that tell intriguing stories of marriage and devotion, the sexual exploits of gods and goddesses, or the hurtful scandals that sometimes come with affairs of the heart!

Made in America
History and literature come alive through objects created in North America, from ancient times to the present. View Native American hide paintings and beaded moccasins, Hmong textiles, African-American paintings, and European-American portraits, landscapes, sculptures, decorative arts, and period rooms.

The Magic of Myth
Learn stories about the creation of the world, loyalty and bravery, miracles, and revenge as told through works of art. See how people throughout time and around the world use stories and art to explain the unexplainable.

Modern Art to 1950
Take a trip back in time to see how the revolutionary Impressionists and Post-Impressionists paved the way for such modern art world giants as Picasso and Matisse. Then examine how their art, in turn, inspired developments in modern art to 1950.

Explore the world of modern design (1880-1940) for the home, the office, and the highway. See how forward-looking architects, designers and artisans revolutionized everything from furniture, lighting, and punch bowls to typewriters, telephones and cars.

Mostly Modern: 19th- and 20th-Century Art
What’s an “-ism?” Learn about realism, impressionism, cubism, pop art, minimalism, and more. Men and women like Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Grace Hartigan made revolutionary changes in the world of art during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Mysteries of the Ancient World
Unlock the mysteries of the ancient world through works of art that tell us about survival in this world and the next. Compare and contrast works made in Africa, the Americas, the Far East or Europe with ancient objects from Near Eastern and Mediterranean cultures.

Mysteries in the Museum
How did an artist make solid marble look transparent? Solve mysteries posed by art works by looking carefully for clues that reveal their meaning. This family-oriented tour encourages participants to figure out works of art based on what they see going on in them.

Off the Wall: Sculpture at the Institute
Change your point of view as you walk around a free-standing work of art. Explore what the third dimension—depth—adds to a sculpture on the wall. See how the artist’s choice of media and techniques affect the process and final results in bronze, marble, wood, terracotta, jade, and more.

On Dragon’s Wings: Arts of China
See how dragons and guardian spirits reflect ancient traditions and beliefs, how artists delight in the beauty of mountains and mist, and how Chinese scholars spend their days in pursuits both serious and whimsical.

Safari through Art
Bring the whole family to search for real and imaginary animals in works of art from around the world. The tour invites children to share what they see and know about animals and their habits. Explore how humans and animals interact, and hear stories where animals play a role.

Shazam! Art and Science
See how the worlds of art and science collide as artists explore space and time, motion, health, or the environment. Learn how artists grapple with scientific issues such as the discovery of the solar system or the development of portable paints.

A Splendid Legacy: Minnesota Collectors and Their Stories
Learn how Minnesota collectors have generously enhanced the permanent collection of the MIA, including history-making figures such as James J. Hill, Alfred Pillsbury, T. B. Walker, and William Dunwoody. Hear stories about the MIA’s acquisition of some of our most treasured works of art.

Steeped in Tradition: Arts of China and Japan
Throughout the ages, the arts of China and Japan have intermingled and influenced one another, as well as taken different paths. From ancient Chinese bronzes to contemporary Japanese ceramics, see how tradition plays a role in works of superb craftsmanship and design.

Step into the Past: The Institute’s Period Rooms
Compare a Chinese reception room with a Victorian drawing room decorated with Chinese-inspired wallpaper. American, European, and Asian period rooms invite you to step back in time in to experience how people lived.

Sumptuous and Sublime: Arts of Japan
Discover the beauty of the natural world in the design and spirit of Japanese art. See how reverence for nature has inspired artistic traditions from ancient times to the present in ceramics, paintings, woodblock prints, sculpture, and a Japanese tea house or audience hall.

A Taste of Asia
Whet your appetite with a sample of Asian arts from China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. See works from the Institute’s world-renowned collection, including ancient bronzes, tomb and temple sculptures, a Chinese scholar’s library and rock garden, ink paintings, and the Jade Mountain.

Treasures of European Art
View masterful works by Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Poussin, or Tintoretto that trace Europe’s rich history from the Middle Ages, through the Renaissance and Baroque age, to the 18th century.

Why is the Sky Yellow? Artists’ Choices
How does an artist’s choice of color affect the work created? See how artists use colors, lines, textures, or shapes in countless variations to create unique works of art. Focus on one or more elements while exploring a wide range of media, cultures and time periods.