A hand colored etching of huge mass of people drinking large amount of wine and whiskey punch. Many people are standing on a long table, and others are lying underneath it. A clock on the left side reads 3:00am.

James Gillray, British, 1756-1815 The Union Club, 1801 Hand-colored etching, The Dwight and Helen Minnich Collection, The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, P.16,973

Beer Before Liquor: Alcohol and Its Pasts

March 2, 2019 - June 23, 2019
Gallery 333
Free Exhibition

Today, alcohol has a presence on every continent of the world, but its regional pasts are varied. This installation gestures to alcohol’s trajectory across the globe and through time, as it earned its reputation as both poison and cure. “Beer Before Liquor” features works of decorative art and prints drawn from Mia’s permanent collection.

Learn more about this installation and “Alcohol’s Empire,” the collaboration of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Wangensteen Historical Library at the University of Minnesota, and Tattersall Distilling that explores the history of drinking in the 18th-century Atlantic world here.

This project is part of Living Rooms, an initiative to present Mia’s historic interiors and decorative arts collections in new ways.

Generous support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and donors at the 2014 Mia Gala.


Additional support provided by The Chipstone Foundation.