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For Immediate Release: November 16, 2005

Contacts: Lynette Nyman, P.R. Manager, (612) 870-3173; Tammy Pleshek, P.R. Specialist, (612) 870-3171; Anne-Marie Wagener, Director of External Affairs, (612) 870-3280

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The Minneapolis Institute of Art’ Bring Art to Life Campaign reaches
$75 Million for Building Expansion and Art Endowment

New Wing Opens June 11, 2006

Minneapolis, November 16, 2005—The Minneapolis Institute of Art is pleased to announce that $75 million has been raised for the $100 million Bring Art to Life campaign for building expansion, renovation, and art purchase endowment. The lead gift to the Bring Art to Life campaign is a generous grant from Target Corporation. The highlight of the $50 million expansion project is a new wing designed by the renowned architect Michael Graves. The expansion and renovation project adds forty percent new gallery space for the presentation of the permanent collection and special exhibitions. The Bring Art to Life campaign will nearly double the purchasing power of the Institute’s art acquisition endowment, a critical resource that will enable the Institute to compete in an internationally competitive art market.

“This is a visionary initiative, and the gifts raised signal an extraordinary commitment to the new building as well as the display and growth of the permanent collection,” said William M. Griswold, Director and President, The Minneapolis Institute of Art. “This initiative will enable the museum to reach a new level of greatness in its collections, its facilities, and its ability to engage every member of the community for generations to come. We have outstanding local support, and we will continue to build on this momentum.”

Six community leaders made gifts in the $2 to $5 million range. Lead foundation support includes the anticipated award of a $2 million challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation, a Michigan-based private foundation that funds capital campaigns nationally and internationally. This is the largest grant amount given by the foundation. Additional corporate and foundation support includes gifts of $1 million or more from the James Ford Bell Foundation, the Best Buy Children’s Foundation, the General Mills Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, the Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation, Sit Investment Associates, Inc., the Star Tribune Foundation, and the U.S. Bancorp Foundation.

The Bring Art to Life campaign is co-chaired by Ford Bell, Beverly Grossman, and Bob Ulrich. To date, 33 new and newly-renovated galleries have been named in recognition of gifts and 40 art endowments have been established or augmented with campaign gifts. Extraordinary community support is demonstrated by the 32 gifts of $1 million or more to the campaign.

“This campaign is without a doubt a major success story,” said Al Harrison, Chair of the Board of Trustees, The Minneapolis Institute of Art. “To date, this campaign has raised $23 million more than any other in the Institute’s history, and we are now getting ready to broaden solicitations to our Patrons’ Circle members and general membership. An enormous level of thanks is due to so many.”

Founded in 1883 as the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, the Institute opened its doors to the public in 1915. A neoclassical landmark in the Twin Cities, the original building was designed by the preeminent New York architectural firm McKim, Mead & White. The Institute expanded in 1974 with an addition designed by the late Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Designed by Michael Graves, recipient of the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal, and the National Medal of Arts, the new wing will increase the Institute’s space from 314,000 to 427,000 square feet.

Opening June 11, 2006, the new wing features three floors dedicated to the presentation and study of art. There will be 27 new galleries, including ten galleries for 20th-century and contemporary paintings, expanded Native American and Oceanic galleries, and galleries devoted to textiles, modern design, and contemporary works on paper. The new wing also features a classroom and expanded research areas, including an art library, and study centers for the print and drawing and photographs departments. There is also a state-of-the-art lab for the conservation and restoration of artworks in a variety of media. Among the highlights of the existing-space remodeling is the creation of seven new galleries and seven renovated galleries devoted to the Institute’s remarkable holdings of Chinese art, and expanded galleries for the arts of Africa, Japan, Europe, and America.

The Bring Art to Life campaign also includes $50 million for the Institute’s art purchase endowment, which supports growth of the permanent collection. The campaign nearly doubles the Institute’s art purchasing power in a highly competitive international market. Another goal of the art endowment is to create for the first time dedicated departmental endowments. While membership contributions and other private support enable the museum to continue its free general admission policy and present annual exhibitions and education programs, endowment funds are the key to acquiring new works for a permanent collection that is continually expanding in quality and depth.

Since its founding, the Institute’s permanent collection has grown to include approximately 100,000 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. Highlights of the permanent collection include European masterworks by El Greco, Rembrandt, Poussin, van Gogh, Matisse, and Beckmann as well as internationally significant collections of Asian art, decorative arts, Modernism, photographs, and African and Native American art. Among the most notable is the Institute’s renowned collection of 17th- and 18th- century classical Chinese furniture, literati objects, and paintings, thanks to the generosity of Ruth and Bruce Dayton. The Institute’s seven curatorial departments comprise Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; Architecture, Design, Decorative Arts, Craft, and Sculpture; Asian Art; Paintings and Modern Sculpture; Photographs; Prints and Drawings; and Textiles.

The Institute is Minnesota’s most comprehensive art educator. More than half-a-million people visit the Institute each year. A hundred thousand more are reached through the Institute’s Art Adventure program for elementary school children. The Institute’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 Hours: Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Closed Monday. For additional information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit