January 20 is Friends of the Minneapolis Institute of Art Day

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MINNEAPOLIS—January 19, 2022— Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has declared Thursday, January 20, Friends of the Minneapolis Institute of Art Day. This proclamation marks the centennial of Friends of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting, enhancing, and sustaining the collections, programs, and influence of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia).

“Mia is grateful for the commitment and support provided by Friends of the Minneapolis Institute of Art,” said Katie Luber, Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of Mia. “These passionate, dedicated volunteers have helped the museum in its mission to inspire wonder and make art accessible to all.”

A group of 45 women established Friends on January 20, 1922, in memory of philanthropist Ethel Morrison Van Derlip, whose father donated the land on which Mia was built, and who had many plans for broadening community interest in the museum. Her husband, John Russell Van Derlip, was one of Mia’s founders who also served as a trustee and museum president from 1928 to 1935. John Van Derlip bequeathed his collection of 229 objects and 1,112 books to Mia, and Ethel Van Derlip left an endowment to the museum.

Today, Friends is one of the nation’s largest and most active art museum volunteer organizations, with hundreds of members. The group supports the museum in many ways, including providing free public lectures, buses to bring schoolchildren to the museum for tours, artwork for the permanent collection, and funding for innovative children’s art education programs. Friends’ major fundraiser, Art in Bloom—a much-loved and widely known Twin Cities event—helps to make this support possible. This year’s Art in Bloom will take place April 28 to May 1.

In honor of the centennial, Friends recently gifted Mia with the painting Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums by Eugene Delacroix. The masterpiece will be the focal point of a special spring exhibition that will revisit works of art featured on past Art in Bloom posters. The show will open in late April in Mia’s Cargill Gallery.

“Mia is a tremendous gift to the Twin Cities,” said Julie Holland, President of Friends of the Institute. “As Friends of the Institute, we believe in the power of art to enrich and even change lives. We have been Friends for one hundred years and we look forward to supporting Mia for a hundred more!”

Friends has planned a full year of events throughout 2022 to celebrate its centennial. For a complete schedule and more information on how to get involved, visit friends.artsmia.org.