MIA Announces 2013-2014 Exhibitions

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MIA Announces 2013-2014 Exhibitions

Newly Reinstalled African Art Galleries To Reopen:
Design Breaks New Ground for Interpretation of African Art

Exhibitions Highlight New Gifts and Acquisitions,
Clark Collections of Japanese Art Debut

Minneapolis, August 1, 2013—From a communitywide celebration for the reopening of the newly reinstalled African Art galleries to a painting conservation that takes place right before visitors’ eyes, the 2013-2014 season at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) is slated to be a big year for public engagement and exchange. The museum also salutes the 100-year anniversary of its Purcell-Cutts House, a Prairie School-style architectural gem in Minneapolis, and is showcasing newly acquired masterpieces—both recent purchases and generous donations—with a variety of fascinating focused exhibitions.

Four exhibitions recognize the museum’s generous supporters, emphasizing the legacy of philanthropy the MIA has enjoyed since its founding in 1915. In June, the MIA received nearly 1,700 Japanese art objects from Willard “Bill” and Libby Clark and the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford, California. Highlights from this remarkable collection of painting, sculpture, ceramics, bamboo baskets, and woodblock prints from the past 10 centuries will be on view in October in “The Audacious Eye: Japanese Art from the Clark Collections.” Complementing “The Audacious Eye” is “Envisioning Japan: Shinhanga from the Ellen & Fred Wells Collection,” which features 75 exceptional woodblock prints given to the museum. The MIA will also celebrate the generosity of Minneapolis lawyer and photography connoisseur Martin Weinstein in an exhibition of 31 works, one for each year he has donated art to the museum.

Opening in autumn, the MIA will continue a popular exhibition series of multiple installations designed around a specific narrative or theme. The first installment explored key issues of globalization; this year’s will focus on the sacred. Spanning centuries and representing major cultures from around the world, selected artworks will probe the nature of the sacred within a secular, multi-faith society. Highlights include: a 15th century bronze walking Buddha, Vassily Kandinsky’s manifesto Uber das Geistige in der Kunst  (On the Spiritual in Art), 44 plates from a Christian illuminated album from Ethiopia, and Virgin of the Milk (Virgen de la leche) (c. 1500), an extraordinary wood sculpture from Spain.

“We are thrilled to present such a dynamic season for our visitors, who are at the heart of what we do,” said Kaywin Feldman, director and president of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. “The MIA has been and will continue to focus on improving the visitor experience, from how we greet our visitors and make art more accessible, to the quality of our coffee service.”
Indeed, one of the MIA’s Millennial Mentors—high schoolers paired with senior staff to find ways to make the museum more teen-friendly—originally suggested a new coffee vendor for a more relaxing destination cafe. What’s more, members of the Twin Cities’ African Diaspora community joined museum curators to advise on the reinstallation of the African Art galleries, helping to brainstorm innovative ways to interpret the collection for visitors of all knowledge levels.

Another innovation this year is the launch of Verso, the museum’s award-winning quarterly digital publication for iPad, which can be downloaded free of charge at the iTunes App store. Verso offers dynamic interaction that gives users a behind-the-scenes look at art and the pursuit of artistic passions. Viewers can pinch-and-zoom images, rotate art 360 degrees, hear insights straight from the curators’ mouth, watch artists at work, play artful interactive games, and enjoy unprecedented insider access. Already with a growing global audience of subscribers, Verso has won the 2013 silver Muse award from the American Alliance of Museums and the 2013 International Design Communications Awards for best app. It is regularly featured on Apple’s “What’s Hot” list.


Minneapolis Institute of Art
Exhibition Schedule



The Progressive Pencil: George Elmslie’s Prairie School Designs
May 26-October 27, 2013
Curator: Jennifer Komar-Olivarez
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

“The Progressive Pencil” celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the MIA’s Purcell-Cutts House, one of the most significant examples of the Prairie School style in the country and only a few blocks away from the museum’s campus. The exhibition showcases approximately 20 rarely shown design drawings from the William Gray Purcell Papers of the Northwest Architectural Archives at the University of Minnesota and a selection of related objects from the MIA’s collection by George Grant Elmslie (1869-1952), a leading designer of the Prairie School style.

It’s New / It’s Now: Recent Gifts of Contemporary Prints and Drawings
July 14-September 1, 2013
Curator: Dennis Jon
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

The special exhibition highlights more than 90 original contemporary prints and drawings by 60 leading American and European artists, all of which have been donated to the museum by generous community benefactors since 2007. Featured artworks range in date from 1965 to 2011 and represent some of the finest graphic work by artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Ray Lichtenstein, Chuck Close, David Hockney, and Kiki Smith, as well as other prominent artists.
Lead sponsor: Delta Airlines

Luma (Voronoi Cellscape): Ryuta Nakajima
Umwelt: Trever Nicholas
July 19-September 29, 2013
Project Coordinator: Chris Atkins
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Emulation of nature is at the heart of these two new exhibitions by the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP). In Trever Nicholas’s “Luma (Voronoi Cellscape)” dozens of Styrofoam shapes mimic microbiological movements, while Ryuta Makajima’s “Unwelt” examines animals that replicate their surroundings.

September 2013-June 2014
Curator: Elizabeth Armstrong
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

“SACRED” is the second in a series of innovative installations featuring imaginative combinations of contemporary and historic artworks throughout the museum’s Target Wing. For this installation, MIA curators probe the nature of the sacred within a secular, multi-faith society. By juxtaposing works of art from multiple times and places, “SACRED” invites visitors to explore historic expressions of the divine, the spiritual, the essential, the most-beloved, and to ponder the word’s meaning to their personal lives.

The Audacious Eye: Japanese Art from the Clark Collections
October 6, 2013-January 12, 2014
Curator: Andreas Marks, PhD
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

This special exhibition celebrates an astounding expansion of the MIA’s collection of Japanese art by showcasing 100 masterpieces from the 1,700 Japanese artworks received in June 2013. Given by Willard “Bill” Clark, his wife Elizabeth “Libby,” and the Board of the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, the collections spans 10 centuries and includes paintings, sculpture, woodblock prints, ceramics, bamboo baskets, and textiles.

31 Years: Gifts from Martin Weinstein
October 26, 2013-September 14, 2014
Curator: David Little, PhD
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Inspired by his long friendship with the late Ted Hartwell, founding curator of the MIA’s photography department, Martin Weinstein began building an outstanding art collection in the early 1970s. Since then, he has given more than 500 photographs to the museum. “31 Years: Gifts from Martin Weinstein” celebrates Weinstein’s generosity, from his first gift in 1982, Exchange by Jock Reynolds and Suzanne Hellmuth, to his most recent four in 2013: Paris (1989) by Elliott Erwitt; Falls 26 (2005) and Martin Weinstein, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2003) by Alec Soth; and Thomas (1987) by Robert Mapplethorpe.
Generous support provided by Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, LLP.

Envisioning Japan: Shinhanga from the Ellen & Fred Wells Collection
November 3, 2013-February 23, 2014
Curator: Matthew Welch, PhD
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

“Envisioning Japan” presents nearly 75 woodblock prints of exceptional quality and outstanding condition from the Wells Collection of shinhanga prints, given to the MIA in 2002. Dating from the early decades of the 20th century, the majority of these prints represent the theme of bijin-ga, or pictures of beautiful women. The collection is balanced by representations of Kabuki actors and landscapes. Since shinhanga artists were greatly influenced by Western art, many of these images are a mix of Japanese and Western artistic styles. They also often reflect aspects of change and modernity during this period of great social change and upheaval in Japanese society. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.


Grand Opening of Redesigned African Art Galleries
Opening November 10, 2013
Curator: Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers, PhD
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Charting a fresh course for the presentation of African art in an American encyclopedic museum, the MIA opens its renovated African art galleries on November 10. Designed by acclaimed architecture firm VJAA, the new galleries were shaped in part by community input. New interpretative resources and display techniques will allow works in the MIA’s African art collection to be classified by their own logic and aesthetics, rather than according to traditional Western systems based on chronology, geography, or medium. Works from across the African continent and areas of the African Diaspora, dating from 2500 BCE in Ancient Egypt through the present day, will be integrated into the 4,800-square-foot space. An open layout will encourage visitors to create their own pathways through the galleries, promoting discoveries of cross-cultural dialogues between objects and allowing works to be seen as dynamic, multifaceted components of cross-continental developments. Robust technological resources will place works in the context of a diasporic history, where influence and impact stretch beyond single countries and codified styles.

Restoring a Masterwork III: Max Beckmann’s Blind Man’s Buff
November 18, 2013-March 1, 2014
Curator: Erika-Holmquist Wall
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Visitors have the rare opportunity to watch one of the MIA’s most important works, Max Beckmann’s Blind Man’s Buff, undergo conservation treatment, a process typically done behind closed doors. Conducted over a four-month period, conservators from the Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC), a nonprofit regional conservation facility housed within the museum, will meticulously restore Beckmann’s largest, and arguably the most important, of his nine great triptychs.
The conservation treatment of the Max Beckmann triptych has been generously funded by Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project.


Matisse: Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum of Art
February 23-May 18, 2014
Curator: Erika Holmquist-Wall
Organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art

One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) is the focus of this exhibition, featuring approximately 80 works, including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper spanning six decades of Matisse’s prolific career. Drawn entirely from the Baltimore Museum of Art, one of the most comprehensive collections of Matisse’s work in the world, “Matisse” will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for viewers to share in the beauty of such a magnificent body of work.

The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection
May 17-August 24, 2014
Curator: Eike Schmidt, PhD
Organized by the Birmingham Museum of Art

This stunning exhibition explores the little-known subject of “lover’s eyes,” hand-painted miniatures of single human eyes set in jewelry and given as tokens of affection or remembrance. A trend that began in the late 18th century with Britain’s young Prince of Wales (later George IV), clandestine lovers exchanged these customized tokens depicting each another’s eyes, as such a feature might only be recognized by persons of the most intimate familiarity. The Skier collection contains both decorative and functional objects, from simple lockets to lavish rings, watch keys, and toothpick cases.

Finland: Designed Environments
June 1-August 30, 2014
Curator: Jennifer Komar-Olivarez
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

“Finland: Designed Environments” looks at the explosion of creativity in Finnish design over the last 15 years. Drawing upon the richness of this forward-thinking design community, the exhibition presents a selection of the most elegant, artistic, and thought-provoking objects and projects by Finnish designers, craftspeople, and architects. The works on view, which include furnishings, fashion, craft, as well as architecture and urbanism, share an inherent practicality but incorporate thoughtful design for an elevation of the user’s experience. This is the first significant museum-organized exhibition outside of Finland to examine the breadth of current Finnish design.

Master Drawings from the Minneapolis Institute of Art (working title)
July 13-September 21, 2014
Curator: Rachel McGarry, PhD
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

A selection of 100 exceptional drawings from the MIA’s impressive collection of over 2,000 drawings, watercolors, and pastels are showcased in this exhibition. This large and varied assortment of works, ranging from the 15th to the 21st centuries, is a superb group of drawings of exceptional quality and includes both celebrated masters and others who deserve to be better known. Featured European and American artists: Ludovico Carracci, Baldassare Franceschini, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Jacques-Louis David, Pierre Paul Prud’hon, Anne-Louis Girodet, Eugène Delacroix, Thomas Gainsborough, Edouard Vuillard, Edgar Degas, Eva Gonzales, Henri Matisse, Lovis Corinth, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Käthe Kollwitz, Otto Mueller, Emil Nolde, Egon Schiele, Piet Mondrian, Edward Hopper, John Marin, Grant Wood, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Edward Ruscha.
Generous support provided by the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Exhibitions Endowment Fund.

The Hours of Night and Day: A Newly Discovered Cycle of Bronze Reliefs by Giovanni Casini and Pietro Cipriani
September 13, 2014-April 12, 2015
Curator: Eike Schmidt, PhD
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

This intimate exhibition celebrates the rediscovery of six bronze reliefs allegorically representing the Times of Night and Day by Giovanni Casini and Pietro Cipriani, the largest and most important ensemble of Florentine bronze sculpture to come to light in a century. This unusual ensemble refers to Michelangelo’s cycle in the New Sacristy of San Lorenzo, and to several other painted and sculpted masterworks of the Baroque period.

Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone
September 20, 2014-January 18, 2015
Curator: Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers, PhD
Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Drawn from the collection of the late William Siegmann, who donated a large portion of his personal collection to MIA in 2012, “Visions from the Forests” showcases some of the finest examples of African art created by artists from Liberia and Sierra Leone. Approximately 75 works from over a dozen different ethnic groups are on display, including a Mano face mask with feathers and shoulder cap; a large horizontal mask from the Loma; a rare wooden female figure by a Sherbro artist; a brass tortoise cast by the famous Dan caster Ldamie of Gaple; a unique 16th-century Sapi stone sculpture representing a seated couple; a late 18th-century side-blown ivory horn from the Krim; and a tie-dyed wrapper designed by contemporary artist Christina Tombe. Siegmann was a native of Minneapolis and former curator of African art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.