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Media Contacts
Lynette Nyman, Minneapolis Institute of Art, (612) 870-3173; lnyman@artsmia.org
Tammy Pleshek, Minneapolis Institute of Art, (612) 870-3171; tpleshek@artsmia.org
Anne-Marie Wagener, Minneapolis Institute of Art, (612) 870-3280; awagener@artsmia.org
Natasha le Bel, Ruder Finn Arts & Communications Counselors, (212) 715-1644; lebeln@ruderfinn.com

JUNE 10 – 11, 2006

Press Preview: Friday, June 9, 2006, 9 to 11 a.m.

Highlights Include Reinstalled World-Class Asian Art Galleries,
New Major Acquisitions, and Opening Exhibitions The Surreal Calder and
Dürer to Cassatt: Five Centuries of Master Prints

Minneapolis, MN, April 25, 2006—The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), one of the nation’s leading encyclopedic art museums, opens its major expansion and renovation on June 11, 2006. The re-imagined MIA includes a new 113,000-square-foot wing designed by Michael Graves & Associates, and 49,000 square feet of building renovation, which together adds thirty-four new galleries and nearly forty percent new exhibition space to the MIA.

“The Grand Opening is an opportunity to show the world and to remind our community what an exceptional collection we have,” said William M. Griswold, director and president of the MIA. “Our renovated galleries provide one of the most expansive displays of Chinese and Japanese art in this country. Our new wing allows us to showcase our collections of twentieth-century and even contemporary art, and to host exceptional traveling exhibitions.”

The MIA’s $100 million Bring Art to Life campaign has raised $84.7 million dollars for building expansion, renovation, and art purchase endowment. The lead gift to the Bring Art to Life campaign is a contribution in excess of $10 million dollars from Target, whose headquarters are in Minneapolis. In recognition of the lead contribution from Target, the MIA’s new building for twentieth-century art has been named the Target Wing.

Opening Events

The MIA’s public Grand Opening celebration takes place on Sunday, June 11, 2006. The public is invited to step into the world of art at this museum-wide festival for adults and children celebrating the completion of the new Target Wing. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, art workshops, special exhibitions, gallery and museum tours, and refreshments offered by the best Eat Street has to offer. Beginning at 9 a.m., early birds are welcome to enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast prepared by local celebrity pancake flippers. The pancake breakfast is $5. All other opening events are free. No registration required. Call (612) 870-6323 for details. As always, general admission to the museum is free. Additionally, as a gift to the community, admission to the special exhibition The Surreal Calder is free during the public opening celebration. The Grand Opening weekend exclusive sponsor is Target.

Expansion Details

Founded in 1883 by the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, the Minneapolis Institute of Art is situated just south of downtown Minneapolis, occupying a 1915 neoclassical building designed by McKim, Mead & White. An expansion in 1974 added two modern wings designed by Kenzo Tange to the east and west sides of the original building. The Graves design respectfully combines the neoclassical elegance of the MIA’s original McKim, Mead & White building with the stark minimalism of Tange’s addition. Graves also designed the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) expansion, which is adjacent to the MIA; it opened in October 2005.

The Grand Opening celebration unveils the reinstallation of much of the MIA’s renowned permanent collection of almost 100,000 works of art representing more than 5,000 years of world history, as well as four special exhibitions. With the expansion, the MIA can more fully and dramatically showcase its Asian art collection, one of the finest and most comprehensive in the United States. The Chinese collection now occupies 20,000 square feet of gallery space, making it one of the largest installations of Chinese art in the country. Additionally, six new galleries are devoted to a larger and more complete presentation of the museum’s acclaimed Japanese art collection, giving the MIA the largest number of galleries dedicated to Japanese art of any museum in the country.

Opening Exhibitions
The Surreal Calder
(June 11 – September 10, 2006)

This premiere exhibition in the Target Wing explores the Surrealist origins of artist Alexander Calder (1898–1976). While Calder is prominent in the story of modern art, he is rarely seen in the context from which he initially emerged as an artist. Avant-garde figures such as Jean Arp christened Calder’s static constructions “stabiles”; Marcel Duchamp suggested the name “mobile” for Calder’s kinetic works; Joan Miró familiarized Calder with some central theses of Surrealism; and Piet Mondrian introduced him to pure abstraction. The Surreal Calder consists of seventy works, including thirteen paintings and objects by artists such as Miró, Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, and René Magritte, which put Calder back in the context of Surrealism.

The Surreal Calder is organized by The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, and is generously supported in part by The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation, Anita and Mike Stude, An Anonymous Donor in Honor of Elsian Cozens, Mary and Roy Cullen, and Mrs. Nancy C. Allen, with additional support from The Cullen Foundation, Fayez Sarofim & Co., George and Josephine Hamman Foundation, Houston Endowment, Inc., the Wortham Foundation, and the City of Houston.

From Dürer to Cassatt: Five Centuries of Master Prints from the Jones Collection
(June 11 – September 17, 2006)

This comprehensive exhibition, on view in the MIA’s original McKim, Mead & White building, presents the remarkable depth of the Herschel V. Jones Collection, the seminal gift at the core of the museum’s print holdings. Nearly 200 of the world’s most famous engravings, lithographs, and woodcuts are featured, including dozens of rarely or never-before-seen masterpieces representing five centuries of printmaking. On view will be works by legendary printmakers such as Andrea Mantegna, Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden, Rembrandt van Rijn, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, and Käthe Kollwitz.

From Dürer to Cassatt is organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art and made possible with generous support from Anchor Bank.

Highlights from the Harrison Collection of Fine Photographs (1992-2006)
(June 11 – October 8, 2006)

This exhibition, organized by the MIA, celebrates the museum’s outstanding photographs collection by showcasing 100 prints by such notable artists as Henri-Cartier Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank, Werner Bischoff, Arnold Newman, and numerous other major figures in the history of twentieth-century photography. Presented in the Harrison Photography Gallery, the exhibition acknowledges the Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Fund, which has had the most significant effect on the growth and quality of the MIA’s collection of fine photographs since its inception in 1973.

The Unicorn in Captivity: New Paintings by Alexa Horochowski
(June 11 – August 13, 2006)

This solo exhibition is the inaugural show of the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program gallery space in the new Target Wing. Contemporary artist Alexa Horochowski’s large paintings feature pre-adolescent youths – mostly girls – engaged in seemingly harmless play set against a backdrop of open land and bright water. With landscapes peppered with repeating elements of gnarled, leafless and menacing trees, these paintings hover in a balance between laughter and horror, childhood and adulthood, and life and death.

The Unicorn in Captivity is presented by the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP), an artist-run curatorial department of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, made possible by generous support from the Jerome Foundation.

New Acquisitions and Loans

Grand Opening installation highlights that are new on view at the MIA:
A rare bronze ding from China datable to the Warring States Period of the late bronze age
The Large Blue Horses, a masterpiece of early 20th-century German Expressionist painting by Franz Marc, on loan from the Walker Art Center
Minerals, a recent painting by British artist Damien Hirst, on loan from a local private collection
The MIA’s first historic automobile, a 1946 Czech Tatra T87 four-door sedan
The Frankfurt Kitchen, a completely outfitted Bauhaus kitchen designed in 1926 by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky
The Richmond Race Cup, designed by Robert Adam in 1767

A high-back side chair designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1897–98 from the Argyle Street Tea Room in Glasgow, Scotland

A pair of 17th-century folding screens from Japan depicting Uji Bridge

A red lacquer serving tray from 15th-century Japan

A ceramic tobacco tray ornamented with gourd vines in overglaze blue, green, and gold from 18th-century Japan

A set of Tutsi basketry screens from Africa

A Yoruba ancestral post from Africa attributed to the master carver Agbonbiofe

A Native American Mississippian stone pipe datable to about 1200, representing a bound prisoner

Lead Funders

The lead corporate gift to the Bring Art to Life campaign is a contribution in excess of $10 million dollars from Target. Six community leaders have made gifts in the $2 million to $5 million range. Lead foundation support includes a $2 million challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation, a Michigan-based private foundation that funds capital campaigns nationally and internationally. 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. In addition to these nine corporate and foundation donors, twenty-four individuals have committed leadership gifts of $1 million or more in support of campaign objectives.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art is located at 2400 Third Avenue South in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Museum hours are Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; and Thursday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Closed Monday. For additional information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit www.artsmia.org.

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