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For Immediate Release: April 14, 2006

Lynette Nyman, Minneapolis Institute of Art, (612) 870-3173, lnyman@artsmia.org
Karen Gysin, Walker Art Center, (612) 375-7651, karen.gysin@walkerart.org

Print Quality Images Available Online: http://www.artsmia.org/press/


Minneapolis, MN, April 14, 2006—The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) and the Walker Art Center, under the leadership of MIA Director William Griswold and Walker Director Kathy Halbreich, are collaborating to exchange artworks and develop public programs inspired by each institution’s collections. The Walker has made loans of significant artworks—most notably, Franz Marc’s beloved 1911 painting Die grossen blauen Pferde (The Large Blue Horses)—to be on view when the MIA opens its new wing for twentieth-century art on June 11, 2006.

“The Minneapolis Institute of Art is honored to have this very significant loan from our sister institution in the Twin Cities. Even more important is the beginning of a renewed exchange between the Walker and the MIA that will benefit this community and beyond,” said William Griswold, director and president of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Acquired by the Walker in 1942, The Large Blue Horses was the first modernist work acquired by the Walker and was last on view in Minneapolis and in the United States in 2001 during the touring exhibition “Franz Marc and the Blue Rider.”

“The Walker is delighted to share The Large Blue Horses, a modernist masterpiece, with the community and to assist our sister institution in celebrating its new expansion,” said Kathy Halbreich, director of the Walker Art Center. “We anticipate this will be the first of many collaborations with the MIA. Our collective goal is to offer the art-loving audience more valuable experiences.”

The MIA and the Walker art exchange includes possible gifts of artworks. Pending Trustee approval, the gifts from the Walker to the MIA could include nineteenth-century West African Baga and Senufo masks and a Pre-Columbian Chimu vessel and textile fragment. The MIA is expected to loan a selection of drawings to the Walker for an exhibition scheduled for 2007.

In addition, staff from the two organizations are actively discussing plans for joint public programs and shared exhibitions that will draw inspiration from both institutions’ collections.

This exchange marks the beginning of further collaboration between the two largest visual arts organizations in the Twin Cities. Previous exchanges include the long-term loan of beginning in 1976 and eventual gift of Jade Mountain (1784), believed to be the largest piece of historic carved jade outside of China, from the T.B. Walker Foundation to the MIA in 1992.

Loans of Artworks from the Walker to MIA

Franz Marc, Die grossen blauen Pferde (The Large Blue Horses), 1911, oil on canvas,
41 5/8 x 71 5/16 in., gift of the T. B. Walker Foundation, Gilbert M. Walker Fund, 1942

An acknowledged masterpiece by Marc, a founding member of the avant-garde German group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), which was active in the years before World War I.

Rudolf Belling, Kopf in Messing (Head in Brass), 1925, brass, 15 ¼ x 8 13/16 x 8 11/16 in., gift of the T. B. Walker Foundation, 1957

Two additional works that might be on view for the MIA’s grand opening installations:
Marguerite Wildenhain, Bowl, 1946, ceramic, loan from Walker Art Center; and Edwin and Mary Scheier, Plate, 1945, ceramic, loan from Walker Art Center.

Pending Approval, Gifts of Artworks from the Walker to the MIA

Baga Tribe, French Guinea, West Africa, Mask, 19th century, polychrome on wood, gift of the T. B. Walker Foundation, 1962

Senufo Tribe, West Africa, Dance Mask, wood, gift of the T. B. Walker Foundation, 1960

Pre-Columbian, Chimu Vessel, n.d., ceramic, Art Center Acquisition Fund, 1959

Pre-Columbian, Peruvian Textile fragment, Chimu c. 1200 AD, gift of Eugene Schwarz, 1955

About the Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, home to one of the finest encyclopedic art collections in the country, houses approximately 100,000 works of art representing more than 5,000 years of world history. Highlights of the permanent collection include European masterworks by Rembrandt van Rijn, Nicolas Poussin, and Vincent Van Gogh, as well as internationally significant collections of Asian art, decorative arts, Modernism, photographs, and African and Native American art.

General admission is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. 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 www.artsmia.org.

About the Walker Art Center
The Walker Art Center is a major local, national, and international artistic resource known for commissioning and presenting innovative contemporary art. Its programs in the visual, performing, and media arts engage diverse audiences in the excitement of the creative process. A 2005 building expansion, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, doubled the size of the facility and added four galleries, the 385-seat William and Nadine McGuire Theater, 20.21 Restaurant & Bar by Wolfgang Puck, shop, lounges, interactive education areas, and a special-events space. Gallery Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 11 am–5 pm; Thursday, Friday: 11 am–9 pm; Free First Saturdays: 10 am–5 pm; Closed Monday. Admission: $8 adults; $6 senior citizens; $5 students/teens; Free, Walker members and children under 12. Free, first Saturday of every month and Thursday evenings.

Walker Art Center programming is made possible by its Premier Partners: Ameriprise Financial, Best Buy, General Mills, Target, Star Tribune, and WCCO-TV.

The Walker Art Center is located at 1750 Hennepin Avenue—where Hennepin meets Lyndale—one block off Highways I-94 and I-394, Minneapolis.

For public information, call 612.375.7600, or visit walkerart.org.