Annual Meeting/Report for the Friends of the Institute

May 14, 2020 11:00 am


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Join the Annual Meeting on May 14 via THIS LINK (or by calling  402-821-1185 and entering the PIN: 274 712 587#).

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If you have any questions, please email

Read the State of the State of the Friends!

Group portrait of the 2019-2020 Friends of the Institute Board. September 2019. Target Park and Walkway, Minneapolis Institute of Art.

The Friends organization is making history in 2020 by holding the first virtual annual meeting! The current state makes the temporary change a necessity. 

NOTE: Please read the following agenda and committee reports before attending our virtual meeting at 11AM on Thursday, May 14. Thank you for your attendance and your vote.

The Friends of the Institute is an organization of members dedicated to supporting, enhancing, and sustaining the collection, programs, and influence of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.


  1. Confirm that there is a quorum – at least five percent of Friends membership.
  2. Vote to suspend the reading of the minutes from the 2019 Annual Meeting. The minutes from past annual meetings are available in the Friends office or on the web page.
  3. Report the financial state of Friends.
  4. Answer questions about annual report.
  5. Present the slate of 2020/2021 Friends officers.
  6. Ask for nominations from the floor.
  7. Approve the 2020/2021 Friends officers.
  8. Adjourn the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Institute.



I would like to begin by thanking our members for their loyal support of the Friends organization, Mia, and the arts. Art is a vital part of life in good times and challenging ones. Its wonder energizes and inspires us. Friends volunteers time and talent to make the wonder of art more accessible during 2019/2020. Although cut short, the year was a productive one, thanks to dedicated volunteers, who gave their creativity, time, and talents, and also to the capable Mia staff, who gave their solid support to every project. 


Molly VanMetre reports:

As of February 2020, our resources totaled $435,947.47. This number includes $69,044.80 specifically earmarked for the purchase of the Delacroix work which was transferred to Mia in April. Our position compares favorably to total resources of $382,304.39 at the same time last year, including $59,675 in donations specifically designated for the purchase of the Delacroix. This year’s figure includes $31,087.11 in similarly designated funds.

A highlight of this year through February is that we’ve funded 43 buses for 26 different schools to bring young students to Mia, thanks to both direct donations to our Buy a Bus Fund and the income we are allocated each year from the Transportation Endowment Fund. 

The cancellation of Art in Bloom 2020, and the blizzard-impacted results from Art in Bloom 2019, are having a significant impact on our financial condition. As such, we are carefully examining all of our activities while attempting to come up with a budget for fiscal 2021 that reflects ongoing support for the mission of the Friends, and in turn that of Mia itself. 

We appreciate all that you do as Friends members to support our mission, both as monetary contributors and as volunteers. Your continuing support and commitment will help us to achieve our mission to serve Mia’s goals and objectives.


Lucy Hicks reports:

The wonderful May 2020 Friends trip to Portugal was canceled because of the Coronavirus pandemic.


Therese Blaine and Maria Reamer report:

Art in Bloom 2020, scheduled to run from April 23 – 27, was canceled due to the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. Beginning in early October a team of 56 team Art in Bloom Committee members began planning activities and events for what would have been a spectacular 37th Annual Art in Bloom. Under the leadership of AIB Co-chairs Maria Reamer and Therese Blaine, twenty-nine separate Committees invested time, creativity, and talent to eventually host five days of packed scheduling, guaranteed to engage and delight all visitors including patrons, flower lovers, and children. 

This year the mission of the Co-Chairs was to create an enriching experience for AIB volunteers and visitors while raising funds to ensure that busloads of school children could come to Mia. With this goal in mind, the Co-chairs set out to support their volunteers with clear communication channels, ample Friends office staff and Mia professional staff assistance, and team building events including a November House party and a mid-winter pizza party. 

The Co-Chairs also worked cooperatively with Mia’s Advancement team to secure corporate sponsorships, and with Friends advisors to cultivate and secure individual sponsorships. This effort was very successful, with new Corporate sponsor Target, legacy sponsor Bachman’s, and Special event sponsors, Galleria, Hirschfield’s, Artful Living, StarTribune, and MetroTransit, to name a few. 

In an attempt to raise awareness and money from the thousands of Art in Bloom guests, the AIB team developed a “Wheels on the Bus Campaign”, enabling all AIB attendees to easily contribute cash to the important Friend’s mission of bringing students to the museum via bus transportation grants. Especially of note this year, was the smooth transition of Pedestal Floral Artist registration to an online system that included artwork selection numbers assigned by lottery; the decision to return the Preview Party to a formal reception and sit down dinner; the excitement created by the selection of a Native American Signature Artwork: “Floral Legacy” by a living Dakota Artist, Holly Young; and the AIB Co-Chairs productive and respectful working relationships with all areas of Mia’s professional staff forged by monthly and sometimes weekly “Strategy Team” meetings that began in early July 2019.


Barb Champ reports:

Committee members continue to work on a fabulous one-hundred-year birthday celebration for Friends of the Institute. 


Tammy Meyer kept the Friends board and e-guides informed of one another’s activities.


Elizabeth Winga reports:

The Book Club for Friends members met monthly on Friday mornings in Mia’s Research Library.  Docents and Friends members served as moderators.  Following each discussion, custom-designed gallery tours on the book’s theme were led by Mia’s docents.  Unfortunately, the year was cut short in March due to the Covid-19 virus restrictions.

Michele Byfield-Angell and Julie Bolton report:

A variety of Friends-Only programs were held each month including curator tours, tours arranged by Julie of the Midwest Conservation Center, and the framing department at Mia. Mia’s Senior Educator Debra Hegstrom was scheduled on March 17 to show participants how art through more than one lens can offer us greater insight or a different entry point into the work. It was postponed until next year.


Beverly Hauschild-Baron reports:

On November 7, 2019, more than 90 guests enjoyed an evening of information and conviviality at a fundraiser celebrating  Mia’s relationship with the Bell Museum of Natural History. Docent-led tours were a hit, as were the three speakers: Ford Bell who spoke of his philanthropist grandfather, James Ford Bell, Bell Museum Executive Director Denise Young, and architect David Dimond. The James Ford Bell Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture and head of the Department of Decorative Arts, Textiles, and Sculpture Ghenete Zelleke also spoke in the galleries.


Jeanne Scheiderer reports:

The committee is gathering material for Friends hundredth year celebration in 2022.


Carol Poulson and Kris King arranged great luncheon gatherings after the September, December, and February Friends lectures. Their menu selections from Deco catering were delicious and the table settings and centerpieces added to the fun gatherings.  


Helen Leslie and Barbara Proeschel report:

The 2019/2020 Friends Lecture Series brought us a broad array of speakers, starting off with a talk on Hmong textiles and ending two months early with one on Women and Impressionism. Most of our lectures, which are free and open to the public, were ticketed close to Pillsbury Auditorium capacity this year. Due to the pandemic crisis and closure of the museum, we were obliged to cancel our lectures in April and May. We are grateful to the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund, which continues to generously fund two of our speakers each year.

Look at the April Friends newsletter for the Vimeo link to Women and Impressionism, a fabulous March 12 Friends lecture by former Mia curator Lisa Michaux.


Teresa Luterbach and Melanie Nelson report:

The number count as of April 1, 2020, is 679 Friends members.

In October, Friends 101 was held for Friends to have a conversation about the history, activities, and opportunities available through the Friends of the Institute. The event was followed by a tour of the newly refreshed Americas galleries led by Associate Curator of Native American Art, Jill Ahlberg Yohe.

Renewal reminders were sent to members during the year. And many thanks go to those volunteering to make calls to Friends members, recognizing them for their support and loyalty. 


Sharon Secor and Laurie Fontaine-Junker report:

Newsletter turned out more than 12 Friends newsletters in 2019/2020 that were electronically sent to all members and are available to the public on the website. The newsletter keeps us informed and entertained.


Barb Edin reports:

Outreach worked with the Art Adventure program to bring volunteers to Whittier School to make presentations of objects that will be followed up by tours at Mia. This year’s program had to be canceled because of Coronavirus. 


Shelly McGinnis and Lisa Berg report:

The holiday tree in the rotunda was so attractive. Participants of all ages on docent tours that commented on how beautiful it was.


Pat Gale reports:

Pat enjoyed her relationship with Rochester president Sharon Parham and attended several Rochester Friends functions. Rochester continues to contribute to treats and coffee before the Monthly Friends lectures and we thank their generosity.


Boyd Ratchye reports:

Boyd has enjoyed acting as the liaison to St. Cloud Friends and attended several of their functions. He enjoyed working with St. Cloud president Libbie Brunsvold.


Laura Miller and JeanMarie Burtness report:

Transportation co-chairs worked with Paula Warn and Jennifer Curry in the tour office to obtain the figures. 

Thirty-three schools took tours before the academic year was cut short. Most school tours take place in spring.

A total of fifty-seven school busses were funded by mid-March

Reimbursement checks amounting to $11,400 *were sent to schools through March 13, 2020.

*Please note the different totals from the treasurer’s report, ending with February numbers.


Sue Stillman reports:

A loyal corps of volunteers sent out printed newsletter to members without e-mail. Volunteers ushered guests in Pillsbury for the monthly Friends lectures and were ready to assist with any other Friends needs. Sue was always there to coordinate the effort.


Kathryn Koessel, Julie Holland, Nikki Lewis, Tracy Schaefer, and Katie Searl

Friends board advisors contributed their time and expertise to provide guidance when needed.


Katie Remole reports:

Nominating worked hard this year to put together a superb slate of nominees for the 2020/2021 Friends Board.

The slate of Friends board officers:

Friends president – Maria Eggemeyer

First vice president/president-elect – Julie Holland

Research and Planning (second vice president) – Liz Short

Secretary – Carol Stoddart

Treasurer – Renee Kessler

Development Relations chair – Maria Reamer

I am profoundly thankful to the 2019/2020 Friends board. I am also appreciative of having had the privilege of working with a talented Executive committee, including First vice president Robin Keyworth, Research and Planning and second vice president Liz Short, Secretary Chris Vickery, Treasurer Molly Van Metre, and Development Relations chair Carol Stoddart.

Friends thank Mia’s leadership team composed of Director Katie Luber, Board of Trustees Chair David Wilson, Deputy Director Pat Grazzini, and Chief Advancement Officer Julianne Amendola who are expertly and thoughtfully guiding the Mia community in uncertain times. Friends also thank Julianne Amendola for her role as Friends liaison to Mia.

Mia staff plays an instrumental part in supporting all our events and activities, and Friends are deeply grateful. 

And last, but not least, the Friends organization depended on the daily dedication of our talented and knowledgeable office staff – Jackie Figueroa, Lizzi Ginsberg, and Sara Westman. We wish Jackie the best in her new role as Mia Store manager and Sarah good fortune in her new endeavors. Thank you to everyone.

We are particularly indebted to our well-versed office assistant Lizzi, who now from home handles any office task and coordination with utmost grace and preparedness. 

In closing, I again would like to show my deep appreciation for all Friends members, past and present, who have kept our organization healthy and active for almost one hundred years. Together we can look forward and work to make 2020 a fitting birthday celebration for a strong group that has been devoted contributor wonderful Mia. 

This event is a Friends Only Event. Join the Friends today and attend the event!

Join The Friends

April Tea Party Introduces New Mia Director to Friends

Mia’s New Director, Katie Luber

Dr. Katherine Crawford Luber, also known as Katie, is the new Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of Mia. Luber comes to Minneapolis from the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), the only encyclopedic fine art institution in south Texas, where she has served as the Kelso Director for the last eight years.

Katie started her tenure as Mia’s director on January 2 and has had, we expect, a whirlwind year so far!

President of the Friends Maria Eggemeyer and the board were looking forward to hosting her at a recent meeting.  As with all things right now, the stay at home order meant that the Friends and Mia improvised that meeting and Katie graciously hosted an online “tea party” on Wednesday, April 29 for Friends Board members.

To join the Tea Party, click here and follow along with the events from April 29.

Born and raised in Texas, Luber’s pathway to art museum leadership combines traditional educational and work experiences with out-of-the-box aspects that strengthen her management and leadership skills. She has a B.A. in art history from Yale University, an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in art history from Bryn Mawr, where her dissertation focused on the paintings of Albrecht Dürer. She was subsequently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in residence at the Kunthistoriches Museum in Vienna to support this scholarship, after which her dissertation was published by Cambridge University Press.

Prior to arriving in San Antonio, Luber’s other art museum positions included serving as a research associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and, for nearly 10 years, as a John G. Johnson Curator of Northern Renaissance and Baroque Paintings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she oversaw the reinstallation of those collections, engaged with the museum’s 19th-century French paintings, researched and installed the museum’s collection of Latin American Colonial paintings, and oversaw the installation and mechanical renovation of the building housing the museum’s world-famous Rodin collection. Luber also completed an M.B.A. at Johns Hopkins University, and as founder, president, and CEO launched, managed, and ultimately sold a successful start-up company, underscoring her capacity for innovation.

We extend a warm welcome to Katie from the Friends!

From roadkill to the runway: Artist Holly Young on the purse that became an Art in Bloom sensation

by Diane Richard 
Long before anyone knew what COVID-19 was, or that Mia would close this spring because of it, Holly Young was in Bismarck, North Dakota, thinking about the 2019 Sante Fe Indian Market. It was several months before the nation’s premier showcase for Native artists, and Young was looking for a challenge. So she dug into her stash of roadkill porcupine quills.

Holly Young

She transformed the quills, along with leather and feathers, into a lavish purse imagined for the catwalk. At the market, her extraordinary artwork caught the eye of Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Mia’s associate curator of Native American art. Snared, more like it. Like an eagle surveys a fox eyeing a hare, Young noted Ahlberg Yohe circling back multiple times to examine the purse. When Ahlberg Yohe approached her to praise it, Young felt euphoric. Before long, a purchase was brewing. Three members of the Friends of the Institute—Maria Eggemeyer, Maria Wagner Reamer, and Therese M. Blaine—generously opened their own pocketbooks to secure the purse for the museum’s collection.

Raised in Fort Yates, North Dakota., and now living in Bismarck, Young wasn’t sure the artist life was for her. In times of doubt, the rich art legacy of her Dakota ancestors sustains her. Now, she hopes to be a bridge for future artists—her 12-year-old daughter, Inyan, for instance. “She has finally got into art herself,” she says. “She is such a huge part of my art journey. I feel like it’ll bring us closer.”

Here, she talks about her heritage and the purse, called Floral Legacy, which was chosen as the featured work for Art in Bloom at Mia this year.

How does the natural world inspire you?

I grew up with my grandma out in the country. We lived in a really small house, seven miles out of town on a few acres of land. I don’t think nature was important to me at that time. When I look at my own art now, though, I can see how it was poking its head out. It’s something that’s in me, in my memory. The plants, the flowers, the relationship with the land, the healing properties that come from those things are very inspirational to my art.

I also look at the natural world as the life cycle and the relationship the animals and plants have to one another to survive. I feel that’s how my art life is. I lean on my community, the people, and the traditions to inspire me. I don’t think I flourish without it. Personally, how the natural world has the power to regenerate itself, that’s how I feel about myself as an artist. We have our highs and lows. Sometimes your art life is going really good; sometimes it’s difficult. Pulling from my community, someone will say an encouraging word and I’m able to regenerate myself.

What inspired you to make Floral Legacy?

This was only my second year at the Indian Market. I needed to come up with a big project to challenge myself. Everyone knows me as a bead worker. I knew I wanted to do quillwork; I had just taught myself quillwork. I also do ledger art. I was finishing a ledger piece, and I drew a lady who was holding a bag. I remember thinking, “This is really cute. That’s what I should make.” At the time I thought it wouldn’t be so hard. I really humbled myself thinking how fast it would go. It did not turn out to be like that. It took forever.

To read more of this article: go to the Mia website, here.


Friends shelter-in-place

We asked our Friends Board members to share what they’ve been doing during this extended time at home. Here are a few ways people are passing the time until we can be together at Mia again (hover your cursor over the photo for info).


And from Julie Bolton, some verse:

Shadows of life

Shadows of life

on the snow bed.

Mauvy morn. Moving.

Gracefully full of life – no. Only

silhouettes of shadows.

Not real life – simpler,

cleaner than life.

At least my life.

I like the shadows of things –

to clarify:

what is real – the shape,

if not Reality.

– jhbolton

Remembering a special friend of the friends


In the fall of 2010, Pauline Altermatt and I put our heads together to decide who we might ask to fill the role of Honorary Chair for Art in Bloom 2011.

With the blessings of Mia, we asked generous patron and donor Ruth Stricker to please consider being our Honorary Chair and let the Friends, by her acceptance, say thank you for her many contributions.  Ruth accepted but asked to be kept out of the limelight, which reflected her graciousness and the way she led her life.  For both Pauline and me the exposure to this amazing woman was a great addition to the success of Art in Bloom 2011.  For this,  I will be forever grateful.

– Linda Boelter

Editor’s note: Ruth Stricker passed away on April 14.

A letter from the Art in Bloom Co-Chairs

Dear Friends,

This year, we have had the great privilege of serving as Co-Chairs of Art in Bloom 2020. We are honored to have followed in the footsteps of Art in Bloom Co-Chairs going back 36 years and had believed, like all the leaders who had gone before us, we would take this event to the finish line. Unfortunately, due to the instability caused by the coronavirus, Art in Bloom, scheduled for April 23 – 26 was canceled.

Throughout late summer and early fall, we assembled a fabulous team of over 50 dedicated volunteers to serve as committee chairs and advisors. We are deeply grateful for the creativity, heart, and over 3,000 hours invested into what we know would have been a stunning Art in Bloom event. 

This spring, we were excited to unveil a new Mia acquisition, Floral Legacy, by Dakota artist Holly Young at our Gala Preview Party. Also, given the commitment of many generous individuals and corporate sponsors we anticipated a very profitable year. We want to acknowledge many individuals and organizations for an investment of time and creativity that will not be fully realized.  A special thank you to  Bachman’s and the Galleria for their commitment to Art in Bloom. Bachman’s team planned beautiful centerpieces for our events, fabulous floral accessories show for Flowers After Hours, in addition to giving a portion of proceeds from the Spring Ideas House to Art in Bloom. The Galleria team met regularly with our fashion show co-chairs, investing creativity and time into making it a spectacular event.

We are  grateful to Friends President Maria Eggemeyer for her unfailingly positive support of our work. We also thank the Friends office team of Jackie, Lizzi, and Sara who served us and AIB committees with professionalism. And, while we can’t name everyone, we would be remiss in not thanking our Mia staff partners, particularly our closest collaborators during the past ten months, the Design and Editing team, the Events Team, the Advancement team, and the Social Marketing team.  

For those of you who have participated in planning an Art in Bloom Event, you know that the dedicated AIB volunteers most deserve our gratitude and recognition— this year especially—since neither the Friends nor the wider community will be able to enjoy the amazing events and activities they had planned. This is the Art in Bloom 2020 team (over a third of the members are new to serving on the AIB Committee):

AIB Advisors:  Robin Keyworth, Connie Sommers, Molly Van Metre

AIB Individual Sponsor Advisors:  Linda Boelter and Katie Searl

AIB Secretary: Barb Mikelson

Accounting: Stephanie Wright and Marty Weicht

AfterBloom and Make&Take Workshop: Jenn Hovland

AIB Shop: Elizabeth Castronovo, Christine Meenan, Diane Morrison and Barb Champ

Bachman’s Liaison: Pam Friedland

Consumer/Print Communications: Nancy McRae

Commercial Florists: Karla Newman and Becky Prentis

Dedications: Nancy Wyatt and Deb Laub

Family Event: Mary Beech and Jill Wisdorf

Fashion Show: Heidi Ault and Gummy Grande

Floral Demonstrator Event: Judith Benton and Mary Merrick

Flowers After Hours: Jeanette Colby and Sheila Folkestad

Friends/Web Communications: Laurie Fontaine Junker and Sharon Secor

Friday Night and Mixology: Lucy and Tom Sullivan, Dan and Tana Yaranno

Great Gatherings: Jeanne Scheiderer and Mary Aamoth

Guided Tours: Arna Yetter and Diane Skrien

Hospitality: Saralee Mogilner, Nancy Withers and Julie Holland

Patron Letter: Carol Stoddart and Mary Olson

Pedestal Floral Artist Chairs: Karmen Nelson and Carol Osweiler

Pre-AIB Mailings: Chris Salmen

Pre-AIB Fundraising Event: Beverly Hauschild-Baron

Preview Party: Chris Vickery and Carol Poulson

Program Ad Sales: Linda Tell

Program Sales: Holly Hernandez

Morning Coffee: Susan Arndt

Speaker Contracts and Arrangements: Liz Short

Volunteer Recruitment: Katherine Hovde and Erica Kelly

Volunteer-at-large: Corinne Zwickey

Typically, this spring Newsletter would have detailed all the exciting events in store for Art in Bloom 2020. In fact, all of those articles were written and ready to go to press. It is bittersweet to sign off as Co-chairs with this message. But, we do so with no regrets, and with a spirit of gratitude.


Therese Blaine and Maria Reamer
Co-Chairs, Art in Bloom 2020


Friends Lecture for May Features Psychologist

Art captivates and moves us, but it takes a psychologist like Ellen Winner to try and pin down why that is.


The Friends Lecture Speaker for May is Ellen Winner, Department Head, and Professor of Psychology at Boston College and Senior Research Associate at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education. She directs the Arts and Mind Lab which focuses on cognition in the arts and is the author of more than 200 articles and four books.

We all know that art captivates and moves us, but it takes a psychologist to try and pin down why that is or to attempt to tease out the ways in which we all benefit from exposure to art. It takes a psychologist to bring the rigors of science to bear on easily made assumptions that sometimes prove not to be as obvious as they seem. For example, it was Dr. Winner who debunked the claim that exposure to arts education raises students’ scores on standardized tests, a finding that spurred her ongoing investigation into arts education and the actual benefits students derive from studying art.

In her most recent book, “How Art Works: A Psychological Exploration,” Dr. Winner looks at art through psychological and philosophical lenses and discusses answers to timeless questions such as, “Why do we need Art?” After all, no one has ever discovered a culture without one or more forms of Art. Is Art inherent to our species? Is it, like language, something we are just programmed to do, part of being human? Is it true that people have stronger emotional reactions to music than to the visual arts? Is it true that people actually can tell the difference between abstract art created by artists and that created by “my five-year-old” and, if so, how? And why is it that we are drawn to art that depicts tragic or horrifying events? Is it possible that interacting with art helps us develop empathy?

For the answers to these and other questions, come hear Dr. Winner speak. Part of the Friends Lecture Series. For tickets, go to


Friends Trip to Portugal Postponed

Friends Art & Architecture Tour to Portugal to be rescheduled to 2021

Francis Chapin, United States, 1899–1965
Boat at Nazzara, Portugal20th century, Watercolor
Bequest of Dr. John I. Coe, 2011.80.9, Copyright of the artist, artist’s estate, or assignees

As  Friends know, we are entering a new phase of the coronavirus challenge with new limitations within our state, country and all over the world. 

As a result, sadly, the Friends Art & Architecture tour originally scheduled for May 11-18, 2020, has been canceled.

The current plan is to postpone this art-inspired trip to Portugal by one year with a similar time frame in Spring 2021 between the dates of April 28-May 8, 2021.

However, the current crisis occurring in Portugal means rebooking and confirming new dates are not yet possible. Most hotels, banks and other institutions have shut their doors for the time being and there is no reopening date set. It is obviously extremely difficult to reach decision-makers and finalize future plans. 

Travelers should note that all of the funds that we have in our control are in a secure account. Once we have a better understanding of the new dates, we will likely offer two options for each traveler: 

  1)   Apply all trip deposits toward new trip dates (dates to be determined, likely between April 28-May 8, 2021)

  2)   Cancel your booking completely minus a per person cancelation penalty for the trip (cancellation amount to be determined.)  

If you booked your flights through Carrousel Travel, Art & Architecture will be reaching out to you with information about flight cancellation options/airline vouchers. If you booked your own flights, please reach out to your airline carrier for information on cancellation options or airline vouchers.

The Friends are trying to support Portuguese colleagues and the Portuguese tourism industry. As with most areas of the travel industry, many suppliers are working with future credit so we hope you would agree that given the situation in Portugal and the world, we have made good progress to this date.

Letter from the Friends President

Dear Friends,

During these meeting-free days, I have rearranged my living room, vacuumed, and have even begun to clean under the rugs and furniture cushions. But alas, I have found no buried treasures. All this frenzied activity is my way of taking care of anxious feelings, and of procrastinating the work I should be doing to prepare my taxes.

More importantly, my hope is that we stay well and that as we take the necessary precautions, our feelings of uncertainty will be assuaged.

These are times when acts of kindness and courage abound. Art institutions and artists are coming forth with their gifts of beauty and comfort. Visit for Mia’s offerings, see Florence, Italy’s Uffizi Galleries collections online (, and explore so much more. Contributions from hip hop artists, opera, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s comfort music fill the air. On the PBS NewsHour, author Ann Patchett had a few suggestions for us, such as reading 12 pages of Tolstoy’s War and Peace each night, then joining the online book club to ride out our challenging times. 

And one more fabulous gift for us: March Friends lecture speaker Lisa Michaux has sent us a Vimeo link to her fabulous talk on three French Impressionist women painters. Many were unable to get tickets and a few hesitant to come, and thanks to Lisa’s generosity, here it is for all of us to view: 


Spring will surely bring us brighter days. Thank you for your loyalty and support of Friends and Mia. 

Your Friend,

Maria Eggemeyer
Friends President

PS – If you run out of activities, have fun, be proud, and look at some of the art that the Friends have gifted Mia:

Furnishing of the Providence Parlour, given in 1994


Portrait of Marcy Olney (1749 – 1780?), c. 1771
Jeremiah Theus, given in 1925



Gaudy Vase, c. 1982
Gail Kendall, given in 1983

Amaryllis lutea, c. 1800-1806
Pierre-Joseph Redouté, given in 1991

The frame for The Denial of St. Peter, c. 1623
Gerrit van Honthorst, given in 1990


Still Life, c. 1878
Augustin Théodule Ribot, given in 1993

Maji with white beard and pendant gift, from Nativity Scene, 18th century
Unknown artist, Germany, given in 1994

Library table, c. 1800
Thomas Hope, given in 1996

Teahouse, 2001 (constructed)
Yasuimoku Komuten Company Ltd., given in 2005

Relief with a Floral Decoration, c. 1700
Unknown artist, India, given in 2000

Vue du lac de Challes et du Mont Blanc (View of the Lake of Challes and Mont Blanc), 1807-1808
Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Le Brun, given in 2008

Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums, c. 1835
Eugène Delacroix, given to celebrate Friends hundred years in 2020

A Letter from our President

 Art reflects the importance of migration stories

Maria Eggemeyer, Friends President

Dear Friends,

Each day as I drive by Mia on 24th Street, I see progress in the installation of Ai Weiwei’s art covering Mia’s massive columns. This work is unique to Mia’s exhibition of  When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Art and Migration, which originated at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Ai Weiwei’s installation of life jackets wrapped around exterior columns is a first for the United States.  His other life jacket installations have gone to such far-reaching places as the Berlin Concert Hall and the National Archives of Chile. The exhibition at Mia opened February 23 and runs until May 24.  

I was first attracted by the predominantly orange color of the life jackets, before they conjured up the current news of refugees crossing the Mediterranean, and past crossings of the Caribbean by Cubans. Ai Weiwei is a contemporary artist and dedicated activist who left China to escape the restrictions of Chinese society. He moved to the United States in 1981 where he attended the Parsons School of Design.

The January Friends lecture addressed migration with a talk by Tiffany Chung, internationally known for her multimedia work that looks at migration, conflict, and changing geographies in the wake of political and natural upheavals. Her work of maps, videos, and paintings reminded us of the importance of stories. During her talk she shared her own family story, including that of her father, who fought for the South Vietnamese military and was a prisoner of war for several years before he was released to the United States. 

Ai Weiwei’s “Safe Passage”, installed at Minneapolis Institute of Art as part of the exhibition “When Home Won?t Let You Stay: Art and Migration”.

The importance of migration stories, as told so vividly by art, beckons us to consider the current refugee crisis as a human crisis. At a training in preparation for Mia’s exhibition, University of Minnesota professor Dr. Jack DeWaard asked staff and guides whether we looked at immigration with economic logic, or as a human rights issue. He said that both had to be considered, but that we needed to choose one as the priority and then to include the other in the balance.

Between the recent exhibition on the Vietnam War, and this current exhibition on migration, Mia has given us much to search our souls. They’ve moved us to appreciate artistic expression, and to work together for the well-being of all of Twin Cities’ communities. Don’t miss When Home Won’t Let You Stay, and be sure to make your reservation for Debbi Hegstrom’s March 17 Friends Only program “Changing Viewpoints.” For this program, Debbi will guide us to look at art through a lens of critical thinking and cultural fluency—two important perspectives in the shifting geographies and demographics of today’s world.

Best regards,

Maria Eggemeyer

Friends President

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