Happy New Year, Friends!
Do you remember when we were stocking up on canned tuna and bottled water, preparing for a potential blackout at the beginning of the new millennium? Here we are in 2020, preparing for the hundredth birthday celebration of the Friends organization.
A small group of art-loving friends came together to form the Friends of the Institute of the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 1922. Right away the Friends began to raise funds to support Mia. In 1924, funds were given to furnish the Providence parlour. Portrait of Marcy Olney (1749 – 1780?) by eighteenth century artist Jeremiah Theus was acquired, and the following year funds were provided to complete nine new second floor galleries. And the list goes on. Friends members can be proud to be part of an organization that continues to fulfill its mission to support, enhance, and sustain the collections and programs of Mia.
To properly celebrate one hundred fabulous years, the Friends organization is supporting the acquisition of Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums by Eugène Delacroix. His artwork is a magnificent and significant addition to Mia’s art collection. The guests were awestruck when the painting was first unveiled at the preview party by Art in Bloom 2018 Honorary Chair Nikki Lewis. And when you enter Gallery 321, you too will be enraptured by Delacroix’s passion for the radiance of flowers.
Nineteenth-century poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire described his contemporary Eugène Delacroix as “passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible.” When Baudelaire said that everything beautiful is beautiful by calculation, he well described Delacroix’s deep understanding of color and composition in creating movement in his creations. Delacroix’s work inspired Impressionists with it’s expressive brushstrokes and optical effects of color.
The Friends has made great strides in its fundraising for this wonderful acquisition, and recently received a generous bequest from the Joan T. Smith fund. We thank our many supportive donors for their generosity and encourage contributions to complete our centennial gift to Mia. Be sure to visit Mia often and come admire Delacroix’s spectacular work of art.
President, Friends of the Institute