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

Don’t forget the March Friends Lecture!

March 12, 2020 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Don’t miss out on revolutionary opportunities, the French Salon, and slanderous art critics at the next Friends lecture.

Please join the Friends of the Institute as former Mia curator Lisa Michaux speaks on  “Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, and Marie Bracquemond and the Impressionist Exhibitions.”

Life as an artist was a challenge for women in late 19th-century France. Banned from studying at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts until 1897, women had to find other means of artistic instruction. This lecture will examine the women of the Impressionist movement, and provide greater understanding of the social and historical factors at play in late 19th century France.

Lisa Michaux was a curator in Mia’s Prints and Drawings department from 1990 to 2010 and is now a private art consultant and dealer. She divides her time between Paris and Minnesota and loves all things French, despite her inability to master the language. Join us in welcoming her back to Mia!

Reserve your ticket through the link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

Get Tickets

Friends only tour with Mia’s Senior Educator

March 17, 10:50AM- 12:15PM, Mia First Floor Lobby

Ticket Price: Free

Join us for a FREE Friends Only tour developed by Debra Hegstrom, Mia’s Senior Educator.

Debra Hegstrom is Mia’s Senior Educator and oversees the docent program, which includes teaching, evaluating and coaching docents.  Debra is involved in exploring new gallery strategies that incorporate critical thinking and cultural fluency.

In this tour, we’ll examine various points of view by changing our viewing lens while looking at works of art.  Viewing art through more than one lens can offer us greater insight or a different entry point into the work. Debra received her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.  We’ll meet at 10:50 in the upper lobby across from the gift shop.  The tour is limited to 15 to 18 people so contact the Friends Office ( / 612.870.3045) to register soon! 

March Book Club meets for Exit West

March 20, 2020 10:00 am


Art & Research Library

Ticket Price: Free


The Friends Book Club will meet in the Art & Research Library on the first floor of the Target Wing.  All Friends members are invited to attend.

The March selection will be the award-winning book, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. Described as a visionary love story tracing the immigrant journey from homeland to an uncertain future in new lands, the story of Nadia and Saeed reveals the global perils that so many must face. 

Honors for this inventive work of fiction include Finalist for the Booker Prize and one of the 10 Best Books for 2017 by the New York Times Book Review.  The Review stated, “It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future…”

The discussion will be led by docent Bruce Robbins who holds a Ph.D. in Latin American history.  During his career he spent 30 years as a diplomat and teacher for the Methodist Church. Mia docents will guide members on gallery tours following the book discussion. 

Reservations are recommended. Please call in or email a reservation prior to the Friday meeting, or 612.870.3045.   Beverages will be provided courtesy of the Friends.

For further information about this Friends Only event please contact  We hope that you will join us!   


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