The most exciting rite of spring is just over 3 months away.  Art in Bloom, the main and biggest fund raising event for the Friends of the Institute, is getting ready to fill our volunteer time-slots and your help is needed! Art in Bloom relies heavily on more than 200 Volunteers to make this annual event a success. There are many exciting volunteer positions to choose from: Fashion Show and Luncheon, Flowers After Hours, Art In Bloom Shop, Morning Coffee Greeters and many more choices! We believe you’ll have a great time with new and old friends.
Volunteers are needed Wednesday, April 27 through Sunday, May 1st, 2016. We will be using Sign Up Genius, an exciting, user-friendly web-based system that allows you to control your schedule to reserve available times and positions. Watch for more details coming soon, including a link to Signup Genius. For additional information, contact Volunteer Committee Co-Chairs Patty Williams ( and Ruth Shields ( We are so excited for your volunteer contribution and we look forward to building on the success of this most important Mia event.


Linda and Phil
Honorary Chair Linda Boelter and her husband Phil

If you’ve been around the Friends for any time at all, you know Linda Boelter.  Few people have been as active and committed to the Friends of the Institute as our Art in Bloom 2016 Honorary Chair. When Linda accepted an invitation from two Friends to help with the Hospitality Committee nearly 25 years ago, she had no idea how that would change her life. Not only has Linda co-chaired our biggest fund-raiser, Art in Bloom, not once but twice, she has also chaired long-time fall fund-raiser Art Perchance.
Her leadership is just part of Linda’s accomplishments. Her willingness to help on any committee, or wherever she is needed, has made her someone all of the Friends know they can count on. One of her best gifts to the Friends is her daughter, Carrie Kilberg, an Art In Bloom 2016 co-chair along with Barbara Scott. Now that’s dedication!
Linda has described her Honorary Chair title this year as a privilege and a way of giving back to the Friends for all the wonderful relationships she has shared though the years. She and her husband, Phil, a staunch supporter of the Friends, have forged many lasting friendships over the years, and in her own words, “Thank you for each and every one of my experiences with the Friends.”
We want to extend our sincere gratitude to Linda for her unending dedication to the Friends organization and for her generous sponsorship of Art in Bloom 2016.

Art in Bloom's 2016 Signature Image


Signature Image 2016
The Laurel Tree of Carolina (Magnolia Grandiflora) Engraved and hand-colored by Georg Dionysius Ehret; after Mark Catesby 1771

Art In Bloom Co-Chairs Barbara Scott and Carrie Kilberg are thrilled to introduce their Signature Image for 2016, The Magnolia. This exquisite hand-colored copper engraving was created by Georg Dionysius Ehret after Mark Catesby, a British subject who spent years in the American South of the mid-18th century.
Carrie and Barbara searched through box after box of very old prints in the Prints and Drawings office at Mia, always drawn to this lovely piece with its bold, exotic flavor. They think the charm and brilliance of this magnificent broad-leaved magnolia is a perfect embodiment of the spirit of Art In Bloom, and hope you agree!
Catesby was a pioneering naturalist, artist and horticulturist who worked predominantly in water color to capture the flora and fauna not seen in his native England or even all of Europe. A naturalist endowed with a genius for recreating and capturing nature’s beauty, the whole of his work is described by the Royal Society of London as “the most magnificent work … since the art of printing has been discovered.” Catesby personally produced his engravings and hand-colored them himself to assure the fidelity of his work. The Magnolia is the masterpiece of his Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands.


Collection Connection

City Night
City Night, 1926, Georgia O’Keeffe, American, Oil on Canvas, 80.28

By Merritt Nequette
Two oddly-shaped polygons looming in the foreground.
Very dark polygons.
Leaning toward each other.
They could be skyscrapers.
Skyscrapers are in big cities.
There are no people.
There are no windows.
A very white polygon is in the background.
Where is the light that illuminates this polygon?
There are no people.
There are no windows.
There may be a doorway in the polygon to the left.
There could be an overhang over the doorway.
There may be a single street light beyond – in this big city.
We may be looking down a pathway – street? – between these polygons.
There may be a moon hanging low in the very dark sky.
We have only a few moments to see it pass between our polygons.
It is a dark night.
Where is the light for the white polygon?
This is a lonely city – on a dark night.
Perhaps I am not happy living here.

Friends Book Club January 15, 2016

Friends members, join us on Friday, January 15 at 10:20 a.m. in Studio 114 for a docent-led tour at 10:30 a.m. of pieces related to The Samurai’s Garden, a novel by Gail Tsukiyama. The Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930’s is the background for a 20-year-old-Chinese painter named Stephen. He is sent to his family’s summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from tuberculosis. The intertwined stories of Stephen’s new friends, war, and family bring him the beginnings of wisdom, love, honor, and loss. Discussion and light treats will follow from 11:30 12:30 p.m. Please call the Friends office (612) 870-3045 to register. We have spots for up to 25 members. Friends Events Co-Chair JeanMarie Burtness is looking forward to seeing you!
Here are the books for 2016 for Friends Book club.
* February 19: Emma by Jane Austen
* March 18: The Swerve, How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
* April 15: Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman


Pillsbury Auditorium 11:00AM
Valerie Steele, Director of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City as well as a fashion historian and curator, gives a fun, innovative and academic perspective on undergarments for women through history. Steele is known as the “Freud of fashion.”

All tickets for this event have been reserved. Please join us in overflow in the Wells Fargo Community Room.


January 14, 2016 Pillsbury Auditorium 11:00 AM
The Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy was one of the great centers of gold work during the Renaissance.  There, on the bridge, is a large statue of Benvenuto Cellini. Cellini’s iconic Salt-Cellar, or Saliera, as it is known, designed for King Francis I has come to symbolize the extraordinary level of invention and skill achieved by the greatest of Renaissance goldsmiths. Also known as the Mona Lisa of sculpture, the Salt-Cellar represents one of many masterpieces in gold, silver and precious stones that Cellini and his contemporaries fashioned for Europe’s most important patrons. Denise Allen is one of the great scholars of Cellini and Renaissance goldsmiths and jewelers. Come and be dazzled by the amazing styles and techniques of the artisans of Europe in the 16th century.Denise Allen  Ms. Allen is a Curator of the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her area of specialty is Italian Renaissance sculpture, with a focus on the work of Benvenuto Cellini. As a curator at The Frick Collection from 2003-2014, Ms. Allen curated six exhibitions dedicated to the art of the bronze statuette including: Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Hill Collection (2014), Andrea Riccio (2008), and European Bronzes from the Quentin Collection (2004). Ms. Allen was the associate curator of Paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, (1995-2002). She received her Master of Fine Arts from the New York University Institute of Fine Arts  and a B.A. from Wellesley College. Ms. Allen has authored numerous exhibition catalogs, academic essays and articles. Please join us as Denise Allen explores the almost forgotten world of Renaissance goldsmiths and jewelers and the objects of incredible splendor that they created.
Tickets for this lecture are open for reservation on December 15th for Friends members, and December 17th  for the public.  Please call 612-870-6323 or go online to reserve yours that day.


We are thrilled to have so much interest in this special offering!
Please email Shelly McGinnis at  on or after the 15th of the month; as this is the same day Friends can call for lecture tickets. She will reply as promptly as she can. Each email may request no more than 2 tickets; a name for the second ticket must also be included. All attendees must be Friends members.  These tours, given by docents, are a perk of Friends Membership.
Click here for more ticketing information.
The check in process is being streamlined. Please meet in the 3rd St lobby at 9:45 am, tours start at 10:00 am. The tickets for the lecture will be handed out before the lecture begins in the Fountain Court. Tour attendees will be seated in the reserved seating area after they have been given their tickets.
We will not take more than 18 per tour and ask that everyone respects this offering and the parameters that we have in place so we may continue to feature these popular tours.


At all of the lectures during the 2015–2016 season, guests will enjoy coffee and treats provided through funds donated by the Rochester Friends at both the fountain court and overflow sites. Please thank them for this welcome gesture of hospitality.

Happy Holidays!

Connie SommersThe museums’ 100th Birthday Year is winding down.  It’s been an exciting time.  The Friends Office is fortunate to be a part of all the surprises and happenings.  However, now we turn our attention and energies to gathering our loved ones together and preparing family traditions and goodies.
I wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season.
Enjoy!  Connie

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