October 10 Lecture Asks “When is Art Unfinished?”

October 10, 2019 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s curator of European paintings Andrea Bayer explores the concept of unfinished art at the Friend’s October 10 lecture.


When is a work of art unfinished? How do we know? 

These are just two of the intriguing questions to be considered in this upcoming lecture by Andrea Bayer, “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible.” The longtime curator in European paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and its newly appointed Director for Collections and Administration. Ms. Bayer’s lecture will examine the concept of unfinished in a broad sense, from works that were interrupted, remaining unfinished accidentally, to works that were deliberately left incomplete. Some of history’s greatest artists explored this aesthetic of “intentionally unfinished” (also known as non finito), including Titian, Turner and Cezanne. 

From the Renaissance and Baroque periods, through the 19th century and into the 20th, Ms. Bayer will show us the artists’ minds and hands at work. From Rembrandt to Rauschenberg, we will explore together the resolved and unresolved in Western masterworks throughout time.

Appointed the Metropolitan of Art’s Director for Collections and Administration in October, 2018, Andrea Bayer was previously the Jayne Wrightsman Curator in the Department of European Paintings. She received her PhD from Princeton University in 1990, and has been on the staff of The Met since that time. 

An expert on Italian Renaissance art, she has worked on a range of exhibitions, both thematic investigations such as Painters of Reality; the Legacy of Leonardo and Caravaggio in Lombardy (2004) and Art and Love in Renaissance Italy (2008-09), and monographic shows on artists such as Tiepolo, Tintoretto, and Antonello da Messina. Her most recent exhibitions include Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible at the Met Breuer. She is currently co-chairman of the Director’s Exhibition Committee. 

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

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Learn about Friends at Friends 101

October 15, 2019 10:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 15. Learn more about the Friends followed by  a private viewing of the newly refreshed Americas galleries.

Les Namingha (American), Overlay, 2014, ceramic, pigments. Bequest of Virginia Doneghy, by exchange, 2018.6.1

Would you like to know more about what the Friends do? Please join us for Friends 101, a conversation about the history, activities, and opportunities available through the Friends. Whether you’re new to the organization or have been around for a while, we’d love to see you there! 

This popular event is free. Stay until the end of the event for an exclusive opportunity to join Mia’s Associate Curator of Native American Art, Jill Ahlberg Yohe for a presentation in the newly refreshed Americas galleries.

To attend please call the Friends office at 612.870.3045 or email

Get Reading! Friends Only Book Club is October 18

October 18, 2019 10:00 am


Mia Library

Ticket Price: Free

Jesmyn Ward’s award-winning novel entitled Sing, Unburied, Sing is October’s Book Club selection

Any Friends member interested in a stimulating book discussion around Jesmyn Ward’s 2017 award-winning novel entitled Sing, Unburied, Sing is invited to join the book club for the October meeting.  The group meets in Mia’s research library on the first floor of the Target Wing.  Following the one-hour book discussion an hour long docent-led tour will be available.  Because of the limited reservations, small groups are guaranteed for the gallery tours.

All that is requested is to call in or email a reservation prior to the meeting. There is a limit of 20 openings. Beverages will be provided courtesy of the Friends.  

The Star Tribune has described Ward’s novel as “the story of a few days in the lives of a tumultuous Mississippi Gulf Coast family and the histories and ghosts that haunt it, is nothing short of magnificent.”  The Philadelphia Inquirer adds that, “After winning the National Book Award for Salvage the Bones, Ward is back, with an epic family saga…”  Particularly relevant is this quote from the New York Times, “However eternal its concerns, Sing, Unburied, Sing is perfectly poised for the moment.”

This book club tour will offer an opportunity to view some of the new acquisitions in Mia’s collection that relate to diverse cultures and issues.  Each of the two docents guiding a tour will offer unique connections between the novel and Mia’s collection.

For further questions about this Friends Only Event please contact Elizabeth Winga,  

To make a reservation call the Friends office, 612.870.3045 or send an email to and leave your name.  There is a limit of 20 openings.

Friends Book Club is one more reason to join and support the Friends of Mia!

Friend’s Event: Creating a Landmark, Honoring a Legacy—Bell Museum and Mia

November 7, 2019 5:30 pm

Reception Hall

Ticket Price: $75

Join the Friends for an evening celebrating the new Bell Museum . This event is now rescheduled after being snowed-out in January.

Courtesy of the Bell Museum and University of Minnesota.


Please join us at this fun event, a benefit for the Friends of the Institute. Enjoy docent-led tours, wine, beer, appetizers, and a presentation by Denise Young, the Bell’s Executive Director, David Dimond, its architect, and former Mia Trustee and philanthropist Ford Bell, whose family has been instrumental in supporting both the Bell and Mia.

Architect David Dimond of Perkins + Will created a stunning setting for the Bell Museum’s collection.  He’ll enlighten us about the design process, the selection of Minnesota materials for the building and its landscaping and the special challenges of accommodating the historic dioramas.

Bell Executive Director Denise Young will share details of the amazing process of relocating the wildlife dioramas and their mural backgrounds, as well as the incorporation of stunning new high-tech exhibits, a digital planetarium and a new, life-size woolly mammoth.  

Bell Museum and Mia have some special connections.  Both were established in the late nineteenth century, and both benefited from the gifts of notable philanthropist James Ford Bell.  A devoted friend of the University of Minnesota, he was the driving force in the development of the natural history museum named in his honor in 1966. 

Event guests will enjoy tours of Mia’s natural history paintings, as well as major pieces by Revere and the Charleston Rooms donated by James Ford Bell, a perfect way to connect Mia and the Bell Museum.

Buy your ticket now through the link below or by calling 612.870.6323

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Sarah Bellamy: The Power of Art and Social Change

November 14, 2019 11:00 am

Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Please join the Friends of the Institute on November 14 as they bring to you Sarah Bellamy and “The Power of Art and Social Change.”

Sarah Bellamy is Artistic Director for Penumbra Theatre Company. She has designed several programs that engage patrons in critical thinking, dialogue and action around issues of race and social justice. Select programs include Penumbra’s Race Workshop curated to accompany the Science Museum of Minnesota’s exhibit “RACE: Are We So Different?” and the Summer Institute, a leadership development program for teens to practice art for social change.

Bellamy serves various roles and is currently the Visiting Professor of Theatre and Culture at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, visiting instructor at Macalester College, vice chair of the board of directors for Theatre Communications Group and co-chair of its Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee. She is a leading facilitator around issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion and has led coalition building efforts to address inequities in philanthropy and theater. Her lectures on race and representation have been presented across the country illuminating the ways in which images, narratives, and media, influence perception and ultimately shape lives. She leverages the Penumbra Theatre’s respected platform to benefit us all, and proves that art can drive powerful and responsible civic engagement. She has been awarded a Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award from the University of Minnesota and is 2015 Bush Fellow.

Tickets are now available; reserve your spot by following the link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

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Friends Lectures Begin September 12 with “A Contemporary Hmong Aesthetic in Cloth”

September 12, 2019 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

The Friends of the Institute welcome artist and writer Geraldine Craig as she discusses overview and history of Hmong textile traditions at Mia.

Please join the Friends of the Institute in September for Geraldine Craig’s lecture: “A Contemporary Hmong Aesthetic in Cloth.”

This lecture will provide an overview and history of Hmong textile traditions, including the dramatic shift to narrative story-cloth production in Thai refugee camps after 1975. Craig will highlight the work of two contemporary Hmong artists: Laos-based artist Tcheu Xiong and the late Ia Yang. Despite diverse childhood experiences, their work similarly reflects the influence of ritual or Amish quilts, contrasting frameworks of tradition and modernity, innovation and empowerment—an aesthetic hybrid.

Geraldine Craig is an artist and writer whose research focuses on the intersections and relationships between textile history, theory/criticism, curatorial work, and studio practice. Her writing is formed by modes of knowing as a maker, with primary research interests in contemporary art/craft and Hmong textiles. Craig has exhibited her work and been artist in residence at many national and international locations. She is a professor of art and associate dean at Kansas State University.

Tickets are available for Friends members on July 15, and the general public on July 17. Reserve your ticket by following the link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

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Reservations open for September Luncheon

September 12, 2019 12:30 pm


Target Reception Hall

Ticket Price: $30

Join your Friends for lunch following the September lecture

Fall is coming and so is the first Friend’s luncheon. On September 12, following the lecture by Geraldine Craig, there will be a lovely meal of vegetarian butternut squash soup with crème fraiche, red butter lettuce salad with apple cider vinaigrette, toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranates, and blue cheese, followed by a dessert of pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese mousse. This experience is $30, including tax and gratuities.

Please join us as we get caught up and welcome the fall season.

All reservations MUST be received by Thursday, September 5, 4PM. To reserve your spot online, follow the link below or call 612.870.6323.

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

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Join Friends September 13 for Book Club

September 13, 2019 10:00 am


Mia Library

Ticket Price: Free

Join your Friends who love books every month at the Friends Book Club and check out this season’s preview!

Friends members who love books are encouraged to come to a gathering of the Friends Book Club this year.  These intriguing book discussions are held September through April (except December) on the third Friday of the month and follow selections for Mia’s Inspired by Books monthly tours in the Mia Library. The program is a free benefit for Friends members. Reservations are recommended.

The first Friends Book Club meeting on Friday, September 13 at 10AM for Fall 2019 will focus on an exquisitely written book, An Odyssey, by Daniel Mendelsohn.  A one-hour book discussion led by docent Elizabeth Winga will be followed by a one-hour book-related tour of the galleries, custom-designed by one of Mia’s docents. Beverages will be provided courtesy of the Friends. 

Hearing the title An Odyssey no doubt conjures up school day memories of the Greek poet Homer. Reviewers have assured us that rereading the classic is not required to enjoy this memoir.  The focus is, instead, on a father and son relationship that highlights  experiences when the father decides to audit his professor son’s college course at Bard College. 

The Los Angeles Review of Books describes Mendelsohn’s book as “heartfelt, touching…a dazzling rich story of identity and recognition from an exacting critic and award-winning memoirist…”  As one might suspect, the author’s narrative comes to echo Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey.

To make a reservation please call the Friends office at 612.870.3045 or send an email to  Space is limited to twenty Friends only, so reserve your spot today!

Mark your calendar for 2019 selections/dates that include: 

Friday, October 18 at 10AM
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward is a journey through Mississippi’s past and present revealing an epic tale of hope and struggle that examines the ugly truths at the heart of this American story.  

Friday, November 15 at 10AM
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen connects to a special exhibition in the galleries as well as current issues of immigration.  

No meeting in December

2020 book selections will be announced at a later date.

For more information about this Friends Only Event please contact Elizabeth Winga,  Friends Book Club is one more reason for joining and supporting the Friends of Mia!

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

Join The Friends

Save the date for the Bell at Mia

November 7, 2019 5:30 pm

Target Reception Hall

Ticket Price: $75

 Creating a Landmark, Honoring a Legacy: Bell Museum and Mia has been rescheduled for November 2019

Courtesy of the Bell Museum and University of Minnesota.

Mark your calendar for this special event on November 7! After being snowed out last January, the Friends are happy to announce the rescheduling of the Bell at Mia. At this fundraiser for the Friends, learn about the exciting new Bell Museum, Minnesota’s official natural history museum and planetarium.

Meet Director Denise Young, award-winning architect David Dimond of Perkins + Will, and Trustee and philanthropist Ford Bell, whose family has been instrumental in supporting both the Bell and Mia.

Enjoy docent-led tours of Mia’s permanent collection that connect the two museums, including art donated by the Bell family, plus wine, beer and appetizers.

Reserve tickets at or 612.870.6323 after September 1. Held in Mia’s Reception Hall, third floor Target Wing.  Join us, bring a friend, support the Friends!

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Join your Friends on a Trip to Portugal in May 2020

See the best museums and architecture of Lisbon and Porto, Portugal with all your Friends!

May 11-18, 2020

Price: $3,210 (airfare not included)

Friends, their friends and families are invited to the 2020 Friends Art and Architecture Trip to Portugal. Yes! We are venturing to Europe and it will be a great trip.  Six nights and seven days of the best museums and architecture Lisbon and Porto,  Portugal will be featured.  

Friends will get to experience these destinations from a cultural and culinary perspective.  To learn more, click on  this link for more details and specifics for the trip. Committee chair Lucy Hicks (952.217.0330) and travel coordinator Vanessa Blaisdell (612.866.2503) are available to answer questions, so feel free to contact either one.  

Join your Friends this May in Portugal.  It will be  a trip you won’t soon forget!

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