Friends Centennial

Centennial Summer of Festivities


The Friends Centennial Committee will keep the 100th celebration going through the summer (and into the fall). Mark your calendars now! As our founders might say, “Come join us for good conversation, good cheer, and great camaraderie”.

Join us for two collaborative events scheduled in June with our neighbor, the Hennepin History Museum. 

June 15:  Friends Homecoming: a Centennial Celebration 

Tickets are available now for a reception at the Hennepin History Museum.  The evening will feature wine and appetizers, and live music from the Great American Songbook. Guests will also have a chance to view historical items owned by the Christian family. You can purchase tickets online or call 612.870.6323.

June 23 and 24: Friends and Neighbors of Mia Walking Tours 

See a detailed description and registration information in the accompanying article of this newsletter. 

July 14:  Centennial Garden Party

Please plan to join Martha Head, on July 14, in her garden on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. Friends will stroll her charming garden while enjoying wine and light summer fare from 5-7 PM. More information will arrive in mid-June. Tickets will be limited. All proceeds will go to retiring the Friend’s Delacroix commitment. Tickets will be $100. 

September 9:  Goldstein Museum of Design

The Friends are joining forces on September 9th from 5:30 – 7:30 with the nationally renowned Goldstein Museum, for a truly unique evening.  Join us for cocktails and light appetizers at McNeil Hall, St Paul Campus, University of Minnesota.  Ascend a stairway of selected couture from the Goldstein’s historic closets and peruse GMD’s latest exhibit. More information will arrive in August.  Tickets will be $100. 

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Centennial Neighborhood Walking Tour

Ticket Price: $12

A Centennial Neighborhood Walking Tour

Plan on attending the “Friends & Neighbors of Mia and Hennepin History Museum Walking Tour” of the Washburn-Fair Oaks Park neighborhood to learn about the area’s history, prominent citizens and architecture, and its ties to Mia and Friends. While on the tour, you’ll also get a glimpse into the period and how people have lived over the last hundred years.

Tours begin at the Hennepin History Museum, 2303 3rd Ave S, the former home of Friends first president, Carolyn McKnight Christian. Guests will receive a bottle of water and a treat.

End the tour at Mia in the Cargill Gallery with its beautiful exhibit highlighting past Art in Bloom art and marvel at Eugene Delacroix’s extraordinary Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums, a gift to Mia from the Friends to honor our Centennial.

Choose a tour date on either June 23 or June 24, with tours at 10-11:15 AM or 1-2:15 PM. Tickets are $12 and are available from the Hennepin History Museum, below. Space is limited but only Friends members can take advantage of early ticketing until 6/8.


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Creating Memories

Creating Memories 

Spring is finally upon us despite a stubborn debut, with many of us beginning to enjoy what so many Minnesotans dream of during those dark and frigid winter months…. being outside! We are fortunate to have an amazing park system in our city; as a matter of fact, a beautiful and historic park sits right across the street from the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Known as Washburn Fair Oaks Park, it’s situated in the Washburn-Fair Oaks Historic District.

Washburn Fair Oaks Park was the original site of United States Senator (1889-1895) William Drew Washburn’s home named “Fair Oaks.” The surrounding residences designed by famous local architects such Ernest Kennedy and William Channing Whitney showcase the architecture trends of the time. Other famous homeowners included the Pillsbury and the Turnblad families. While amassing their fortunes, these prosperous families built magnificent mansions still standing today, many dating back to 1870.

These stately homes occupied this neighborhood located on what was then an outer boundary of the city, yet close enough to its hub of business and entertainment venues to easily become the most prestigious and desirable addresses in Minneapolis.

The streetcar system added to the the area’s growth continuing through about 1930. Included in this development of course is the Minneapolis Institute of Art, originally known as the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, beginning in 1883. The esteemed New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White designed the original building housing the museum that opened its doors to the community in 1915.

Also noteworthy is building housing the Hennepin History Museum  at 2303 Third Avenue South on the east side of the park. This  was originally the home of Carolyn McKnight Christian, first president of the Friends of the Institute, who built it and lived there for almost 40 years. Having many philanthropical interests, Carolyn hosted many fundraisers and musical concerts in the Great Room of her home. In later life, she donated the house as well as her art collection to Mia in 1956. In 1957, Mia sold the home to the Hennepin County Historical Society.

With this home and the surrounding neighborhood being such an integral part of Friends history, the centennial committee is proud to co-host an evening with the Hennepin History Museum on June 15. Save the date for a “Friends Homecoming” evening reception at the Hennepin History Museum will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. with remarks at 6:15. See the original rooms of Carolyn McKnight Christian, enjoy displayed photographs and personal artifacts throughout, as well as live music, wine, and appetizers right within the formal reception room where Ms. Christian entertained her guests. Ticket price is $50 or purchase a centennial patron ticket for $100. Watch for your evite soon from the Friends office.

Plan on attending the “Friends & Neighbors of Mia and Hennepin History Museum Walking Tour” of the Washburn Fair Oaks Park neighborhood, focusing on architectural and historic information, as well as ties to Mia and Friends. Get a taste of the period, bringing our minds back to how people lived at this time. Midway through the tour there will be a quick refreshment stop at the Gale Mansion, home of the Minneapolis branch of the American Association of University Women. End the tour at Mia by walking into the Cargill Gallery exhibit highlighting past Art in Bloom and view Eugene Delacroix’s extraordinary Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums. Guests must be able to walk for one hour. Choose tour dates from either June 23 or June 24, with tours at 10-11:15 as well as 1-2:15. Tickets will be available soon. 

Summertime takes us to Martha Head’s home on Lake Minnetonka for the enchanting Friends Centennial Garden Party on July 14 from 5-7:00 pm. Join Friends for a tour, wine, and light summer fare. To allow best viewing of the gardens, space is limited to 50 guests. Attendee tickets are $50 and centennial patron tickets are $100.  All profits support the Friends Delacroix commitment. Watch for your evite this summer from the Friends office.

We hope to see many of you during these events. For any questions about these and other Friends events, please call the Friends office at 612.870.3045. Also, a reminder to pick up your Friends for 100 Years, A Lasting Legacy in the Friends office. Many of you have kindly praised this publication,  which we appreciate.

Since we began this column about spring, let us end it with an update about the exquisite dahlia Sue and Larry Bagge have cultivated for the Friends centennial. As per Sue, “The dahlia has been well received by the public when it was judged last year.” It was successfully judged at the Minnesota State Fair as well as the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The Bagges are looking forward to the magnificent blooms again this year.

Vincent van Gogh said it best: “…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”

The Friends History Publication Committee

Pamela Friedland, Linda Goldenberg, Mary Merrick, Suzanne Payne, Connie Sommers

Creating Memories

Volunteerism has always been such an integral part of Friends. But to assure an active assembly of volunteers, an organization must continually maintain its relevance, strength, and mission.

In 1925, Friends hosted the “Vanishing Luncheon”, boosting membership numbers as well as fundraising. Bernice Dalrymple, head of the Friends Finance Committee, hosted the first luncheon to acquaint sixteen friends with the newly organized Friends. One dollar was contributed by each guest, with each guest then agreeing to host her own luncheon for eight additional women. Subsequent luncheons were organized by these eight women, then by four friends, and finally luncheons were hosted for two women. What so wonderfully resulted was $2,000 raised and an even more importantly, an awareness of what Friends brings to the community.

New members are essential to any organization. They bring new ideas, new friendships, and vitality to Friends. Everyone knows someone who may lend all these qualities to our organization. Make the effort to invite them to the next lecture or other Friends events. Introduce them to all the wonderful volunteer opportunities coming up this year as we celebrate Friends centennial.

 With Art in Bloom coming soon, what a terrific time to engage new Friends as volunteers! Also, check this column monthly as we detail upcoming centennial events requiring volunteer time and talents. Friends has maintained its force and popularity because we enjoy each other’s company, and at the same time, lend assistance in the programs we promote.

Speaking of Art in Bloom, our committee came across the program from the first Art in Bloom held in 1984. How fun to include in this column an excerpt from the program discussing seasonal fashion from 1984. Keep these fashion statements in mind as you plan your wardrobe for Art in Bloom this year!

Enjoy these excerpts from the 1984 Art in Bloom program:

 “Fashion for spring thru summer is delightfully free and uncomplicated—reminiscent of simpler times, and a joy to wear…Clean simplicity—free of frills and embellishments, is the single most important feature of this season’s designs.”

 “The best news in fashion is borrowed from the boys…Beautifully softened man-style silhouette…but how serious can they be when they are as soft as the woman within…Look for roomy, oversized blazers with deep lapels…Short sleeved jackets with the comfort and ease of a shirt…Longer skirts that wrap, tie or drape in crinkled or textured fabrics.”

 “Dresses are subtly controlled…The year of the chemise…Dresses focus on the back…Lengths are getting longer…short getting shorter…seriously sexy…Flirtatious layers, sensuous draping in leg-baring chemise length or long, body skimming silhouettes…beads…sequins…bare shoulders.”

 “Fashion is…looking your best always…”

Composed by: Marilyn Sundberg, Art in Bloom Fashion Show Chairman

 Spring brings warmth, longer days, and wonderful opportunities to experience friendships. Friends provides these experiences; you bring your style, smile and your friends!

 Friends History Publication Committee

Pamela Friedland

Linda Goldenberg

Mary Merrick

Suzanne Payne

Connie Sommers

Creating Memories

Ticket Price: Free

With the prospect of spring on our doorsteps, the celebration of the Friends centennial continues in full gear. A reminder that the celebratory luncheon originally scheduled in January is rescheduled for April 14. If you purchased a ticket for this event, there is no need to re-register for the luncheon. Great news though…additional tickets are available by calling 612-870-6323 or visiting Mia’s ticketing page. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if guests showed up wearing wonderful spring hats reminiscent of Friends luncheons of decades long ago?

Also, a reminder to head to the Friends office to pick up a copy of Friends for 100 Years: A Lasting Legacy. Our committee is pleased to know that one Friends member has already placed her book on her coffee table! We are beyond honored, but more importantly know that members are learning about the remarkable past this organization possesses.

Looking ahead to upcoming centennial events brings us to the Cargill Gallery exhibition that Mia curator Tom Rassieur is planning for a mid-April opening. It will highlight previous Art In Bloom exhibitions and is another opportunity to experience the astounding Delacroix painting Friends has gifted to Mia to mark our centennial. No doubt the Delacroix will assume a place of honor in this intimate gallery.

Hennepin History Museum, once the home of first Friends President Carolyn Christian.

Mark your calendars for a unique and exciting partnership with our neighbor, the Hennepin History Museum: June 15 brings a lively “Homecoming” evening reception at HHM.

Reception Room at Hennepin History Museum

Enjoy lively music of the 1920s and view personal artifacts and photos in the rooms of Carolyn Christian’s (first Friends president) home. Hennepin History Museum Director John Crippen and Friends President Julie Holland will deliver welcoming remarks.

Further imagine life around the neighborhood with a historical and architectural walking tour focusing on the homes of residents who lived around the park and the locations of HHM and Mia. The tour offers a taste of the period and lives of the early patrons of the community, especially those connected to Friends and Mia. Each tour will begin at HHM with a view of the Reception Room there before the walking tour begins. A cookie and water break is scheduled at the Gale Mansion, today’s home of the American Association-University Women. The tour ends at Mia with an opportunity to view the Friends exhibit in the Cargill Gallery. Each tour participant will receive a tour booklet published by HHM. Ticketed tours are scheduled for June 23 and 24 at 10 am and 1 pm.

There is so much to look forward to as warm weather arrives, and we say farewell to winter!

– The Friends History Publication Committee

Pamela Friedland
Linda Goldenberg
Mary Merrick
Suzanne Payne
Connie Sommers

Creating Memories

Creating Memories is the new name for the centennial-focused column, Stepping Back in Time.

Over five years ago, when this committee started planning for the Friends centennial celebration, 2022 seemed so far away.

And as so many know, time has a way of flying by. This year is the beginning of creating memories for the next 100 years of the Friends. Plenty of activities are planned for members throughout the year.

What everyone enjoys, and is everlasting, is a photo of Friends together. We all call ourselves photographers these days, so please take the time to capture moments when we are together at Friends events. Send your photos to Claire Goulson at with pertinent information. We will look forward to sharing many of these photos in upcoming newsletter editions, but more importantly, to having a record going forth. Here is your opportunity to create memories and history. A huge thank you in advance!

Looking back at last month, we recall the beautiful display created by Friends member Chris Vickery. Visitors to the Friends office were greeted by the entrancing arrangement of the beloved Friends angels in needlepoint surrounding the 2015 Art in Bloom poster.

Twenty-five years ago, talented Friends members created 75 such stockings to commemorate the Friends 75th anniversary. Visitors to the holiday tree installed near Mia’s 24th Street entrance have been delighted to find these pieces proudly displayed in past years.



Also, in December the public had the opportunity to enjoy Mia’s artfully decorated lions flanking this same 24th Street entrance. These grand lions were a generous gift from former Friends president Ella Crosby (1960-62) dedicated to the memory of her husband, Tom, in honor of the Friends 75th anniversary in 1997. How wonderful to have the Friends Plants and Flowers committee involved in providing this holiday splendor for the community to enjoy.

April brings the exciting exhibition curated by Tom Rassieur, the John E. Andrus III Curator of Prints and Drawings. The exhibition will highlight past Art in Bloom images and the brilliant Eugene Delacroix painting, “Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums.”

Everyone knows Friends members love to be involved with the organization. With so many events on the calendar this year, volunteer opportunities are abundant. Please contact Claire Goulson at friends@artsmia or 612-870-3045 with your name and we will do our best to find a spot for you to show your talents. Being together, meeting new Friends is such an integral part of why you are a member of the Friends.

Stay warm, stay safe! We look forward to seeing you all at the Friends centennial celebrations!

Friends History Publication Committee

Pamela Friedland
Linda Goldenberg
Mary Merrick
Suzanne Payne
Connie Sommers



Centennial History Publication Committee Column

Ticket Price: Free

With the holidays upon us, what better time to share three Friends recipes from The Collector’s Cookbook published in 1973. Being with friends and family and enjoying good food is surely a recipe for good memories. To enlarge the recipes, click on either image.







This year we have shared in this column grand Friends memories and 100 years of astounding accomplishments. With this in mind, we look ahead with emphasis on celebrating, reuniting with Friends not seen in so long, and appreciating opportunities to build new relationships. As a result, this organization is strengthened and equipped to serve its mission and community in the decades and years to come. Watch for these celebratory centennial events in 2022:

January 20 is the actual 100th birthday of the Friends of the Institute. Celebrate by attending the opening lecture featuring Dr. Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence. A special luncheon will follow the lecture, honoring descendants of the Friends founding members. Equally exciting will be the first viewing of Friends centennial publication, Friends for 100 Years: A Lasting Legacy. Each Friends member in good standing (meaning those who have recommitted to paid membership) will receive a complimentary copy of this commemorative book.

Luncheon tickets are available now: $75

RSVP by January 6, 2022, by calling 612.870.6323

PLEASE NOTE: Covid-19 Protocol
To help ensure the health and wellness of museum guests
and staff, the Friends respectfully request proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours of the event. Masks are encouraged, especially for those not vaccinated. The Friends of the Institute appreciates your understanding and cooperation.

Friends are encouraged to invite a friend to the February 10 luncheon, an opportunity to celebrate our camaraderie and share the importance of Friends to Mia.

Art in Bloom always brings crowds to Mia in April to enjoy the scents and beauty of extraordinary flower arrangements throughout the galleries. The Cargill Gallery will feature an astonishing exhibition surrounding the beauty of the Friends centennial gift to Mia, Eugene Delacroix’s Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums. This promises to be a wonderful chance to experience many of the past AIB images all have enjoyed over the almost 40 years of Art in Bloom.

Carolyn Christian, the first president of Friends, resided in a magnificent home just down the street from Mia that today houses the Hennepin History Museum. In mid-June a “Homecoming” reception will be held there, celebrating early Friends history. Neighborhood walking tours will take place on June 23 and 24.

A garden party at Friends member Martha Head’s Lake Minnetonka home will be held on July 14. The flowers should be glorious this time of year!

Although it is hard to predict when a flower will bloom, we intend to celebrate, sometime in August, the beauty of our very own Friends for 100 Years dahlia cultivated by Larry and Sue Bagge. Nature and beauty cannot be rushed so we will keep you posted.

September brings a visit from American fashion historian Sandy Schreier. Her 20th century fashion collection was recently exhibited at the Met. A wonderful luncheon will follow on September 8. Friends will enjoy a festive cocktail party on September 9 at the University of Minnesota Goldstein Museum of Design in McNeil Hall. Music will fill the gallery as guests delight in viewing curated costumes from the Goldstein Museum of Design collection.

All volunteers are the structure and cornerstone of what makes an organization function and grow. We celebrate the generosity, smiles and hardworking spirit of volunteers with a reception on November 10. Also, what a grand time to acknowledge the history and dedication of our affiliates from Rochester and St. Cloud.

December wraps up our centennial year. We look to the future by hosting Mia’s December 11 Family Day, inviting the community to embrace our year with us. Children are our future as well as an important part of our focus for 100 years in support of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Mark your calendars and watch for more details to come. As a reminder, our history publication committee is out of the park excited to finally present our splendid hardbound book to all Friends members in good standing this January. We are assured you will find it a valuable tool to understanding why these 100 years are worth celebrating and why we urge you all to journey into the future with us.

Please renew your Friends membership now in order to receive the Friends centennial publication, Friends for 100 Years: A Lasting Legacy. Call 612-870-6323 or visit this link. The Friends of the Institute appreciates your dedication to this organization as we enter our next one hundred years!

Happy holidays to everyone, and may your days ahead bring good health and peace.

Pamela Friedland
Linda Goldenberg
Mary Merrick
Suzanne Payne
Connie Sommers

Commemorative Friendship Jewelry

After years of planning, it’s not surprising that Centennial co-chairs Mary Merrick and Pam Friedland are all smiles as they get ready to celebrate 100 years of the Friends. They are decked out in commemorative jewelry featuring our logo rings and excited to share these unique pieces with the Friends.

Pam Friedland and Mary Merrick wearing the Friends necklace and pin. Backdrop painting is by Friends member and artist, Mary Meuwissen titled “As You Wish” (oil and cold wax).
Friends logo necklace








In 1946, philanthropist Alfred Pillsbury gifted Mia with two interlocking Chinese jade rings. They have come to represent the Friends eternal bond of friendship with each other as well as the now one-hundred-year relationship with Mia. Francis McKenzie, then an art student at the Minneapolis School of Art, designed the Friends logo based on the jade rings. You can see the original piece next time you stop in the Friends office—and while you are there, say hello to Friends president, Julie Holland and new operations coordinator, Claire Goulson.

We’ll be celebrating all year in 2022 but these beautiful pieces will last a lifetime.  Wearing them is another special way to affirm the lasting meaning of the Friends, entwined for another hundred years in silver and in our hearts.

The sterling silver rings so masterfully designed as a necklace and pin, were designed for the Friends and are available as a custom order. Preorder the necklace with a 20” chain for $160 or a 24” chain for $170. The signature pin can be ordered for $85.  The applicable MN sales tax will be applied to each purchase. If you are interested in purchasing one of these memorable pieces, please call the Friends office at 612.870.3045 for additional information.

Centennial Luncheon Menu Preview

We are looking forward to seeing many of you on January 20 to celebrate our centennial. Below you will find a preview of our menu.
    • Poached Pear Salad
    • Roasted garlic marinated grilled chicken breast with champagne sauce with wild rice pilaf, carrots & asparagus (GF)
    • Trottole pasta with cremini mushrooms and seasonal roasted vegetables in a roasted garlic cream sauce (vegetarian option)
    • For dessert, we will enjoy Helsinki Cake: Deco’s Famous Scandinavian cake with layers of raspberries, whipped cream, sponge cake, and chocolate mousse.
    • Guests will have the option to have a glass of white wine, and there will be a celebratory sherry toast

Centennial History Publication Column: Stepping Back in Time

Holiday Shopping on the Mind?

In 1956, Friends were asked to be in charge of ordering and sales of artwork reproductions primarily sold at the museum’s Sales and Information Desk. So, it was a natural transition to be asked by then Mia director Richard Davis, to run the museum’s gift shop. Friends agreed to take on this huge responsibility. Until the mid-1990s, Friends managed all hiring, staffing, accounting, selling, buying, and payroll duties for the museum shop. Profits were designated for Mia to cover costs of special projects. At the height of this time period, more than 60 Friends volunteers filled scheduled hours.

To maintain consistency in the duties and performance of volunteers, each volunteer received “The Museum Shop Volunteer Book of Knowledge.” As mentioned in the first page of the manual, “We are not a small shop run ‘for fun.’ We are a major contributor to the Acquisitions Fund of Mia. The Friends are extremely necessary to the well-being of the shop.”

The manual continues with general advice regarding restroom breaks, mentioning a volunteer never goes to the restroom or takes a break when there are 50 people in the shop. Also, volunteers are “never afraid of rain, sleet, snow, spiders, or dust!” In terms of expected attire: “We love to see you looking beautiful, but practicality must reign. Our new carpet is very nice to stand on, but comfortable shoes are a must. The climate of the shop varies quite a great deal. The best way to dress is in layers–you never know—sometimes we take off and sometimes adding on is a necessity.” Food is discouraged in the shop proper, and cigarettes may be enjoyed with the available coffee in the staff lounge. 

The manual continues to state that volunteers are not expected to know everything, but please ask if an answer is needed: “Never lie to a customer—they may know more than we think.” Never express negative comments to a potential buyer trying on jewelry. “We all have different tastes…keep comments in your head. And she who slammeth jewelry drawers, spendeth long hours straightening them!” And most importantly, we all know jewelry is lovely, but try them on while you are not working! And finally, keep those jewelry drawers locked: “We trust no one!”

One additional comment from the extensive volunteer manual recommends volunteers do not shop while on duty. “While you shop, so does the shoplifter. Thanks be to those who do not!”

Lastly, but perhaps most important, the volunteer manual stresses  “development and maintenance of a professional attitude in interactions with customers, staff members, and other museum shop employees. A positive outlook is contagious!”

Over the years, many treasures and gifts have been purchased in the museum’s gift shop to celebrate special occasions.  Now it’s time for Friends to commemorate and celebrate its own treasures on its 100th birthday that will take place on January 20, 2022. What better way to celebrate this milestone than attending the January lecture featuring Dr. Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, followed by a ticketed luncheon filled with celebration. At this luncheon, each current Friends member will receive a complimentary copy of the Friends centennial publication, Friends of 100 Years, A Lasting Legacy.

 Centennial History Publication Committee

Pamela Friedland
Linda Goldenberg
Mary Merrick
Suzanne Payne
Connie Sommers