January 2019

Happy New Year, Friends!

A New Year’s Note from the Friend’s President.

Katie Remole, Friends of the Institute President

Dear Friends,

As the Friends begin their 98th year, I am humbled to be a leader in this vibrant organization which works so hard to share with our community this treasure, which is Mia.

The past twelve months have been exhilarating.

Art in Bloom 2018 was a success by any measure, bringing more than 52,000 people to Mia, hosting the collective creativity of 260 pedestal artists, and raising over $200,000!

Last year saw our Transportation Fund host more than 9,000 children at Mia for tours of the museum. We also started a new program in conjunction with Mia’s Art Adventure guides, in which Friends volunteers went into the schools as Picture People, teaching the Art Adventure pieces in the classroom.  Friends volunteers then supported the Art Adventure guides as chaperones for the students during their tours.

For our members, this past year we greatly expanded our offerings of gallery tours.  These included increasing our focused pre-lecture tours prior to the Friends monthly lecture, and offering more Friends-only tours given by Mia curators and docents.

Our presence on Mia’s web page was enhanced and is now filled with information about Friends, and live links to facilitate donations, membership renewals and event ticket purchases.

I wish to give special thanks to Friends board committee chairs, all Friends members and volunteers, who so generously share their time and expertise in support of the Friends.  You are truly valued.

For we who have much, it is important to give back.  As I reflect on my service here, I realize that Friends fulfills my need to serve.  I hope you feel the same. The Friends is a vibrant organization because of all of our dedicated members.

Best wishes to each of you in the New Year. I look forward to seeing you in the galleries, or stop by the Friends office for a cup of coffee!

Happy New Year!




Katie Remole
President, Friends of the Institute

January Friends Lecture to Discuss Public Art

January 10, 2019 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Erika Doss  presents “Monumental Troubles: Reckoning with Problematic Public Art in America” at the Friends lecture on January 10.

Erika Doss will discuss how public art creates a cultural space and invites public participation and  response in her January 10 Friends lecture.

Doss, a Professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame and recipient of a PhD from the University of Minnesota, will address ways that public art does not always communicate the human experience and can become “out of sync” with present-day values and ideals.  She will ask “How do we as Americans address this and the dilemmas of dissent and historical accountability in public culture?”

Free tickets are available by clicking the ticket link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

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Friends Only Book Club Meets January 11

January 11, 2019 10:00 am


Mia Library

Ticket Price: Free

Golden, A. (1999), Memoirs of a Geisha, Vintage Contemporaries, New York.

Memoirs of a Geisha is the January Book Club selection!

Join your Friends on Friday, January 11 at 10AM in the Mia Art Research & Reference Library, first-floor Target Wing, to discuss Arthur Golden’s historical fiction novel Memoirs of a Geisha.

After our moderator-led discussion, we will have the pleasure of a docent-led tour related to the novel.

Sarah Midori Zimmerman writer-editor for New York magazine said, “Arthur Golden’s brilliant debut novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, is a reminder of just how silly the exhortation ‘write what you know!’ can be.  Clearly Golden, a 40-something American male, has never lived anything remotely similar to the experiences of a geisha coming of age in the 1930’s, the glory days of Kyoto’s Gion pleasure district.  Yet it is precisely this vanished world that he recreates with subtlety, sensuality, and supreme authority, bringing to life characters so complete and idiosyncratic—so fully sprung from the eras he has evoked—that his novel ultimately overwhelms us, as seductive and beguiling as the geisha of its title…”.

There are only 20 spots available for this event. Please make your reservation by calling the Friends office at 612.870.3045.

Also mark Friday, February 15 on your calendar for a moderator-led discussion and docented tour focusing on Born A Crime:  Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah.

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

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Kunin Collection is Focus of Friends Only Tour

January 18, 2019 11:00 am


Fountain Court

Ticket Price: Free

Friends Members are invited for a Curator Led Tour of some of the highlights from the Kunin Collection.

Bob Thompson, United States, 1937–66 Homage to Nina Simone, 1965, Oil on canvas The John R. Van Derlip Fund, 89.83, © Estate of Bob Thompson, Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY.

 Robert Cozzolino, the Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings, will lead a one hour Friends-only tour on Friday, January 18, 2019 at 11AM of the Kunin Collection, providing an overview of its distinctive character, its many strengths, and illuminating the collector who brought the work together.

Myron Kunin took over his parents’ department store chain of hair salons in the 1960’s and grew it into the industry leading, billion-dollar effort, Regis Corporation.  Along the way, he exercised his love of art into one of the most important private collections of American Modernism. At Mia, he was a lifetime trustee and supported the museum in numerous ways.

After his death in 2013, a large selection of his American art came to Mia on long-term loan. Dr. Cozzolino, who became close to Kunin as a curator in Philadelphia, started at Mia in 2016 and has been continuously programming and rotating installations from the collection. The artwork spans a diverse range of styles and subject matters, with current installations revealing the breadth of Kunin’s uncommon vision.

Cozzolino will begin the tour with a portrait gallery (G360) hung floor to ceiling, or  “salon style,” with some of Kunin’s favorite subjects. He will highlight two galleries on the third floor devoted to abstraction and magic realism, before proceeding to a pair of recently installed galleries on the second floor (G262 and G275) focusing on Philadelphia Modernism and the artist Bob Thompson.

We will gather in the second-floor Regis Fountain Court 10 minutes prior to the start of the tour.

There are only 30 spots available for this event. Please contact the Friends office at 612.870.3045 or friends@artsmia.org to make your reservation.

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

Join The Friends

Start the New Year by Supporting Your Friends

January 31, 2019 5:30 am


Target Reception Hall

Ticket Price: $75

Architect David Dimond speaks at Friends benefit highlighting the special connection between the new Bell Museum and Mia on January 31.

Perkins+Will, Minneapolis. Bell Museum. 2018, St. Paul, MN.

Join the Friends at 5:30PM on Thursday, January 31, 2019 in the Target Reception Hall, for an exciting evening featuring an introduction to the beautiful, new Bell Museum and its links to the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

The Bell Museum and Mia have a special connection.  Both were established in the late nineteenth century and 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.

Architect David Dimond and his firm, Perkins+Will, created a stunning setting for the Bell Museum’s collection. He will enlighten the Friends about the design process, his selection of native materials for the building and its landscaping, as well as the special challenges of accommodating historic exhibits in the new museum. Afterwards, Bell Executive Director Denise Young will share details of the amazing process of relocating their wildlife dioramas with mural backgrounds, and the incorporation of technology into exhibits,  which include a digital planetarium and a new, life-size woolly mammoth.  

Guests will enjoy tours of Mia’s natural history paintings, major pieces by American silversmith Paul Revere Jr., and the Charleston Rooms donated by James Ford Bell—a perfect way to connect Mia and the Bell Museum.

Please join us at this exciting event on January 31, a benefit for the Friends of the Institute.  Enjoy docent-led tours, wine, beer and appetizers, and a presentation by Denise Young and David Dimond.

Tickets are $75 and are available by clicking the link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

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Summon the Floral Artist in You

Floral Artists create special pieces that reflect the joy and color of Mia’s rich collection for April’s Art in Bloom! Would you like to be Pedestal Floral Artist? Here’s how:

Floral Artists enjoy the ability to create special pieces that reflect the joy and color of Mia’s rich collection. Vincent van Gogh (Dutch 1853-1890), Olive Trees, 1889, oil on canvas. The William Hood Dunwoody Fund, 51.7.

While admiring the floral interpretations of artworks in Mia’s collection during Art in Bloom, have you ever mused to yourself, “Hmm, I wonder if I should create an arrangement one day?” Why suppress your nascent creativity another year?!

Consider becoming a Pedestal Floral Artist!

Art in Bloom 2019 will be held from April 10–14, 2019. If you are interested in participating in this spectacular spring event, please attend one of the AIB Selection Night sessions: Thursday, January 10 from 5:30–8PM, or Friday, January 11 from 10AM–noon. These sessions will give you the information and encouragement you need to join the ranks of the Pedestal Floral Artists.

A detailed summary of requirements, important dates, and information about becoming a Pedestal Floral Artist is available by contacting the Friends office at 612.870.3045 or friends@artsmia.org.

Paint Your Heart Yellow This Year

Buy-A- Bus is the Perfect Valentine’s Gift!

Photo by David Simpson

Many of us puzzle over the perfect Valentine’s gift for a loved one. Chocolates? Dinner out? Flowers? These are all wonderful, but we know what the best gift is: a yellow school bus!

In the past year, more than 65 bus grants were gifted to underserved schools in the Twin Cities through the Friend’s support of the Transportation Fund. These grants are essential to local schools, ensuring their students have the opportunity to tour Mia’s outstanding collection and be inspired by the wonder of art.

Each grant is funded by the Friends Transportation Fund, which is made possible by you, our Friends members! As a token of every $175 gift to the fund, a toy-sized yellow school bus is yours to take and deliver to your very special Valentine.

Solve your gift-giving problems by stopping in or by calling the Friends office at 612.870.3045 to buy a bus for that perfect Valentine’s gift!


February 14, 2019 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Nora Naranjo Morse presents “Numbe Whageh – Pueblo Perspectives in Public Art ( Numbe Whageh-Tewa interpretation, Our Center Place).”

Artist Nora Naranjo Morse

In anticipation of the upcoming Mia special exhibition, “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists,” presented by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in the spring of 2019, the February Friends Lecture features native artist Nora Naranjo Morse.  Her clay creation, “Our Homes Ourselves” was acquired by the museum in 2000, making it a profound addition to Mia’s permanent collection.

Morse will discuss public art from a native, Pueblo perspective.  A life-long resident of the Santa Clara Pueblo, she has been steeped in the rich traditions of her people as well as exposed to a different set of traditions in the Anglo world. Morse attempts to resolve these conflicting pulls through her work, which pays homage to her long lineage as it embraces aspects of the contemporary world.

Morse is a sculptor, writer, and producer of films that look at the continuing social changes within Pueblo Indian culture.  An artist best known for her work with clay, she makes pottery and figurines, as well as installations and large-scale public art.  From earth works to clay and straw towers, her artwork often feature notes of whimsy.

Outside of Santa Fe, her work can be seen at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C.  A graduate of the College of Santa Fe, she became the first Native American to have an outdoor sculpture installed on the National Mall in Washington D.C. when her installation, “Always Becoming”, was selected by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. She is the author of the poetry collection Mud Woman:  Poems from the Clay, which combines poems with photographs of her work in clay.

Free tickets are available starting January 15 for Friends members and January 17 for non-members. Click the ticket link below or call 612.870.6323.

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Save the Date for the February Luncheon

February 14, 2019 12:30 pm


Reception Hall, Target Wing

Ticket Price: $30

February luncheon to be held Thursday, February 14.

Be sure to mark your calendar for February 14 at 12:30PM, when you’ll be treated to the Friends Luncheon, a Valentine’s meal befitting this day devoted to love.  As menu details become available, they will be posted here and in the February addition of the Friends newsletter. This luncheon will immediately follow the February 14, 2019 Friends Lecture featuring Nora Naranjo Morse.

Because the luncheons have been so successful this year, we encourage you to reserve your ticket early to guarantee a seat.

The cost is $30 per person, including tax and gratuities. All reservations MUST be received by 4PM Thursday, February 7.

Tickets are available by clicking the ticket link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

Get Tickets

Save the Date: Art in Bloom 2019

Art in Bloom returns April 11-14, 2019, to celebrate art, flowers and the spirit of Mia. 

The Sacred Egyptian Bean, plate 31 from Robert Thornton’s “The Temple of Flora,” 1804 (1799-1807), Peter Henderson; Engraver: Thomas Burke; Engraver: Frederick Lewis; Publisher: Dr. Robert John Thornton, The Minnich Collection The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, 19

Mark your calendars: Art in Bloom, the annual celebration of art and flowers presented by the Friends of the Institute, will take place April 11–14, 2019.  

This annual Friends fundraiser, which benefits Mia, is a beloved and popular rite of spring in the Twin Cities . In fact, more than 50,000 people attended the four-day event last year!

This years’ Art in Bloom will coincide with the final weekend of Mia’s special exhibition, Egypt’s Sunken Cities, presented by U.S. Bank, which showcases more than 200 ancient Egyptian objects once buried beneath the Mediterranean Sea. It’s an epic story of discovery that offers visitors a greater understanding of life during the age of the pharaohs.

Art in Bloom event highlights  include:

  • Thursday evening’s annual Flowers After Hours celebration—plan to bring your friends! Sponsored by Bachman’s, it includes a presentation of one-of-a-kind floral couture which interpret works in Mia’s permanent collection, cash bar with a signature drink, and an opportunity to mingle after a long day at work.
  • The third year of the Fashion Show and Formal Luncheon on Friday, sponsored by the Galleria of Edina and hosted by Minnesota’s own Grant Whitaker.  VIP seating available!
  • A new Friday evening event called TGI Flowers which will include an array of enticing activities, as well as our popular Floral Workshops.
  • The Family Event, which will move to Sunday and become part of Mia’s regularly scheduled Family Day Event.
  • Guided tours scheduled throughout each day.
  • Unique offerings in our ever popular Art in Bloom Gift Shop.

Mia anticipates a lot of activity at the museum April 11–14 as visitors come to enjoy Art in Bloom and the last weekend of their seasonal, special exhibition.  Growing excitement around this show will also inspire some elements of Art in Bloom 2019, including this year’s signature art piece, The Sacred Egyptian Bean.

Please join us once again, or for the first time, for this wonderful annual event, Art in Bloom 2019. More information will be available on the Friends website and future newsletters, so check back often!