January 2022

President’s Letter

Dear Board Members,

We are on the cusp of 2022 which will be a year of grand celebration for Friends. We start festivities January 20, the very day of our 100th birthday, with a lecture given by Dr. Eike Schmidt, Director of the Uffizi Galleries, followed by a beautiful luncheon. It will truly be a treat to attend this exceptional event with Friends after an almost two year absence. Tickets available through January 6.

We will then be launched on an arc toward the 38th Art in Bloom. The Art in Bloom Committee is planning a four-day flower extravaganza. Fresh flowers will be back in the galleries and a gorgeous Preview Party awaits us. All ticketing and details found at friends.artsmia.org

Thank you for your loyal support of Friends of the Institute. Remember, you will get the most out of your membership if you renew in January.

Cheers to the Friends in 2022! 

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.

Renew Your Membership Today

Renew your membership today and then join the Friends for all of our wonderful 2022 events including the Centennial event Friends for 100 Years!

Sneak preview of the cover of the Friends commemorative centennial book.

Can you remember what you were doing at the start of 2021? Most of us were looking forward to a new year but worrying about how the pandemic would affect our beloved people and places. For the Friends, that included our members, so we asked ourselves some big questions. How would the Friends navigate this new normal? How could we be Friends through a computer screen and stay connected to Mia as this group has for 100 years?

In order to facilitate these connections, last January we gave our members a complimentary year of membership –more than 740 of you took us up on it. We hope you attended a lecture or a Friends Only event, participated in our Book Club online, and felt like Art in Bloom 2021 opened its doors to the spring sunshine (even if it was virtually).

 This year, we are excited to welcome you back to our regular membership and our regular events. Today you can register and pay your annual membership fees for a full year of Friends. We are also excited to relaunch our Friends membership levels and invite you to join us for all the fun and friendship that our 100th year has to offer. Your membership allows us to continue supporting, enhancing and sustaining the collection and programs Mia has to offer.

“Friends for 100 Years,” our centennial celebration, begins with a luncheon on Thursday, January 20 immediately following our first in-person lecture in the Pillsbury Auditorium. Dr. Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, Italy will be the featured speaker. This exciting event and all Centennial events are only open for members in good standing so join us now!

 All Friends in good standing (meaning those who have re-committed to paid membership) will receive a beautiful hardcover copy of Friends for 100 Years: A Lasting Legacy and be invited to special Centennial events plus all of our regular Friends programming like lectures, guided tours, book club and Art in Bloom! 

Memberships will now run for the calendar year, from January through December 31. This year we are adding another incentive to our membership levels. Each member will be eligible to receive two tickets to each lecture regardless of giving amount, as well as all the wonderful benefits that a paying membership provides. Higher levels of membership will be eligible for other premiums.

Please join us, today, by clicking here and renewing your membership as the Friends begin our next 100 years. 

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

Dr. Eike Schmidt Lecture on January 20

January 20, 2022 11:00 am


Ticket Price: Free

Join us January 20 at 11am for a Friends Centennial Anniversary event when the Friends Lecture series welcomes renowned German art historian and former Mia curator for decorative arts, Dr. Eike Schmidt. 

Eike Schmidt’s extensive knowledge of art history is a treasure in its own right, but his passion for the past doesn’t prevent him from looking towards the future. He is currently working as the director of the Uffizi Galleries, located in Florence, Italy, as the first non-Italian director in the museum’s 250 year history. There he brings innovation and a modern approach to one of the oldest museums in the world. By rapidly expanding its online presence, Schmidt has brought the Uffizi into the digital realm by embracing social media platforms like Tiktok, Youtube and signing up for Facebook on day one of Italy’s Covid-19 lockdown.  

With an eye on Tuscany’s past, present and future, Dr. Schmidt’s latest project, Uffizi Diffusi, will extend the museum’s reach throughout the countryside by loaning art to smaller galleries. Schmidt believes it is important to tell the story of the renaissance where it happened: “Art can’t survive on big galleries alone. We need multiple exhibition spaces all over the region — especially in the places where the art itself was born.”  This project is mindful of the overcrowding issues faced in Florence and the lagging economies in the Tuscan countryside. “The Uffizi Diffusi will bring to light works of art that currently nobody can see in a calmer, more intimate setting.”

Schmidt brings a wealth of knowledge to the Uffizi from previously held positions at the J. Paul Getty Museum in California and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Between 1994 and 2001 he worked at the German-funded Art History Institute in Florence, simultaneously curating shows along the way. 

During his time at Mia from 2009 to 2015 he served as director of the Department of Sculpture, Decorative Arts and Textiles, he planned and curated several exhibitions and created a sub-department of Jewish Art.  

Schmidt will be returning to Mia on January 20, bringing with him his passion for the past and unparalleled knowledge for this very special anniversary, don’t miss what surely will be a memorable event.

Please note that Dr. Eike Schmidt will be speaking on January 20 at 11am and joining the Friends for the Centennial Anniversary kick-off luncheon. There will be coffee served in the Rotunda prior to the lecture. ​​

In-person lecture tickets are no longer available. There will be no in-person overflow seating. We are happy to announce this lecture will be available to stream virtually. Streaming tickets will be available Wednesday, December 22 at 2 pm. 

This lecture is made possible by the generous support of the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund

Get Tickets

Ticketing Changes at Mia

To better serve its members and visitors, Mia has recently updated its ticketing system. With this new system, there is a new way to register for Friends lecture tickets.

Tickets will still be available for Friends members before the general public. The morning tickets are made available, you will receive an email that includes a private link that the general public does not have access to. This ensures that Friends members continue to receive first access to our lecture series.  If you do not use this direct link, the lecture does not appear on Mia’s website. You can also call our Visitor Experience team at 612.870.6323 to register.

If you have any questions, please contact the Friends office at friends@artsmia.org, or 612.870.3045.

January Friends Only Tour

January 11, 2022 11:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

The Friends Events Committee welcomes you to our January tour via Zoom on Tuesday, January 11 at 11am. 

This month, we will hear from Mia’s own Associate Educator, Kara ZumBahlen, when she presents “Diving into Design at Mia.” 

Kara shares, “We are surrounded by design in our living environments, impacting us when sitting, working, eating and drinking, traveling, or enjoying leisure activities. We will take a deep dive into some beautifully designed objects in Mia’s collection. We’ll explore the designers and their processes, gaining insight into the social, economic, and political contexts of their times. Through this, we’ll come to realize the impact design has on our daily lives.” 

Space is limited to 30. Please RSVP by January 7th to friends@artsmia.org or call 612.870.3045 to reserve your spot. 


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

Join The Friends

The First Friends Only Book Club of 2022

January 21, 2022 10:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

The program will be held on Zoom on Friday, January 21 at 10 am. Please contact the Friends Office at friends@artsmia.org or call 612-870-3045 to receive your Zoom link.

Join Friends for conversation and an art tour of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by José Antonio Vargas. The author Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Emmy nominated filmmaker, and Tony nominated producer. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his articles about three Virginia Tech shootings.

Read the book to learn of his riveting story of being an undocumented immigrant for twenty-five years, and come to Book Club to discuss and view works of art that speak of timeless migration, each with its own story.


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

Join The Friends