October 2018

A Letter from Friends President, Katie Remole

Friends President Issues a Challenge to ALL Friends to be part of the Gift of a Delacroix masterpiece

Friends New Acquisition Fund
Eugène Delacroix, Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums, c. 1835, oil on canvas. Gift of funds from the Friends of the Institute in celebration of their 100th anniversary, with generous support from Nivin MacMillan, Mary Agnes and Al McQuinn, Sheila C. Morgan, Mary and Douglas Olson, Carol Burton Gray, Nikki and Ron Lewis, Lucy Crosby Mitchell, Linda and Phil Boelter, Pam and Mark Friedland, Katie and Steve Remole, Lucille Amis, Carolyn and Tucker Dahl, Ed and Teresa Luterbach, Jane and Thomas Nelson, Suzanne C. and William B. Payne, Marilyn Sundberg, Marietta and Jot Turner, and gifts made in memory of Teresa Pfister.

Dear Friends of the Institute –

Katie Remole, Friends of the Institute President

The Friends of the Institute will mark its 100th anniversary in the  coming years, but planning is already underway. The “Friends for a Hundred Years” celebration in 2022 is going to be big! As President of the Friends, I would like to take a moment to ask for your help with an important and lasting part of this celebration.

As many of you know, we were looking for a way to mark our centennial and honor our long association with this place we love so well. We found it in an important painting by Eugène Delacroix, one of the masters of French Romantic painting. Here’s how it came about:

Patrick Noon, Senior Curator of Paintings and Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of the Department of Paintings is considered the world’s authority on works by Eugène Delacroix. He has always been a strong supporter of the Friends. When asked to authenticate a Delacroix long held in a private collection, Patrick recognized a masterpiece and shared the information with Kaywin Feldman, the Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of Mia. Kaywin immediately thought of us, knowing we were exploring gift options to mark the Friends for a Hundred Years celebration. The Friends was beyond thrilled to accept this remarkable opportunity to support the acquisition of this masterpiece for Mia’s permanent collection.

Eugène Delacroix’s Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums c.1835 was unveiled at Art in Bloom 2018’s Preview Party as its signature piece. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this painting yet, stop by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Gallery (G321) to experience its breathtaking beauty and inspiration.

Of course, such a masterpiece comes at a price and we have made a great start funding our Delacroix, but this gift is from the Friends, and that is all of us. So here’s the ask—please make a donation to the Delacroix in any amount. Wouldn’t 100 percent participation by Friends members for our 100th year gift be incredible?

To donate please click here or stop by the Friends office to fill out a donation card. Thank you for your support.

My best to you all,

Katie Remole
President, Friends of the Institute

P.S. – Above all, stop by Mia to visit the extraordinary Eugène Delacroix masterpiece made possible by all of us in the Friends!



Friends Lecture October 11

Michelle Obama’s Official Photographer, Amanda Lucidon, to Speak at Friends Lecture

Amanda Lucidon
“Chasing Light: Photographing Michelle Obama”
A Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture presented by Friends of the Institute and Mia
October 11, 2018
11 AM Pillsbury Auditorium

When she received the call of a lifetime, Amanda Lucidon first thought it was a prank. Could it be true that she was being asked to join the staff at the White House as an official photographer, responsible for documenting First Lady Michelle Obama? Indeed, it was, and the rest is history.

Amanda Lucidon is an award-winning documentarian, filmmaker, and former freelance New York Times photographer who served as an official White House photographer responsible for documenting First Lady Michelle Obama from 2013 to 2017. One of only a few female White House photographers in history, Lucidon’s work has been honored by Pictures of the Year International, National Press Photographers Association Best of Photojournalism, and the White House News Photographers Association, among others.

Documenting a widely-admired and closely scrutinized individual is an immense responsibility, and one Amanda Lucidon fulfilled to great acclaim. This talk goes behind the scenes of some of the most powerful moments in Lucidon’s collection of photographs of the First Lady, revealing the triumphs and challenges of the First Lady’s work and showcasing a new side of this iconic public figure. Lucidon will speak about her time working for one of the most politically significant presidential administrations in recent history and what photographers can reveal about their subjects.

Lucidon’s photographs of First Lady Michelle Obama were compiled and released in the book, Chasing Light. The collection of 150 candid photographs were combined with Lucidon’s reflections on the First Lady’s efforts to fight childhood obesity, ensure educational options for girls around the world, and provide support to military veterans and families. Her photographs bring out a new side to one of the world’s most admired public figures. Chasing Light was a New York Times bestseller and since its publication has received praise from prominent politicians, historians, and artists, including Congressman John Lewis and Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep.

Free tickets are available for this lecture by clicking here or by calling 612-870-6323.

Friends-Only Book Club Reads Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon

Please reserve early for this Friends-Only book club to be held in the Mia Library

What happens when a giant fist-shaped wave emerges out of the ocean off Lagos and swallows people up?  What complications ensue when the wave has been generated by aliens?

Answer these and other questions with other literary-minded Friends on Friday, October 12 at 10:30 AM at the Mia information desk. This fascinating docent tour will be followed by a wide-ranging discussion of Nnedi Okorafor’s imaginative novel Lagoon.

Okorafor employs multiple perspectives and the genre of science fiction to ensnare her reader.  A rapper, a fleeing soldier, and a marine biologist are among the human characters whose lives are profoundly affected by their encounter with an enigmatic alien ambassador.

As Amal El-Mohtar said in an NPR book review, “In structure it feels part oral tradition, part theater, part screenplay, part memoir; in content it bubbles over with characters from different species, ethnicities, classes, genders, sexualities, religions.  If ever a book set out to mirror the vibrant, brimming city for which it was almost titled, Lagoon has certainly done it….”

The Friends group will go on a docent-guided tour departing from the Mia  information desk (opposite The Store at Mia and Agra Culture Cafe) at 10:30 AM, followed by a moderator-led discussion in the Mia Art Research & Reference Library.  The library is a beautiful space and truly a wonderful place to have a meeting, however no treats or beverages are allowed.

There are spaces for 20 Friends.  Please call the Friends office at 612.870.3045 to make your reservation.

Additionally, mark Friday, November 16 on your calendar for a docent tour and moderator-led discussion of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson.

Please contact Jeanne Scheiderer, jeannescheiderer@hotmail.com, with any questions.

Learn About Friends at Friends 101

This event on Tuesday, October 9 will be followed by a private viewing of Mia’s newest acquisitions.

Blue Sea with Rocks, 1922 Georgia O’Keeffe Pastel Gift of Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison © 2017 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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 and will be held at 10 AM on Tuesday, October 9 in Studio 112. Stay until the end for an exclusive opportunity to view Mia’s newest acquisitions including Georgia O’Keeffe’s Blue Sea with Rocks, 1922 in First Blush, an exhibit in Gallery G353.

To attend please call the Friends office at 612.870.3045.

A Random Walk Through Mia

November Friends Lecture features former Star Tribune visual arts columnist 

Mary Abbe with life-sized cardboard cutouts of Henri Matisse at Mia, Friday, February 14, 2014. Photo by Glen Stubbe.

Mary Abbe
“Wrestling Art into Words: A Random Walk through Mia”
Presented by Friends of the Institute
November 8, 2018
11 AM Pillsbury Auditorium

Mary Abbe has offered us an invitation: “As visual art reporter and critic at the Star Tribune, I had the privilege and pleasure of writing about the Twin Cities art scene for 32 years. Basically my job was to wrestle art into words…to translate the sometimes arcane world of art galleries, museums, collectors, scholars and historians into lingo and stories that non-specialists might enjoy. On many occasions that job allowed me to delve deep into the life and history of Mia…. Strolling the museum’s halls recently, I was again impressed by what treasures lurk within. Come, let me tell you what I found.”

Award winning journalist Mary Abbe opened up an entire world to readers through her visual arts column that ran in the Star Tribune from 1984-2016.  Her world was one of stories—of art, artists, curators, gallery and museum staff, art lawyers, restorers, movers and more. Retired now, Abbe says that roaming art galleries is still one of her favorite diversions.

“If all the thousands of words I pulled from my brain and arranged with my fingers managed to tell those stories right and true, then that’s the accomplishment I most value. Besides my family and friends, what I really care about is the stories we all have deep within us.”

Join us as we listen to her stories inspired by Mia—its art, people and community. 

Free tickets are available to Friends members starting October 15 by clicking here or by calling 612.870.6323. Tickets are available October 17 for the general public.

Friends-Only Tour on October 18

Join us for a Friends-only tour on October 18th featuring fiber sculptures and paintings by women artists

Robert Cozzolino (left) and Nicole LaBouff (right).

Join us at 11 AM, October 18 in the Miles and Shirley Fiterman Gallery (G375) for a gallery talk and tour led by Nicole LaBouff, Associate Curator of Textiles and Robert Cozzolino, Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings, titled Without Boundaries: Fiber Sculptures and Paintings by Women Artists.

The tour will focus on their recent collaboration—an installation that features many new additions to Mia’s collection and illustrates how artists often think and create outside the categories of art that museums generally employ. This is a rare opportunity to learn from our museum experts about the pieces and the process of putting textiles in dialogue with paintings.

For more information or to reserve a place, contact the Friends office at friends@artsmia.org or 612.870.3045.

Buy-a-Bus Brings 7,000 Students to Mia

Help the Friends Continue to Bring Students to Mia with the Gift of a Buy-a-Bus!

Photo by David Simpson

Did you know the Friends help over 7,000 students come to the museum for field trips every year? This is made possible through the Friend’s Transportation Fund and the Buy-a-Bus program.

For many years, the Friend’s Transportation Fund has provided busing grants so that schools can bring their students to see Mia’s world class collection. A special endowment fund makes this possible. The Buy-a-Bus program adds to the fund. Anyone can Buy-a-Bus for $175 or Buy-a-Wheel for $50.

During the most recent academic year, the Friends Transportation Fund brought 105 buses to Mia. That means more than 7,000 students were able to access to the museum as a field trip. The opportunity for students to experience a world outside of the classroom is one of the many things the Friends provide to the Twin Cities community.

For more information, contact the Friends office at friends@artsmia.org or 612.870.3045.


Save the Date for Art in Bloom 2019

Art in Bloom will be held April 11-14, 2019 – Mark your calendars!

Mark your calendars for Art in Bloom! This annual event held by Friends of the Institute is a fundraiser, friends raiser and celebration of all things floral at and for Mia.

Join co-chairs Kris King and Barbara Champ and their board as they open this annual celebration with the Preview Party on Wednesday, April 10. This event kick-off is followed by a fabulous weekend of activities, workshops, lectures and floral displays by talented floral artists from around our state.

Last year more than 52,000 people toured Art in Bloom at Mia. Not surprisingly, Art in Bloom has seen a steady rise in attendance in the last two years and has risen 28 percent since 2014! This year it also enjoyed a breakthrough in fundraising thanks to our volunteers, sponsors and partners at Mia.

Mark those dates! This is an event you don’t want to miss!

The Friends Need You!

Learn more about the Friends nominating committee and how you could play a role with your Friends!

Working behind the scenes, sometimes quietly and sometimes not, your Friends Nominating Committee is working for the future of our organization.

I am Connie Sommers and as most recent past Friends President, I serve as nominating chair of the Friends Board.  My committee and I have started this year’s task and will continue working until all 40 positions are filled for the 2019-2020 Friends Board.  We strive to fill one-third of the positions with members who have never served on the Board, while members who have served on the Board for six consecutive years must rotate off the board. This formula enables our organization to stay fresh and flexible while building on the continuity of our successes.

Please let me or my nominating committee know if serving on the Board is of interest to you or maybe to one of your friends!  You couldn’t find a more dynamic group with diverse talents and interests. We’d love to hear from you. My outstanding cohorts serving on the committee are: Carolyn Dahl, Maria Eggemeyer, Pam Friedland, Robin Keyworth, Teresa Luterbach, Barbara Proeschel, and Katie Remole.

Don’t be shy….we’d love to chat. For more information, contact the Friends office at friends@artsmia.org or 612.870.3045.