President’s Letter

President’s Letter

Dear Members,

The Friends centennial year is nearly over. It has been my great
privilege to serve as president during this celebratory year. As we look toward the next hundred years and the next generation, we are participating in Mia’s upcoming Family Day as our final centennial event. This event will be held on Sunday, December 11. Join the fun by bringing a youngster to participate in arts and crafts or by becoming a volunteer. We need 27 volunteers! Find details in the Newsletter.

Anna Y., Saint Paul Music Academy, Acrylic on Canvas, “I painted what I saw in my mind for the future”.

Friends have also supported a special exhibition featuring art created by students and inspired by their visions of the future. This exhibition can be seen in the Community Commons until February 17.

The Guardian Lions at Mia’s 24th Street entrance are majestically decorated for the winter holidays. The plants and flowers committee arranged for this gorgeous display. This outdoor decoration can be enjoyed by the neighborhood and everyone passing by. The lions were featured on Mia’s Instagram page on November 15 and received over 1,200 “likes”.

The next Friends lecture is Thursday, December 8, with speakers
Kelley Lindquist and Tio Aiken. They will talk about Artspace,
America’s top real estate developer for the arts. Coffee and treats will be served prior to the lecture in the Fountain Court. Friends
members can also sign up for pre-lecture tours by calling Mia’s ticketing line at 612-870-3000. Note that the pre-lecture tour is separate from your lecture ticket.


Additional December events for Friends members include:
● Friends Only tour of Scandinavian Christmas traditions at the
American Swedish Institute on December 14.
● Friends Only book club discussion and tour (Chronicles of a
Radical Hag by local author Lorna Landvik) on December 16.

Details for both events in the Newsletter.

Now is a great time to renew your 2023 membership. You can do this over the phone, online or in person at the Mia lobby desk. Enjoy your holidays and I’ll see you at an event soon.

With warmest regards,


President’s Letter

Dear Friends,

As the weather turns colder, the museum is filled with visitors coming to see Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks from the Uffizi, now open through January 8. I hope you have the chance to see this spectacular exhibit.

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its ART SALE on November 17-19. It is the nation’s largest college & alumni art sale, known as a top destination for affordable and appreciable art work. Details at 

Friends volunteers are extraordinarily generous with their time and talent. The Centennial committee is hosting a celebration for Friends volunteers on November 10. Please join us in the Wells Fargo room after the lecture for coffee and cake. 

Which US museum was the very first to purchase a Vincent Van Gogh painting? It was the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA). The DIA is celebrating the 100th anniversary of their purchase with an extraordinary exhibition titled, Van Gogh in America. Join the Friends January 5-7, on an art journey to visit this exhibition and the magnificent Detroit Institute of Art. We will also tour the Cranbrook Institute Art Museum, a collection of modern and contemporary design. Additional details in this newsletter.

There are many wonderful events happening in the next two months for Friends members. I hope you’ll renew your membership and join us for another year.

Warmest regards,





President’s Letter

Laksefiskere på Nesøya (Salmon Fishers at Nesøya), 1891, Hjalmar Eilif Emanuel Peterssen, oil on canvas, Gift of Funds from Nancy and Rolf Engh

Dear Members,

Last year was a remarkable year for Friends. Dare I forecast an upcoming year that might be even better? Decide for yourself. Here are a few engaging events to watch for this fall.

● Until the close of 2022 we will continue to celebrate our centennial. As part of the centennial year, Heidi Ault and Gummy Grande have planned a fashion show and luncheon for October 7. This elegant and glamorous event is a collaboration with Galleria and Artful Living.

● Friends Only chair Kathryn Schwyzer is planning monthly outings for Friends members starting with a tour of outdoor art at the University of Minnesota on September 14.

● Book Club chair Lisa Mayotte is leading this treasured monthly event for Friends members which include discussions and gallery tours. The book this month is Bewilderment by Richard Powers and the meeting will be Friday, September 16.

● The Friends lecture series* for 2022-23 is extraordinary. Our kick-off lecture is September 8. The speaker will be Sandy Schreier, a fashion historian and collector of couture fashion. Her talk will be fascinating and sprinkled with amusing stories as she has had many encounters with notable luminaries. Tickets are still available.

Remember, past lectures are available on Vimeo which is accessible at at the bottom of the Events pulldown.

● Pre-lecture coffees and post-lecture luncheons are back. The September luncheon sold out quickly, but Hospitality co-chairs Barb Mikelson and Sheila-Marie Untiedt are planning another luncheon to be held after the lecture on December 8.

● Kristen McDougall, chair of Art & Architecture, is planning a very special trip for early 2023. Details revealed in the October newsletter.

● As you might expect, planning for Art in Bloom never stops. 2023 will mark our thirty-ninth presentation of AIB. Thousands of community members look forward to this iconic celebration of art and flowers every year. AIB co-chairs Diane Morrison and Jaime Gearhart have chosen a committee and planning is underway. More information and volunteer opportunities will be coming.

All event details and ticketing found at I hope you received a beautiful postcard in the mail with a schedule of Friends fall events. Let us know if you didn’t receive one. Postcards are available in the Friends office.

Please know I greatly appreciate your energy and support. I also welcome your thoughts and ideas. You can contact me at 612-870-3044, or stop in the Friends office.

My best, 





*The Friends lecture series is made possible through the generous support of the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund.

President’s Letter

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the start of the Friends new fiscal year. By any measure, last year (2021-22) was a solid success. Our greatest strength is our outstanding membership. Your engagement, enthusiasm and support helps make Friends of the Institute one of the oldest and largest volunteer organizations in American art museums. You can read more about last year in the Friends Annual Report 2021-2022 found in this Newsletter.

I am always grateful to Mia staff who so willingly give excellent advice and assistance to Friends. I also had a vague idea that there were artists among them. Now I know who they are and I’m impressed. Don’t miss the Mia Staff Art Show in the Community Commons, on view through October 30.

Dipa Ma, pencil on paper, Jesse Nagamatsu (security)

I also recommend visiting the exhibition titled, “Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan”, on view in the Target Gallery through September 11. The items displayed include many Japanese garments created between 1750 and 1930. These garments are not the opulent silk kimonos worn by the aristocracy. Rather, they are made from more plebeian and locally available materials. Although not silk, the garments are exceptionally clever, refined and elegant.

Kaparamip robe sleeve, cotton applique with embroidery, Ainu people, Japan

Friends are always busy planning engaging events for our members. The lecture series will kick-off on September 8th when we welcome Sandy Schreier as our speaker. She is a world famous collector of mid-century couture clothing. A luncheon will follow the lecture. On September 9th we continue celebrating mid-century fashion with a party at the Goldstein Museum of Design on the University of Minnesota campus. This party is hosted by the centennial committee. Find details and ticketing information for these events in this Newsletter.

As Friends members we can all look forward to a new year of enriching events and engaging opportunities. I am especially lucky because I can also look forward to serving as your president
for one more year.


President’s Letter

Dear Friends,

The Butterfly Catchers, 1900 Theodore Wendel, American Not on view.

As the first year of my presidency comes to a close I find myself musing about the events of the past twelve months. I have had a wonderful time serving as your president. Please know that it was you who made the journey successful and enjoyable for me.

The year started quietly with Mia closed to visitors, most of the staff working from home, and no one serving as operations coordinator. I had plenty of time to look at the files left by past presidents. Their records are invaluable and I am certainly the beneficiary of their hard work. In September Claire Goulson started as Friends operations coordinator. We are so fortunate as she brings intelligence, skill and warmth to the office.

Although it was quiet in the office, many committees were hard at work. Pam Friedland and Mary Merrick, chairs of the centennial committee, were scrambling to get the Friends history book to the publisher. Kris Bjorklund and Sheila Folkestad, chairs of AIB, were meeting with Mia staff to bring back a manageable, in-person event. Susan Arndt and Tammy Meyer, chairs of the lecture committee, were promoting and making arrangements for Dessa, the first Fiterman speaker. Sharon Secor and Allison Greene, chairs of the membership committee, were working on a plan to retain and convert our complimentary memberships into paying memberships. And Chris Vickery and Julie Scroggins, chairs of plants and flowers, were reimagining the holiday decorations focusing on inclusivity.

Other committees with critical missions worked quietly. Liz Short, chair of the vision and values special committee, very ably guided her committee through an examination of our mission statement, key messages and IDEAB goals. Maria Eggemeyer, chair of the nominating committee, held monthly meetings at her dining room table as her committee filled out the new slate of officers and board members. Kimmie Kemberling planned nine engaging Friends Only events. Lisa Mayotte restarted in-person book club meetings. Barb Mikelson, with support from the Rochester Friends, brought coffee and treats back to the Fountain Court for pre-lecture socializing. Tippy Madden and Kris Berggren made sure the newsletter was edited and emailed each month. Kristen McDougall planned an Art and Architecture outing with details found in this newsletter. Sue Stillman marshaled volunteers for ushering and other tasks. Jeanne Scheiderer, historian, preserved important documents for future reference. JeanMarie Burtness and Therese Blaine, co-chairs of transportation, braced themselves for a huge demand in reimbursements coming in this next fiscal year. Our affiliate liaisons, Pat Gale and Jim Rovner, supported our highly valued Rochester Friends and St. Cloud Friends, led by Alison Goode and Mary Jane McHardy, and Amanda Falloon.

The advisors to the board, Barbara Proeschel, Boyd Ratchye, Linda Goldenberg, and Katie Remole were always available to provide guidance. I unhesitatingly relied on the executive committee for their thoughtful opinions, discussions and advice. This highly accomplished group includes Barb Champ, Melanie Nelson, Carol Stoddart, Renee Kessler and Beverly Hauschild-Baron.

I look forward to next year and the opportunities it will bring. I welcome your thoughts, your ideas, and your continued support. Please know you can contact me in the Friends office at 612-870-3045 or by email at

Have a great summer!





President’s Letter

Dear Members,

January is membership month. On January 20, 1922, 45 women gathered in the museum’s boardroom to officially launch Friends of the Institute. Membership fees at that time were $2, which would be $30 in today’s dollars.

This month we begin to celebrate our centennial with engaging events scheduled throughout the year. We eagerly anticipate April, when flowers will return to the galleries for a spectacular Art in Bloom.

Through the gracious support of a loyal Friend, each member will receive a complimentary coffee-table book titled Friends for 100 Years: A Lasting Legacy.

Your $50 membership fee supports the Friends and our initiatives to support, enhance and sustain the collection, programs and influence of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Renewing is easy – just call 612-870-6323.

My very best,

September President’s Letter

If you haven’t been to Mia this summer you should stop by to see the zinnias blooming at the 3rd Avenue entrance. They are colorful and gorgeous, reminding me of Jennifer Steinkamp’s video installation titled, Hurdy Gurdy Man. 

I am pleased to announce that the Friend’s new Office Coordinator, Claire Goulson, started her position on August 31. Previously, she worked at the Loft Literary Center. Some of you might remember her as an intern for Art in Bloom 2016. Claire is a warm and welcoming presence in our office. Her office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm. 

There are opportunities and challenges facing Friends in the next few months. I will be focusing my attention on the following:

  1. Working with Membership Co-Chairs, Sharon Secor and Alison Greene to increase membership while maintaining our current membership. At this time, our membership stands at about 700!
  2. Working with Friends Treasurer, Renee Kessler and Development Relations Chair, Beverly Houschild-Baron to prioritize reducing our Delacroix pledge to Mia. At this time, we owe Mia about $308,000.
  3. Working with Newsletter Co-Chairs, Tippy Madden and Kris Berggren to ensure every member receives a Newsletter.
  4. Working with Art in Bloom Co-Chairs, Kris Bjorklund and Sheila Folkestad, to plan for a fragrant, beautiful and in-person AIB 2022.
  5.  Working with Centennial Co-Chairs, Mary Merrick and Pam Friedland, for a sparkling Centennial celebration in 2022. 

In this newsletter you will find information on our upcoming events. I hope to see you at all of them! Please know I appreciate every member and am honored to serve as your President. 




President’s Letter

Summer Greetings!!

August is here and with it comes the State Fair, school supplies, whiffs of autumn and the stirring feeling that while something is ending, another something is beginning. I am Julie Holland, serving you as President of Friends of the Institute. On behalf of our hardworking board and committees, I welcome you to a new year of opportunities to appreciate the human condition through the lens of great art.

Please join us for our kick-off lecture via Zoom on September 9, at 11 AM, given by the singer, rapper, writer, poet, songwriter and one-woman powerhouse, Dessa. Our tickets are free but numbers are limited. As a Friends member you are entitled to secure your free ticket on August 16, four days before sales open to the general public.

While the Friends pride themselves in our engaging programming, we are also profoundly committed to supporting Mia and extending its influence into our richly diverse community. My decade as a member of the Friends has greatly enhanced my life through learning and friendships. I hope your membership does the same for you. Enjoy reading about upcoming events. Note we start our grand Centennial celebration on January 20, 2022!

Best regards,

Julie Holland

President, Friends of the Institute


President’s Letter

Dear Friends,

What a year! It’s no surprise that Friends adapted quickly and made the most of it. Lectures went on via ZOOM and thanks to the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund and no spatial limitations, expert speakers and meaningful monthly lectures drew many from all over. Much gratitude goes to the Friends Lecture committee and the strong support of Mia’s staff. 

Friends Only programs offered members engaging monthly curator-led tours that were recorded, uploaded, and archived to the Friends of the Institute webpage for viewing by the public.

Friends Only Book Club gave members the chance to discuss the museum’s monthly book selection led by a docent, who blended in a thoughtful tour of complementary artwork. Chairs worked hard to promote these activities to the Friends membership. 

Members could also count on the Friends Newsletter for a good read and a wide range of information about upcoming activities as well as happenings at Mia. Each issue included fun articles that fit a monthly theme selected by the editors to pull together an excellent newsletter. All newsletters are available for reading on the Friends webpage.

The Centennial committee continues to work hard to prepare and plan a fitting celebration of one hundred bountiful years of the Friends of the Institute, beginning in January of 2022.  

The Membership committee has made great strides to grow Friends membership. And to help celebrate the hundredth birthday, Friends is offering complimentary membership to our members and the public. Come January 2022, membership dues will resume and be payable every January in the future. A common renewal date in January for all members will greatly simplify the process.

Last but not least, Art in Bloom 2021 was a resounding success! The public received the unique virtual presentation of the thirty-eighth floral festival with great acclaim. Events were well attended, the gorgeous displays by commercial florists at their store locations drew much praise and,  even though virtual, the Pedestal Floral Artist’s creations were as spectacular as ever and could be viewed worldwide. All in all, this year’s spring event was a worthy welcome to spring, thanks to the hard work of a dedicated committee of volunteers and the expertise and steadfast support of Mia’s staff. See results from Barb Champ below.

There’s more to come in May and June. Don’t miss the May lecture with Native American artist-photographer Cara Romero, whose piece was part of the 2017 world-renowned Hearts of Our People exhibit at Mia.

Friends Only, Friends Book Club, and Art and Architecture all have excellent and fun programs planned. Be sure to read about the May goings-on in the Newsletter and register for the lecture activities.

Please mark May 27 on your calendars. I look forward “seeing” all of you at the 2020-2021 Annual meeting. It was a very different, but productive year for Friends.

Friends would also like to thank office coordinator Lizzi Ginsberg, who kept us all organized and in touch with Mia’s staff. Her contribution to Friend’s success this year cannot be underestimated. Lizzi is off to Chicago with exciting plans to begin graduate work at the Art Institute of Chicago. Mia and Friends thank her and wish her the very best in her future endeavors.

President’s Letter

Dear Friends,

My Thanksgiving celebration will be very different this year. Nonetheless, it’s still my favorite holiday when I eat my home-made cranberry sauce, and give thanks for the opportunity to slow down and see the good that surrounds me.

Thank you to the fall season,and for beautiful colors.

Thank you to Mia for the wonder of art.

Thank you to Friends members for their support.

Thank you to Rochester and St. Cloud Friends for their loyalty.

Thank you to the Friends board and volunteers for their dedication and hard work.

Thank you to the Friends office administrator for her expertise and good cheer.

Thank you to Mia staff for their friendship and willingness to help.

Here’s one I’ve grown to appreciate more and more – thank you to technology that ties us together.

My list could go on and on.

 Finally, I am grateful for the love of family and friends. I’ll always cherish my childhood memories of Thanksgivings at my grandparents’ home, when even creamed corn and cranberry jelly straight out of the can could be delectable. My very favorite was “clam paste” – a clam dip eaten with potato chips that was made with cream cheese, canned chopped clams, and Worcestershire sauce.

 I wish you a Thanksgiving holiday full of gratitude, fond memories, and good food.