September 2017

Join us for a Beautiful Luncheon

First Friends Luncheon for the 2017-2018 programming year to be held September 14, 2017
Following the September 14 Friends lecture, please join us in the Reception Hall, Target Wing for a splendid Fall Luncheon.
The menu includes a grilled salmon salad with Asian barbecue sauce and Napa cabbage slaw. This delicious entree will be served along with freshly baked bread with sweet butter. The meal will conclude with an assortment of bars. Dark roast coffee or hot tea will be served.
You may request a vegetarian option when you reserve.
To RSVP call 612.870.6363. The luncheon cost is $30 inclusive of tax, gratuity, and space rental. All reservations must be received by 5PM, Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

The Art of Power/The Power of Sacred Art continues on September 28

Save the date for the third in the series, The Art of Power/Power of Art
Thursday, September 28, 2017 in Mia’s Villa Rosa Room.
5:30PM: Wine and Appetizers
6PM: Docent-led tours of Mia’s sacred art
7:15PM: Presentation by Johan van Parys, Ph.D.

Johan van Parys
Johan van Parys

Religion in its many different forms has acknowledged the formidable power of art throughout the ages. In response, some religions have embraced art, while others have rejected it. As a result, great works have been created by some and destroyed by others. The questions raised centuries ago remain even today. What is the relationship between art and religion? May art critique religion? In turn, may religion censor art? Can a museum become a sacred space? Can a sacred space become a museum? What makes art such a powerful tool for religion? And why is religion sometimes afraid of art?
Johan van Parys, Ph.D. is the Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. Johan frequently writes for various Basilica publications including the award winning Basilica magazine. His book Symbols that Surround Us was published in 2012. He teaches in the School of Theology at St. John’s University and is a regular presenter and facilitator at schools, churches, and organizations throughout the US and in his native Belgium. Johan holds graduate degrees in art history and comparative religious studies from the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium, and a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He is the current chair and founding member of the Minnesota chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums and is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgists and Societas Lituraica.
Tickets are $45 and are available by calling Mia at 612.870.6323.

Friends Only Book Club Meets September 15

Book Club Begins the Year with Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
9781451673319Join other Friends on Friday, September 15 at 10:30AM in Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation Studio (114) for a stimulating docent tour and thought-provoking discussion of Ray Bradbury’s classic science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 (paperback edition, 2013). This book was written in 1951 as a short story and published as a novel in 1953.
Fahrenheit 451 was originally published in the McCarthy era. This intriguing story deals with issues of censorship, control of individuals via technology and mass media, and resistance to conformity. The setting is an anonymous American city depicting 1960 living with the threat of nuclear war and enjoying its flat panel TV’s (entertainment walls). Join us for a tour and discussion as we view works of art relating to a “future” American society where books are forbidden and firefighters destroy any that are found.
A docent-led tour will follow with a moderator-led discussion in Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation Studio (114). No RSVP is needed for book club this month.
Can’t make September’s meeting? Join us October 13 for a docent tour and subsequent moderator-led discussion of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
On November 10 we will discuss Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn with Ada Calhoun. Gunn, a fashion consultant, television personality, actor, and author tells how to navigate modern life-think an update on Emily Post and Miss Manners!
Please contact us with any questions.  We look forward to seeing you.
Jeanne Scheiderer, and Ellen Archibald,
Co-chairs, Friends-Only Committee, Book Club

Remembering Lynn Schaefer

Longtime Friend remembered for her love of all things Art in Bloom and Mia.
Lynn Schaefer Photo 2017Lynn M. Schaefer was a devoted Friends member who cherished friendships, lectures, travels, and Art in Bloom.  As a long-time Friends member, Lynn and her husband Tom, believed strongly in supporting community organizations, Mia, and the Friends.  For years, Lynn, along with her dear friend, Margene Fox, donated a Cotswold, England trip to support Art in Bloom.  Lynn relished the experience of guiding tours for groups of women through the English countryside.  Although on May 19th, Lynn Schaefer lost her courageous battle against Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, know that she will never stop smelling the Art in Bloom flowers with her Friends.
By Tracy Schaefer, daughter-in-law to Lynn Schaefer

Tour: Unpacking the Mysteries of the Chinese Gate

Friends Only tour reveals the history and beauty behind Mia’s new installation.
Gate1This summer, curious Mia visitors were drawn to the second floor by the sounds of construction and watched transfixed as Chinese workmen installed a towering Chinese wooden gate, complete with ornate side panels, a gabled roof and tons of ceramic tiles.
Gate2What is the story behind this magnificent gate and how did it come to Minneapolis? What surprises did work crews encounter as they unpacked crates that had been in storage for years? And what meanings can we draw today from the gate’s intricate inscriptions and carvings?
Join Mia docent Kay Miller for a free Friends Only tour that aims to unravel these mysteries.
One hundred and fifty years ago, the traditional post-and-lintel structure bracketed the entrance to a middle-class family’s compound in Shanxi province, in the northern part of China. As family members passed through the gate, a four-character panel over the doorway reminded them of shared Confucian values–and a wish-“Humility brings prosperity.”

Gate of Prosperity, 1728 Unknown artist, China GIFT OF RUTH AND BRUCE DAYTON
Gate of Prosperity, 1728
Unknown artist, China

The gate is part of a major new installation at Mia that creates a formal entrance for its pan-Asian collection and brings together in the Buddhist Court some of the museum’s most beautiful Buddhist sculptures, spanning nearly 2,000 years and various cultures. Some are new, others are old favorites.
Throughout the Asian galleries, there are multiple references to Buddhism, the philosophy that started in India 2,500 years ago with a real man–Siddhartha Gautama–and swept across China, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Sometimes, the story and images can be confusing. Through new labels, iPads, and a wall touch screen, the reinstallation helps explain the lure of this new form of spiritual thinking with its eye-popping images and promise of Nirvana. The goal is for visitors to have a clearer idea of Buddhism that they carry with them into adjoining galleries.
Who was the Buddha? How can we recognize him when he and his retinue are pictured in such different guises? How did people use these sculptures? And what do their varied forms reveal about the cultures in which they were made?
Join the Tour: Friends Only tour of the Gate of Prosperity and Sit Investment Associates Gallery, Tuesday, Oct 3, 1:30 PM. Free. Limit: 25.
Call the Friends office to reserve a spot, 612.870.3045. We’ll meet by the Info Bar (across from the coffee area). After the tour, you can continue the conversation with your friends in the café.
Generous support for installation of the Gate of Prosperity and Sit Investment Associates gallery is provided by Ruth Ann Stricker, Beverly Grossman through the N. Bud and Beverly Grossman Foundation, Nivin MacMillan, Douglas and Wendy Dayton Foundation, David A. Wilson and Michael J. Peterman, John and Nancy Lindahl, Marianne Short and Raymond Skowyra, Jr., John L. Burbidge, Richard and Jennie Carlson, Kaywin Feldman and Jim Lutz, Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison, Head Family Foundation, Stephen and Barbara Hemsley, Hubert Joly, Laurie and Mark Jordahl, Carol and John Prince, Joan and John Rex, Sit Investment Associates, Eleanor and Fred Winston, and donors to the 2017 Mia Gala.

Learn More About the Friends at FRIENDS 101

Event will be followed by a private viewing of Mia’s Andy Warhol prints in the  Herschel V. Jones Prints Study Room.

Andy Warhol; Publisher: Factory Additions, New York; Printer: Aetna Silkscreen Products, New York Color screen print GIFT OF N. BUD AND BEVERLY GROSSMAN
Andy Warhol; Publisher: Factory Additions, New York; Printer: Aetna Silkscreen Products, New York Color screen print GIFT OF N. BUD AND BEVERLY GROSSMAN

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 10AM on Wednesday, October 18 in the Friends Community Room.  Stay until the end for an exclusive opportunity to view prints by Andy Warhol.
To attend please call the Friends office at 612.870.3045.

Transportation Fund Provides Visits to Mia

Still making history with Friends help and generosity!
Celebrating 21 years since its inception, the Friends Transportation Fund continues to provide busing grants to Twin Cities schools in need. Started by a generous gift from the Roberta Mann Foundation, the Transportation Program has been expanded by the Friends of the Institute’s “Buy a Bus” program as well as by fund-a-need donations from Art in Bloom.
This past year, with the Friends support, we were able to provide 64 bus grants to underserved schools in the Twin Cities area. These grants are essential to these schools so that their students have the opportunity to tour Mia’s outstanding art collection and to be inspired by the wonder of art.
In addition to our school year program, we were able to provide 16 bus grants to various locations in the YMCA’s North District. Summer school children were able to tour Mia’s permanent collection and enjoy book tours.  Art Adventure guides and Docents generously donated and delivered 120 copies of A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. We hope to expand the summer school grant program into the future.
To kick off this new school year, we partnered with Learning Innovations at Mia to identify and expand our reach in the community. Mia’s participation in the MN Field Trip Expo in August introduced our program to both public and private schools to generate awareness of Mia’s wonderful school programs. We are expecting lots of new applications this year!

Need a Great Gift? Buy A Bus

Unique gift giving opportunity brings schoolchildren to Mia.
Did you know that the Friends have brought more than 900 children to Mia through the “Buy a Bus” program?  By donating to our “Buy a Bus” program, the Friends are able to provide bus transportation to Mia from schools.
This special Friends program allows Friends to share their love of art with young people and also give a special gift to loved ones.  Would you like to honor your first-year college student or brand new high schooler?  “Buy a Bus” donations make a great holiday gift and it’s never too early to start planning!  A gift of $150 brings 45 school children to Mia and you’ll receive a small toy school bus to present to the recipient of your gift.
Long-time Friends member and past president Suzanne Payne shared a story about her recent “Buy a Bus” gift:
“Last Christmas I was the surprised recipient of a gift of sponsorship for two school buses to Mia.”  Suzanne had told husband Bill about the program and he followed up with this surprise.  Suzanne says, “Not only was it a wonderful gift for me, but because of the ripple effect, this gift became a memorable gift to each of the children on those two buses. I highly recommend your consideration of this unique and thoughtful gift for Friends gift-giving.”
For additional information contact Robin Keyworth, Development Relations Chair, at or the Friends office at 612.870.3045.

Dangerous Liaisons in the Halls of Mia

How a tea set can reveal history.
By Susan Arndt, Mia docent
In an encyclopedic museum such as Mia we are always presented with objects that stand on their own merit beautifully. Although, when we have an opportunity to view them in relation to one another they can spring to life in new and meaningful ways. I had this experience last fall when I was researching The Tea Service for Twelve that was part of a tour several junior docents were putting together. What tripped my imagination was reading about 18th-century salon culture and then understanding a little more about the history of that stunning Sevres tea set.

Grand Salon from the Hôtel de la Bouëxière, c. 1735 GIFT OF THE GROVES FOUNDATION
Grand Salon from the Hôtel de la Bouëxière, c. 1735 GIFT OF THE GROVES FOUNDATION

To set the scene for the tea set let’s start with our Grand Salon from the Hotel de la Bouexiere, a gift of The Groves Foundation (Gallery 318). Originally this Salon was a formal reception space in the Hotel (mansion) of Jean Galliard de la Bouexiere. He was not a noble but a well to do member of the bourgeoisie, a former general who collected salt and wine taxes for the crown. This brings up an important note on salon culture, classes mingled. One of the most famous Salonnieres of the day was Madame Geoffrin an orphan who married well but was not a noble. Her talent was to organize groups that brought together academicians in both the sciences, the arts, and philosophies of the day, along with nobility for lively conversations and recitations. She maintained strict order and lived by the motto: to give and be forgiven. Participation was required. Enlightenment spread ideas!  If men ruled the world, woman ruled the salon. The right invitation to the right salon could mean a career boost for a man, and an education or apprenticeship for a young woman hoping to have her own salon one day. Madame Geoffrin served a dinner at 1PM, followed by a lively conversation that lasted through the entire afternoon.
Some salons were structured around the evening with conversation, music, and entertainments, such as cards, that would last until the candles ran out and were not replaced. The Salon de la Bouexiere, recently reinterpreted as part of the Living Rooms* initiative, demonstrates this late night activity along with twenty-four hours of changing light and sound. Step inside. Can you imagine attending the intellectual salon of Madame Geoffrin during the day and moving on to experience a salon of entertainment in the evening? To maintain stamina and keep the witty repartee flowing, stimulants such as tea, coffee, and chocolate would have been required and served in beautiful hand painted porcelain.
Cup from a tea service for twelve, 1807–08 Christophe-Ferdinand Caron; Manufacturer: Sèvres Porcelain Factory GIFT OF THE GROVES FOUNDATION FUND
Cup from a tea service for twelve, 1807–08 Christophe-Ferdinand Caron; Manufacturer: Sèvres Porcelain Factory GIFT OF THE GROVES FOUNDATION FUND

Mia’s Sevres Tea Service for Twelve (Atherton and Winifred Wolleager Bean, Gallery 310) hand painted by Christopher Caron with illustrations from the beloved fables of La Fontaine is an example of the finest workmanship. Used in a salon the fables would have served to spark conversation. But this is not just any tea set. It was a gift from Napoleon to Prince William of Prussia. In 1807 the treaties of Tilsit made between France, Russia, and Prussia brought an end to the war of the fourth coalition. The treaty offered the best terms to Russia as Napoleon needed to form a blockade against England. The little emperor and the czar were quite cordial to one another and Napoleon even gifted his Sevres Olympic dinner service (140 pieces) to the czar. Napoleon viewed Prussia’s involvement as foolish, reckless, and costly. To punish them he took half their land mass and saddled them with enormous debt to pay for the war. The king of Prussia attempted to have the debt reduced eventually sending his brother Prince William to negotiate with Napoleon. He was denied, but Napoleon sent him the lovely moralizing tea set as a diplomatic gesture. Did Prince William bring up the dinner service? The fables represented give us quite a view into Napoleon’s mindset.
There is the fable of The Fox and the Bust: A fox spies a bust of a man.  He walks around it observing all sides. In the end he sits down to pronounce, “Many great lords are empty heads.” On the sugar bowl there is the fable of The Rat and the Frog: A rat comes to a river it cannot cross. A frog sees the rat and suggests that if the rat binds one of it’s legs to one of the frog they will be able to cross together.  They swim out into the river where the frog begins to dive deep with the rat, attempting to drown it. The rat struggles against the frog and so they are observed by a Kite who picks them off for its own meal. The morale: Be careful of the alliances you make, deceit always falls back on the cheat.
Did Napoleon actually think that Prince William would use the tea set in his salon? In a culture that valued witty repartee this would have upped the game to contemptuous mockery. I’m a little surprised that the tea set survived. C’est la vie!
*Generous support for Living Rooms: The Periods Room Initiative provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and donors at the 2014 Mia Gala.