September 2018

A Message from Mia to the Friends of the Institute

New website, membership and ticketing systems will improve communications for and to Mia

Julianne Amendola, Chief Advancement Officer

Dear Friends,

First, it’s my privilege to thank you for your generous support of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Your financial support as a Mia and Friends member, your time as a volunteer, and, most importantly, your passion for the collection and programs of the museum, is precious to us, and vital in enabling us to fulfill our mission and have an impact on our visitors and the community.

I also want to thank you for your ongoing patience. I know you have all been impacted by the work Mia has been doing to update the tools we use to manage ticketing, memberships, and our web site. This has been a museum-wide initiative, which has been underway for more than a year. Through this project we are creating and launching a series of new technical platforms that will improve the way in which we manage communications with our visitors and members, and enable us to move from older, outdated tools that do not meet our needs for the future. Led through a team representing all of our departments, Mia is devoting significant financial and staff resources to this initiative, and to incorporating a new approach to information management into our daily practice.

As with any such project, there have been challenges throughout the process of converting our systems, and we recognize that this has created problems in ordering tickets, renewing memberships, and ensuring that communications are sent to and received by our supporters, including Friends’ members. Again, I thank you for your understanding and apologize for mistakes and confusion that may have occurred during this time.

If you feel like you have not heard from the Friends in a while, or have had difficulty in renewing your Friends or museum membership, it’s likely due to these transitions. As we move toward the fall, I am pleased to share that we have completed a number of the most significant items, that our new ticketing system, Hive, is online and functional, and that we are returning to a more regular schedule with our renewals and communications.

As always, it’s important that we hear when there are issues. Even though we have made substantial progress, we continue to uncover items and individual member accounts that need updating. Please contact the Friends office, our Members’ Hotline, or me directly with your questions and to alert us to issues such as problems ordering tickets, incorrect contact or membership information, missed renewal dates, etc.

Thank you again for your support, your understanding, and your feedback. You are important to the Friends and to Mia, and we appreciate all that you do. We are indeed fortunate to have Friends like you!

Julianne Amendola

Chief Advancement Officer

Lecture Season Begins With a History of Dress

Aileen Ribeiro, longtime Head of the History of Dress Section at the Courtauld Institute of Art, will offer us a fascinating presentation on clothing in art on September 13.

If you long for for the romance of a time gone by, when clothing said something more than “fast fashion,” this is your lecture!

“How Do I Look? Fashion and Appearance in Art”
A Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture presented by Friends of the Institute and Mia
September 13, 2018
11:00 am Pillsbury Auditorium

Have you ever marveled at the sumptuous clothing in a painting and  felt drawn to the satins, velvets, lace and rich color? Perhaps you long for for the romance of a time gone by, when clothing said something more than “fast fashion.” If so, then this is your lecture!

Aileen Ribeiro, longtime Head of the History of Dress Section at the Courtauld Institute of Art, will offer us a fascinating presentation on clothing in art. Presenting a new way of looking at the history of fashion through the eyes of artists, Ms. Ribeiro will show us how artists portrayed dress and textiles in highly imaginative ways. With examples from the 17th to the early 20th centuries, she shows us the fluidity of the boundaries between fashion and art. Themes she may touch on include the ways in which clothing helped to define the nation state; how dressing up and masquerade were key subjects in art and life; and how artists were both inspired by fashion and themselves inspired “artistic” and reform dress.

Aileen Ribeiro read history at King’s College, London, followed by postgraduate study, MA (1971) and Ph.D (1975) at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She was Head of the History of Dress Section at the Courtauld Institute from 1975 to 2009; appointed Professor in the History of Art at the University of London in 2000, she is now Professor Emeritus. She sits on the boards of the British Art Journal and Costume, the journal of the Costume Society. She has published many books and articles on various aspects of the history of dress, the most recent being Clothing Art: The Visual Culture of Fashion, 1600-1914.

Free tickets are available for this lecture starting August 15 for Friends members by calling 612.870.6323 or online by clicking here. Tickets are available August 17 for the general public. Overflow seating will be available if needed.

A Helpful How-To: Lecture and Tour Tickets

It’s easy to get Friends lecture and tour tickets – here’s how!

Each month free tickets are available for lectures presented by the Friends of the Institute. For members of the Friends, tickets are available on the 15th of the month previous to the lecture and to the general public, tickets are available on the 17th of the month. Reserve your tickets by clicking here or by calling 612.870.6323.

Friends Only pre-lecture tours are also held throughout the season. You may request the pre-lecture tour when you register for Friends Lectures or, if you are registering on-line, be sure to click the Friends Pre-Lecture Tour box. Your lecture ticket will then indicate both lecture and tour attendance. The same procedure applies to all lectures and all pre-lecture tours.

Tours begin promptly at 10AM and you are asked to arrive early at Mia in the Third Avenue Lobby under the Chihuly Sun. Tour participants will receive reserved seating for the lecture at the end of the tour. Please be courteous and call if you must cancel your tour. You may cancel by calling 612.870.6323.

Friends Lecture Series is Announced

Print out the 2018-19 lecture series so you don’t miss even one!

2018-2019 Lecture Series
Presented by Friends of the Institute and Mia

September 13, 2018
Aileen Ribeiro
“How Do I Look? Fashion and Appearance in Art”
A Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture

October 11, 2018
Amanda Lucidon
“Chasing Light: Photographing Michelle Obama”
A Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture

November 8, 2018
Mary Abbe
“Wrestling Art into Words: A Random Walk through Mia”

December 13, 2018
Nick Wilding
“How to Forge a Rare Book”

January 10, 2019
Erika Doss
“Monumental Troubles: Reckoning with Problematic Public Art in America”

February 14, 2019
Nora Naranjo Morse
“Current Works of Inspiration”

March 14, 2019
Damian Robinson
“The Sunken Cities and Shipwrecks of Ancient Egypt’s Alexandrian Coast”

April 11, 2019
Andrea Bayer
“On the Unfinished in Art: works left incomplete by Chance or Intention”

May 16, 2019 (note: the third Thursday!)
Lonnie Bunch
TBD: Founding and Current Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Reserve for Friends Post-Lecture Luncheon

Luncheon offered after September 13 lecture at AgraCulture

Please join the Friends at AgraCulture on the mezzanine level for a delicious luncheon following the lecture by Aileen Ribeiro.

The menu will include:

  • Salmon Nicoise Salad
  • Scandinavian dessert with layers of raspberry and cream, sponge cake, and chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream and berries
  • Coffee and hot tea

If you wish to have a vegetarian option, please request it during registration. The cost for the luncheon is $30.

All reservations MUST be received by 5PM, Tuesday, September 4.

Call 612.870.6323 or click here to register online.

Join the Friends Only Book Club for a New Season!

The Submission by Amy Waldman is the first book up for discussion in this Friends-Only group

What ensues when a controversial architect is selected for a national memorial? Find out in The Submission by Amy Waldman at the Friends Book Club meeting in September!

Join bookish Friends on Friday, September 14 at 10:30AM in Studio Classroom 114 for a stimulating docent tour and thought-provoking discussion of Amy Waldman’s fictional novel The Submission.

In Amy Waldman’s first novel, the former New York Times reporter leads us through the repercussions that result when a selection committee chooses a Muslim-American architect for a ground zero-type memorial from all of the anonymously submitted designs.

New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani wrote, “Writing in limber, detailed prose, Ms. Waldman has created a choral novel with a big historical backdrop and pointillist emotional detail, a novel that gives the reader a visceral understanding of how New York City and the country at large reacted to 9/11, and how that terrible day affected some Americans’ attitudes toward Muslims and immigrants.”

The group will go on a docent-guided tour at 10:30am, followed by a moderator-led discussion in Studio 114.  Light refreshments accompanied by coffee, tea, and water will be available as well.

There is no need to reserve a spot.   

Additionally, mark Friday, October 12 on your calendar for a docent tour and subsequent moderator-led discussion of Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor.

On Friday, November 16, the Mia Friends Book Club will discuss Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson.

Please contact Jeanne Scheiderer, with questions.

The Friends Went to Washington DC

If you missed out on the Art and Architecture Tour – here’s a recap of the fun four day trip!

Mr. Smith went to Washington and so did the Friends 2018 Art and Architecture trip. Pictured here at the Supreme Court building.

Mr. Smith went to Washington and so did the Friends 2018 Art and Architecture trip.  The group had more fun than Mr. Smith and saw a much better side of Washington than he did.

Here’s just a taste of what the tour did:

The group of 19 started with a private cocktail reception at the Willard InterContinental Hotel followed by a lecture filling us in on all the little secrets of the historical hotel. Every President since before Lincoln has stayed at this historic place.  Did you know the word Lobbyist was coined at the Willard Hotel?  The story goes that President Ulysses S. Grant would go to the Willard for some peace and quiet—to sit in a comfy chair and smoke a cigar only to find that Washington’s power brokers were waiting for him, to  sway him towards their agendas.

Washington DC boasts many excellent museums, one for every day of the month.  The group enjoyed private docent-led tours at some of the best during our 4-day trip.   At the National Gallery we saw the only other Lucretia by Rembrandt (their painting shows her contemplating the stabbing, whereas ours depicts Lucretia after she has stabbed herself).   We also saw one of the three portraits Leonardo DaVinci painted during his lifetime (the Louvre’s Mona Lisa) is another one of the three.  The Gallery also hosted a special exhibit by Cezanne.

Friends attended a fascinating docent lecture and tour of the Supreme Court and later heard a private lecture by Dr. Richard Kurin, Executive Director at the Smithsonian’s Sackler and Freer Galleries and enjoyed a tour of their vaults to watch their conservation procedures.  We all know conservation is an integral part of any art museum and it was here the group received a thorough explanation as to how artwork is conserved with the latest technology, good old-fashioned hard work and a lot of time.

The group was able to get out of Washington proal workings of the National Cathedral and learn about its architectural style, historical quirks and contributions to the city.  Did you know there is a gargoyle in the shape of a video camera that points directly at the Russian Embassy building?

Friends also discovered a little-known gem in the Kreeger Museum, once the private collection of the late Mr. and Mrs. Kreeger.  The collection is exhibited in their former home. The highlight of this tour were the three Monet paintings that showed the same scene with differing light (morning, midday and late afternoon).  It was remarkable to experience what Monet envisioned, all on one wall.

Katie Remole, President of the Friends, will help plan another excellent trip in 2019 with the help of the Art and Architecture board members.  Keep your eyes peeled for dates and details in the Friends newsletter. Don’t miss out on this fun educational travel event!

Friends Make School Field Trips Possible

The Friends Transportation Fund helped bring more than 7000 students to Mia in 2017-18 to experience art.

For many years, the Friends 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. In addition to the endowment, there is the Buy-A-Bus program that adds to the fund. Friends and friends of friends (so 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 7000 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.

So this year, as students head back to school, think of the Buy-A-Bus program! Honor a friend, celebrate family or remember a dear colleague by buying part or all of a bus! For more information, contact the Friends office at 612.870.3045.

Lead An Art Adventure

Bring the joys of art to schoolchildren with Mia’s unique program.
If you love art and kids, then come be an Art Adventure Picture Person in Mia’s own backyard, no prior experience needed. Mia brings this successful program to Whittier International Baccalaureate School, one of Mia’s neighbors and elementary school partners. We’re pleased to be part of this important outreach.

Here’s how easy it is:
Late September/Early October: Attend a free, two-hour Art Adventure training at Mia, where you’ll learn about a themed set of six pieces of art and how to spark discussion about them with young children.

Over three consecutive weeks between October and November: You’ll be teamed with two or three other volunteers and assigned to a classroom. Teams will meet at Whittier School (a block away from Mia) where a Mia staff member will be waiting with your artwork and props. During each 1-hour visit, you’ll share two pieces of artwork from your set. Teachers will remain in the room to supervise the kids.

Between November and January: You’ll also have the option of meeting up with the kids from your classroom at Mia when they take a chaperoned field trip to visit the artwork you shared with them. All fun, no work! If you’ve ever been an Art Adventure guide or Picture Person before, you already know how enriching this is for all involved. If you’ve never done it, please sign up to discover this for yourself. You can volunteer with a friend, or get paired with a new one.

Interested? Curious? To add your name to the list of prospective volunteers, receive final program dates, and for more information, please contact Nancy McRae, Outreach Committee Co-Chair, at or 612.240.3774.

Thank you, Kate Smith Williamschen!

Friends longtime operation manager moves on to exciting new art adventures

Friends Operations Manager, Kate Smith Williamschen, accepted an exciting position with the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine as their Exhibition Manager. Her last day at Mia was Friday, July 20.

Leading the Friends organization comes with many joys and some sorrows, and I share with you an event that combines both. Friends Operations Manager, Kate Smith Williamschen, accepted an exciting position with the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine as their Exhibition Manager. Her last day at Mia was Friday, July 20.  Although Friends is very happy for Kate and know she will do very well with this new opportunity, we will greatly miss her.

Kate had been the face of Friends for four years, with an ever-present smile, an admirable efficiency and great ideas for advancing our projects. Kate’s attention to detail and close comraderies with Mia staff, helped the Friends volunteers create four immensely successful Art in Blooms and many events in-between.

We miss Kate but know that her many strengths and talents will be much appreciated at the Portland Museum of Art.

In the interim as we look for our new Friends Manager, Jackie Figueroa will be filling in on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 AM to 5:OO PM. Please call Jackie at 612.870.3245 or email at with any questions or concerns about Friends.

                                                                                       All my best,

                                                                             Katie Remole

President, Friends of the Institute