President’s Letter

Spring Rising – Cree Woman’s Hood (close up)
Chholing Taha G259

Dear Members,

ART IN BLOOM IS HERE! 144 floral arrangements will be on display April 28 through May 1. Consider attending the Thursday morning lecture, the Saturday afternoon floral demonstration, and Family Day on Sunday.

Thank you to all members who attended the Patrick Noon lecture and the centennial luncheon on April 14. It was truly a joyous occasion. Opportunities to celebrate our 100th birthday are still coming your way. Are you interested in local history? The centennial committee has planned events with our neighbors at the Hennepin History Museum for June.

May 9, at 11:00 a.m. the Friends lecture series presents Anna Jackson, Keeper of the Asia Department, Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Starting at 10:00 a.m. coffee and treats will be served in the Fountain Court courtesy of the Rochester Friends. Please join me at 10:45, just prior to the lecture, for the Friends annual meeting in the Pillsbury Auditorium.

Don’t forget about your opportunity as a Friends member to participate in Friends Only tours and book club.

All event details and ticketing links are found in the Newsletter.

I am not alone in feeling giddy about spring, flowers and the privilege of gathering in person with cherished Friends at Mia. Don’t miss the fun.

Warmest regards,


Creating Memories

Creating Memories 

Spring is finally upon us despite a stubborn debut, with many of us beginning to enjoy what so many Minnesotans dream of during those dark and frigid winter months…. being outside! We are fortunate to have an amazing park system in our city; as a matter of fact, a beautiful and historic park sits right across the street from the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Known as Washburn Fair Oaks Park, it’s situated in the Washburn-Fair Oaks Historic District.

Washburn Fair Oaks Park was the original site of United States Senator (1889-1895) William Drew Washburn’s home named “Fair Oaks.” The surrounding residences designed by famous local architects such Ernest Kennedy and William Channing Whitney showcase the architecture trends of the time. Other famous homeowners included the Pillsbury and the Turnblad families. While amassing their fortunes, these prosperous families built magnificent mansions still standing today, many dating back to 1870.

These stately homes occupied this neighborhood located on what was then an outer boundary of the city, yet close enough to its hub of business and entertainment venues to easily become the most prestigious and desirable addresses in Minneapolis.

The streetcar system added to the the area’s growth continuing through about 1930. Included in this development of course is the Minneapolis Institute of Art, originally known as the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, beginning in 1883. The esteemed New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White designed the original building housing the museum that opened its doors to the community in 1915.

Also noteworthy is building housing the Hennepin History Museum  at 2303 Third Avenue South on the east side of the park. This  was originally the home of Carolyn McKnight Christian, first president of the Friends of the Institute, who built it and lived there for almost 40 years. Having many philanthropical interests, Carolyn hosted many fundraisers and musical concerts in the Great Room of her home. In later life, she donated the house as well as her art collection to Mia in 1956. In 1957, Mia sold the home to the Hennepin County Historical Society.

With this home and the surrounding neighborhood being such an integral part of Friends history, the centennial committee is proud to co-host an evening with the Hennepin History Museum on June 15. Save the date for a “Friends Homecoming” evening reception at the Hennepin History Museum will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. with remarks at 6:15. See the original rooms of Carolyn McKnight Christian, enjoy displayed photographs and personal artifacts throughout, as well as live music, wine, and appetizers right within the formal reception room where Ms. Christian entertained her guests. Ticket price is $50 or purchase a centennial patron ticket for $100. Watch for your evite soon from the Friends office.

Plan on attending the “Friends & Neighbors of Mia and Hennepin History Museum Walking Tour” of the Washburn Fair Oaks Park neighborhood, focusing on architectural and historic information, as well as ties to Mia and Friends. Get a taste of the period, bringing our minds back to how people lived at this time. Midway through the tour there will be a quick refreshment stop at the Gale Mansion, home of the Minneapolis branch of the American Association of University Women. End the tour at Mia by walking into the Cargill Gallery exhibit highlighting past Art in Bloom and view Eugene Delacroix’s extraordinary Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums. Guests must be able to walk for one hour. Choose tour dates from either June 23 or June 24, with tours at 10-11:15 as well as 1-2:15. Tickets will be available soon. 

Summertime takes us to Martha Head’s home on Lake Minnetonka for the enchanting Friends Centennial Garden Party on July 14 from 5-7:00 pm. Join Friends for a tour, wine, and light summer fare. To allow best viewing of the gardens, space is limited to 50 guests. Attendee tickets are $50 and centennial patron tickets are $100.  All profits support the Friends Delacroix commitment. Watch for your evite this summer from the Friends office.

We hope to see many of you during these events. For any questions about these and other Friends events, please call the Friends office at 612.870.3045. Also, a reminder to pick up your Friends for 100 Years, A Lasting Legacy in the Friends office. Many of you have kindly praised this publication,  which we appreciate.

Since we began this column about spring, let us end it with an update about the exquisite dahlia Sue and Larry Bagge have cultivated for the Friends centennial. As per Sue, “The dahlia has been well received by the public when it was judged last year.” It was successfully judged at the Minnesota State Fair as well as the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The Bagges are looking forward to the magnificent blooms again this year.

Vincent van Gogh said it best: “…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”

The Friends History Publication Committee

Pamela Friedland, Linda Goldenberg, Mary Merrick, Suzanne Payne, Connie Sommers

May Lecture

May 12, 2022 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Please join us for the May Friends Lecture, “The Social Fabric” given by Anna Jackson, Keeper of the Asian Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Anna Jackson

Anna Jackson is Keeper of the Asia Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum. A specialist in Japanese textiles and dress, she is the curator of the 2020 exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk and editor of the accompanying publication. Her other books include Japanese Country Textiles (1997), Japanese Textiles in the Victoria and Albert Museum (2000), and Kimono: The Art and Evolution of Japanese Fashion – the Khalili Collection (2015).

Japan’s rich textile traditions have always played a crucial role in the social, economic and cultural life of the country. The focus of sartorial attention has often been the sumptuous silks worn by the Japanese elite, but the vast majority of the population would have dressed in clothing made of cotton or the fibers of wild plants. Such garments and other textiles, whether used for work or leisure, were part of the everyday world of those living in nineteenth and early twentieth century Japan. Yet in the beauty of their bold and often exuberant designs, they were far from ordinary. 

Drawing on the works to be featured in the MIA exhibition Dressed by Nature, and on those in the V&A and other collections, this lecture will explore what these textiles they can tell us about the lives, beliefs and tastes of those who created and consumed them. In doing so, it will pull together the common threads that bound rural villages to fashionable city streets and connected farmers and fishermen to merchants and entertainers. It will also examine the value and meaning these works have today and the efforts being made to preserve the skills and artistry they embody. 

Another of Anna’s research interest is the cultural relationship between Asia and the West. She has contributed her knowledge to a number of Victoria and Albert exhibitions and their related publications including Art Nouveau 1890-1914 (2000) and Art Deco 1914-1939 (2003). In 2004 she was co-curator of Encounters: the Meeting of Asia and Europe 1500-1800 and in 2009 lead curator of Maharaja: the Splendour of Indias Royal Courts, which subsequently toured internationally. She is also the author of Expo: International Expositions 1851-2010. In December 2020, Anna was awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendation by the Japanese Government for her contribution to the promotion of Japanese art and culture in Britain. 

Get Tickets

May Book Club

May 20, 2022 10:00 am


Cafe in the lobby at Mia

Ticket Price: Free

Friends Book Club

May 20, 2022 10:00 am In-Person Discussion/10:45 am Live Gallery Tour

Mark your calendar for Friday, May 20 at 10 am for a lively discussion at Friends Book Club followed at 10:45 by a guided art tour.  We will be discussing the book in the café in the Mia Lobby.

May and springtime bring us to our second live Friends book discussion and tour with The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. This book examines sisterhood, black identity, and parenthood with compassion and conviction. Told in flashbacks and alternating points of view, this novel asks what is personal identity, if not your past. A riveting and sympathetic story about the bonds of sisterhood and just how strong they are, even at their weakest. Please join us as we view the story enhanced by Mia’s fabulous works of art.

Please sign up with the Friends office at or 612-870-3045.  An early sign up really helps us in planning these tours!


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

Join The Friends

Special thanks to our 2022 Art in Bloom Host Committee

We honor these mother-daughter pairs who each and together weave a significant legacy of time, talent, and treasure on behalf of the Friends and Mia.



Phyllis Colwell, Friends President 1983-85, Art in Bloom Founder, Art in Bloom Honorary Chair, 1988 and Carolyn Dahl, Friends President 2011-13, longtime Friends Member




Mary Agnes McQuinn, Delacroix acquisition donor, longtime Friends and Mia patron and Susan Arndt, Mia Guide(Docent), Chair of Friends Lecture Committee and several Art in Bloom Committees



Gretchen Holland, Delacroix acquisition donor, longtime Friends and Mia patron andHeidi Holland Ault, Delacroix acquisition donor, Preview Party Committee, Friends Fashion Shows Producer



Holly McDougall, Friends member and Mia Guide and Kristen McDougall, longtime Mia Guide and Chair of Friends Art & Architecture Committee





Margene Fox, Friends President 2001-03, Art in Bloom Co-Chair 1996 andAllison Greene, Mia Guide, Friends Membership Committee Co-Chair



Linda Boelter, Art in Bloom Co-Chair 2002 and 2011, Honorary Chair, 2016, Art Per Chance Co-Chair 2008 and Carrie Kilberg, Art Per Chance Co-Chair 2008, Art in Bloom Co-Chair 2016, longtime Friends Member and supporter



Elizabeth Whitbeck (In Memoriam), longtime Friends Member and supporter andBetsey Whitbeck, Art in Bloom Co-Chair 2012, longtime Friends Member, supporter, and advisor


Marilyn Sundberg Friends Board, Delacroix acquisition donor, Art Perchance and Art in Bloom Committees andMolly Van Metre Friends Board and Advisor, past Treasurer, Art Perchance and other Friends Committees



Connie Sommers, Friends President 2015-17, Art in Bloom Co-Chair, Centennial Committee, Mia Guide andWhitney Sommers, Friends Centennial Committee



Linda Goldenberg, Friends President 2003-05, Co-Chair Art Per Chance and Salon, Mia Guide andRachel Hanson, Friends Member and supporter


President’s Letter

Dear Members,

1820, Porcelain, enamel and gilt
Bequest of Alfred Duane Pell 25.417.91a.b.

Astronomical spring arrived in the northern hemisphere on Sunday, March 20, at 10:33 a.m. CST, known as the vernal equinox. With spring come flowers. Expressions of flowers in art are found throughout Mia. One of my favorites, pictured at right and found in G333, is an exquisite porcelain cup covered with violets.

Spring and flowers also bring Art in Bloom. I invite you to join me in greeting spring at Mia during our 38th annual celebration of Art in Bloom, April 28 through May 1. Don’t miss this opportunity to view stunning, sometimes surprising, floral displays made by community participants.

Additionally, special events have been planned throughout Art in Bloom. Tickets are available for the preview party, lecture, floral demonstration and public tours. Tickets are not needed for Family Day on May 1. The AIB schedule and ticketing details are found in this Newsletter.

This year Friends are also celebrating 100 years of volunteering, learning, supporting Mia, and making cherished friendships. We look forward to seeing many of you at our celebratory luncheon on April 14. 

In 2022 we have many reasons to embrace spring and celebrate the beauty of art and flowers. Mia’s doors are open, you are heartily welcome, and I look forward to seeing you.

Warmest regards,




Art in Bloom is Back in Bloom

Art in Bloom is Back in Bloom April 28 – May 1, 2022!

Free and open to the public, Art in Bloom exhibits imaginative floral interpretations of selected works of art from Mia’s permanent collection, created by more than 150 individual and commercial florists.

We hope you will be able to join us for this four day festival! Highlights of the weekend are listed below:

Free daily public tours at 10:15 AM, 11:15 AM, 1:15 PM, and 2:15 PM *This year, tickets are required! Click here to register now!

Daily virtual tours at 2:00 PM

Wednesday, April 27, 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM: Preview Party (RSVP by April 18)

Thursday, April 28, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Flower Power: Floral Themes in Art with Lisa Michaux, PhD

Saturday, April 30, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Live & In Bloom: Floral Demonstrations by Bachman’s

Sunday, May 1, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Art in Bloom Family Event

Tickets are now available for all Art in Bloom programming. Call 612.870.6323 to reserve your spot!



Creating Memories

Volunteerism has always been such an integral part of Friends. But to assure an active assembly of volunteers, an organization must continually maintain its relevance, strength, and mission.

In 1925, Friends hosted the “Vanishing Luncheon”, boosting membership numbers as well as fundraising. Bernice Dalrymple, head of the Friends Finance Committee, hosted the first luncheon to acquaint sixteen friends with the newly organized Friends. One dollar was contributed by each guest, with each guest then agreeing to host her own luncheon for eight additional women. Subsequent luncheons were organized by these eight women, then by four friends, and finally luncheons were hosted for two women. What so wonderfully resulted was $2,000 raised and an even more importantly, an awareness of what Friends brings to the community.

New members are essential to any organization. They bring new ideas, new friendships, and vitality to Friends. Everyone knows someone who may lend all these qualities to our organization. Make the effort to invite them to the next lecture or other Friends events. Introduce them to all the wonderful volunteer opportunities coming up this year as we celebrate Friends centennial.

 With Art in Bloom coming soon, what a terrific time to engage new Friends as volunteers! Also, check this column monthly as we detail upcoming centennial events requiring volunteer time and talents. Friends has maintained its force and popularity because we enjoy each other’s company, and at the same time, lend assistance in the programs we promote.

Speaking of Art in Bloom, our committee came across the program from the first Art in Bloom held in 1984. How fun to include in this column an excerpt from the program discussing seasonal fashion from 1984. Keep these fashion statements in mind as you plan your wardrobe for Art in Bloom this year!

Enjoy these excerpts from the 1984 Art in Bloom program:

 “Fashion for spring thru summer is delightfully free and uncomplicated—reminiscent of simpler times, and a joy to wear…Clean simplicity—free of frills and embellishments, is the single most important feature of this season’s designs.”

 “The best news in fashion is borrowed from the boys…Beautifully softened man-style silhouette…but how serious can they be when they are as soft as the woman within…Look for roomy, oversized blazers with deep lapels…Short sleeved jackets with the comfort and ease of a shirt…Longer skirts that wrap, tie or drape in crinkled or textured fabrics.”

 “Dresses are subtly controlled…The year of the chemise…Dresses focus on the back…Lengths are getting longer…short getting shorter…seriously sexy…Flirtatious layers, sensuous draping in leg-baring chemise length or long, body skimming silhouettes…beads…sequins…bare shoulders.”

 “Fashion is…looking your best always…”

Composed by: Marilyn Sundberg, Art in Bloom Fashion Show Chairman

 Spring brings warmth, longer days, and wonderful opportunities to experience friendships. Friends provides these experiences; you bring your style, smile and your friends!

 Friends History Publication Committee

Pamela Friedland

Linda Goldenberg

Mary Merrick

Suzanne Payne

Connie Sommers

Friends Lecture

April 14, 2022 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Patrick Noon, retired Senior Curator of Paintings and Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of the Department of Paintings at Minneapolis Institute of Art

Please join us for our April Friends Lecture: “Artist in Bloom: Eugene Delacroix’s Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums,” with Patrick Noon.

A familiar face in the corridors and galleries of Mia for 22 years, Patrick Noon was the senior curator of paintings. He joined the museum in 1997, retiring in early 2020. He previously served for 20 years on the curatorial staff at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven and was the founding curator of its prints, drawings and rare books area.

Noon is a specialist in 18th- and 19th-century French and British art. His acquisitions brought considerable depth to the holdings at Mia with the addition of some 200 paintings, including the first he bought for the museum, “Pastoral Landscapes” by French artist Claude Lorraine, or “the Claude.” That turned out to be one of the most important “Old Masters” the museum has acquired in decades, and also one of the most expensive. 

Then there is the larger-than-life portrait of a nobleman reading in his garden, Nicolas Largilliere’s “Portrait of Charles-Leonor Aubry, Marquis de Castelnau” from 1701, one of Noon’s most recent purchases. A companion painting of the Marquis’ wife, “Portrait of Catherine Coustard,” is part of the Art Adventure program that brings children on field trips to the museum. Someone had separated the portraits in the mid-19th century but now they are ‘remarried’ and hang together at Mia.

Noon has published and lectured extensively on French and British art. His research resulted in prominent exhibitions including The English Miniature in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum; Richard Parkes Bonington with the Musee du Petit Palais, Paris; Crossing the Channel: British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism with Tate Britain and the Metropolitan Museum; and most recently Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art with the National Gallery of London. Delacroix’s Influence: The Rise of Modern Art from Cézanne to van Gogh was shown at Mia in 2015 during the museum’s 100th birthday year.

The Friends of the Institute purchased Eugene Delacroix’s Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums for Mia to commemorate the Friends 100-year anniversary this year. Noon will share the fascinating story behind this still life, which was in a private collection and never before in the public eye until coming to Mia.

Get Tickets

Friends Events

April 5, 2022 11:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

Olive Trees (1889), Vincent Van Gogh, oil on canvas, The William Hood Dunwoody Foundation.

Please join us Tuesday, April 5, at 11 AM on Zoom, where we will be joined by Mia Guide Sara Wagner, who is a graduate of Mia’s Docent class of 2015.

Topic: INSPIRATIONS of Vincent Van Gogh: Who are some of the artists who inspired him, and who did he inspire?

In anticipation of the upcoming exhibition Van Gogh and the Olive Groves we will focus on Van Gogh’s art: How did his art evolve? Who did he look to for inspiration? We’ll also honor his legacy by exploring the art of those whose art was influenced by him.

Please RSVP by April 4 to or call: 612-870-3045. 

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

Join The Friends

Just another WordPress site