Van Gogh: The Artist and the Man

Sponsored by the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund
Axel Ruger
We are very honored to welcome Axel Rüger, Director of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, as speaker for the October Friends Lecture Series. He will present his lecture on Thursday, October 8, at 11:00 a.m. in the Pillsbury Auditorium. The topic is “Van Gogh: The Artist and the Man”. Vincent van Gogh is an artist of worldwide recognition and his masterpieces are among the most valuable in the world. Van Gogh was active as an artist for only ten years prior to his death by suicide at age 37. Of those ten years only seven were spent painting. Mia is privileged to own one of Vincent’s fifteen Olive Trees canvases, painted in 1889 from an asylum in St. Remy, France. This masterwork depicts a sun pulsating over gnarled trees, images that capture the tormented exuberance of nature and Vincent himself.
The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, repository for 200 of Vincent’s paintings plus hundreds of his drawings, is the largest collection of Van Gogh under one roof. It holds a newly discovered Van Gogh, Sunset at Montmajour, which for years was considered a fake and relegated to an attic in Norway. The museum juxtaposes Van Gogh canvases with works by other artists known to have influenced or been influenced by his work. These include paintings by Monet, Pissarro, Gauguin and Seurat, some of which belonged to Vincent. The museum is also spearheading the REVIGO project dedicated to researching the colors of Vincent van Gogh and how they have changed over time.
Axel Rüger has studied art history at Freie Universitat in Germany, Cambridge University in UK and Queen’s University in Canada. He was previously Curator of Dutch Paintings at the National Gallery in London. While there he organized two international loan exhibitions: Vermeer and the Delft School (with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2001) and Aelbert Cuyp (with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2002).
Tickets are free and available for the lecture starting September 15 at or 612-870-6323.

Reminder: Friends September 10 Luncheon

Following the lecture by Gloria Groom, a delicious luncheon will be served in the Villa Rosa Room. Those who signed up will be feasting on Asian chicken salad with carrots, cellophane noodles, scallions and sesame-ginger dressing. Passion fruit, panna cotta with pineapple compote and almond Florentine complete the menu.

Lecture Day Tour for Friends Members

Friends members are invited to register for the Friends-Only pre-lecture tours. The tours complement the monthly lecture and begin at 10:00 on lecture days.
• Space is limited. Reserve your tour spot with the Friends-Only Events co-chair, Shelly McGinnis. Email: to reserve your pre-lecture tour and lecture ticket or call 612-735-6828 on or after the 15th.
• Reservations will not be accepted before the 15th.
• Tour reservations and lecture tickets are limited to two Friends members per email.
• Registrants will receive an email confirmation. Confirmed names do not need to reserve a ticket through Mia for the Friends Lecture Series.
• Tours will be filled on a first come/first served basis. Tours begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. before the lecture.
• Meet in the Mia 3rd Avenue Lobby under the Chihuly Sun.
• Tour participants will receive lecture tickets with reserved seating at the end of the tour.
• If unable to attend please cancel your tour/ticket RSVP; we anticipate a waiting list.
The Friends Lecture Series is sponsored by the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund

We Thank the Rochester Friends

At all Friends monthly lectures during the 2015–2016 season, guests will enjoy coffee and treats provided through funds donated by the Rochester Friends. Both the fountain court and lecture overflow room will enjoy this gracious benefit!
Please thank them for this welcome gesture of hospitality.
The Friends Lecture Series is sponsored by the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund

Friends-Only Book Club

Plan to attend Friends-Only Book Club! Join us on Friday, September 18 at 10:30 a.m. in Studio 114 at Mia, for a docent-led tour of our first book All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. The winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the book follows the lives of a perceptive blind French girl and an orphaned German boy whose paths cross in occupied France during World War II.  Discussion and light treats will follow from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. Please call the Friends office (612) 870-3045 to register. We are full this month, please join us next time! Book Club is limited to 25 spots.
Friends event co-chair, JeanMarie Burtness, is looking forward to seeing you!
Going forward:
October 16: The Botany of Desire: a Plant’s Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan
November 20: What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt.

Friends Membership News

As fall approaches, we want to welcome new members, as well as thank those who renewed their membership over the summer months.
Although it is still several months away, we hope you will save the date for our free “Friends 101 Class” scheduled for Thursday, November 5, at 10 a.m.
More information on this popular event will be in the October newsletter.
Look for our new, digital version in your mailbox October 1.

Apply Now for K-12 Mia Field Trip Transportation Grants!

Each year the Friends of the Institute provides grants that enable Twin Cities School children to travel to Mia for free. Historically this opportunity was available to only grades K-8. This year, with special thanks to the generous donations of Art in Bloom 2015’s Fund-A-Need campaign, grades 9-12 are also eligible! For information about these grants and access to our simple online application, visit: .
The application deadline is October 1.
Mary Bachhuber and Barbara Proeschel
Co-Chairs, Friends of the Institute Transportation Fund

A Chinese New Year Festival

Wallpaper, late 18th century
Artist Unknown (China, Asia)

Pigments on paper, Gallery 328,67.58.7
A parade of lanterns, boys flying kites, dancers and acrobats surround the visitor in Mia’s MacFarlane Memorial Room in Gallery 328.  A Chinese noble family hosts a New Year’s festival in their enclosed garden amidst a lush landscape of trees, sky, streams and mountains. The exotic scene was hand painted in China for a wealthy Bostonian family in the early 1800s. Fascinated by all things far eastern, Americans and Europeans often hung imported wallpaper in specially created Chinoiserie rooms.
This lively event includes parents and children enjoying various activities. Elders buy souvenirs and food for the young.  Someone sells leaves, perhaps medicinal and a father buys a son a scroll of calligraphy. All reinforces the Confucian value of family solidarity.
A pavilion, shown on the south wall, was built by the family for entertainment. Onlookers watch a dance in honor of Kuan Yu, legendary god of war. Everywhere the family interacts while casually enjoying their holiday.
The fifteenth day of the New Year’s celebration is the Festival of Lanterns when heavenly deities and other legends are remembered.  Four Daoist immortals are included on the north wall; one is standing on a shrimp in the sea.  Lanterns resembling fish, dragons and blue shrimp are carried in a parade.  Music from wind instruments, lutes and drums add to the festivities.
The varied colors bring the scene alive. The pallet includes the blues, greens and browns of nature and a myriad of colors in the robes, banners and lanterns.  The lovely floral fans carried by so many may have been stenciled.
The meandering paths, trees, rocks, streams and activities echo Mia’s Jade Mountain.
This extraordinary work of art is the focal point of the special exhibit: Living Rooms | Made in China: The MacFarlane Room Wallpaper   and will be on view through May 2016.
Generous support for Living Rooms provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and donors at the 2014 Mia Gala.
The wallpaper was donated to Mia by Mabel MacFarlane and Wayne H. MacFarlane. You can read more about the wallpaper, and see details of the design through this link: as a banner in the right rear of the pavilion alerts:“There is a reason for everything.”
Generous support for “Made in China: The MacFarlane Room Wallpaper” provided by the MacFarlane Memorial Room Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation.

Welcome to the New Digital Newsletter

Welcome to the new version of the Friends digital newsletter. There are many new and important features. To make things easier, this content will always be available via the Site Navigation page, more on that below.
One of the important features added to the new format is the ability to filter the articles in two different ways.
• The Newsletter has a “Category” feature. The email you receive each month will include a link for the current issue. The email also includes a link for the newsletter site.
• The Newsletter also has a “Tag” feature
Categories are a filtering feature. Each month all articles will be categorized by the month they are published. To view the newsletter one month at a time click the provided link. To view specific categories click to discover all articles written in that same category. For example, clicking Collection Connection all Collection Connection articles will appear. This feature allows all articles to appear in one location. Readers may navigate back to the main newsletter by clicking the Home tab or clicking on the Friends logo.
Another filter feature available is article tagging. When an article is tagged it has been set into a smaller group of a category. The tags allow readers to view other articles with the same tag. For example, articles about the category Friends Funds will show all articles about Friends Funds. Clicking the Transportation Fund tag, will filter the funds articles showing only Transportation Fund articles. Tags will also filter by year. To read about Art in Bloom 2015, and not other Art in Bloom years, click the tag AIB 2015. The tag feature will become more helpful as content is added year after year into the same categories.
In the new format readers will notice the tabs at the top of the newsletter. By clicking the tabs readers will discover many important sections called pages. Pages are available for ordering tickets, accessing past lectures, new Friends members list, gifts to Friends and many other sections.
The new Newsletter is directly linked to the Friends website for readers looking for more Friends information. The website includes information about upcoming events, lectures, Friends funds, membership, and history of the Friends organization. Readers may navigate to the website by click on the “Friends Homepage” link on the left hand information side bar of the Newsletter. If you are on the Friend’s website, you can go directly to the newsletter by clicking, the Newsletter tab.


Sponsored by the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund
Gloria Groom:   “Impressionism: Dressing the Model, Muse and Mistress.”

Gloria Groom
Gloria Groom

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s mistress, featured in more than thirty paintings wearing the most up-to-the minute fashions, served as Renoir’s calling card by advertising the artist as a painter of modern life. Gloria Groom, Senior Curator, David and Mary Winton Green, Curator of Nineteenth Century European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago, will present such a story as part of her lecture, ”Impressionism: Dressing the Model, Muse and Mistress.”
The Impressionists portrayed modern life in their paintings and included modern styles of fashion. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the modern fashion industry was born and designers were transforming how clothing was made and marketed, department stores were on the rise, and fashion magazines began to proliferate. Both visual artists such as Claude Monet and Berthe Morisot and writers like Charles Baudelaire and Émile Zola were excited by the new fashion industry and the sense of style and modernity that was becoming so popular in Paris. These artists and writers expressed the new fashions in their paintings and literary works.
Gloria Groom, organizing curator of the internationally acclaimed exhibition “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity”—the first exhibition to uncover the fascinating relationship between art and fashion from the mid-1860s through the mid-1880s as Paris became the style capital of the world—presents a new perspective on the Impressionists, revealing how these early avant-garde artists embraced fashion trends as they sought to capture modern life on canvas.
Groom joined the Art Institute as a research assistant in 1984 and served as an assistant, then associate curator of European painting. In 1988, she was appointed the David and Mary Winton Green Curator, overseeing the museum’s renowned collection of nineteenth century painting and sculpture. An expert in French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, especially the work of artists Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, Groom has published extensively in catalogues and journals. She isthe author of the monograph Edouard Vuillard: Painter-Decorator: Patrons and Projects, 1892–1912 (1993) and author and editor of, among other works, Beyond the Easel: Decorative Painting by Bonnard, Vuillard, Denis, and Roussel, 1890–1930 (2001) and Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity (2012). Additionally she is the coeditor and coauthor of The Age of French Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago (2008). Groom has curated and co-curated 11 exhibitions at the Art Institute, including Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity (2013); Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde (2006–07); and Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist (1995).  She was named Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her significant contributions to French art and culture. A member of the Midwest Art Historians Society, the Arts Club of Chicago, and the Association for Historians of Nineteenth Century Art, Groom also has served as a trustee for the Association of Art Curators since 2009. She received her B.A. from the University of Oklahoma, Norman, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Groom received a diploma from the École du Louvre and was a 2009 Fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership. In July of 2015 Groom received a prestigious honor from the French President and was named Chevalier (Knight), of the Legion of Honor.

Make sure to get your ticket to the luncheon following the lecture.  The menu will be posted once determined. Follow this link for reservations to both the lecture and luncheon starting August 15th:

For more information on ticketing, please see the Ticketing Information page.

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