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Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

Minneapolis/St. Paul: Art Museums

Minnesota’s Twin Cities are a lively center for music, theater and art in the Midwest. The major museums are the Walker Art Center, a world mecca for contemporary visual, performing and media arts, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, housing a comprehensive collection of eighty thousand works from cultures throughout the world. Both museums offer public and custom tours of their exhibits.

Several smaller museums in the Twin Cities are dedicated to ethnic art. The American Swedish Institute, The Museum of Russian Art, and the American Museum of Asmat Art exhibit art and artifacts that impart a sense of history and cultural understanding, and support each museum’s educational goals.

While these extraordinary museums bring the art of the world to the Twin Cities, hundreds of galleries, artists’ studios and art crawls speak to the richness of the local urban art scene.

In the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, old “Nordeast” industrial buildings have been converted to studios where artists work and host regular open studio nights for visitors. South Minneapolis has its Ivy Arts Building for local artists to work and show, and St. Paul’s Lowertown boasts five artists’ buildings that open their doors to visitors on the first Friday of every month. On St. Paul’s East Side, the Everest Arts and Science project is turning an old brewery site into a space for artists and art lovers. Artists share this space with medical providers, an acknowledgment of the unique connection between art and science, creativity and health.

Art is personal and interactive in the Twin Cities: visit a studio and enjoy a conversation with the artist, and come away feeling a connection to this vibrant arts community. (Janet Contursi)

Minneapolis Art Museums: Art Museums Around Minneapolis

Below are our Minneapolis Art Museum recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, museum history and other points of interest in Minneapolis Art.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts (The MIA)

The MIA has an encyclopedic collection with a strong emphasis on European, American, African, and Judaic art. The extensive Asian art collection is housed in 22 different galleries. The museum is also strong in ancient art and has several period rooms, including a Chinese reception hall, study, and garden. MIA’s permanent collection of roughly eighty thousand pieces is housed in a McKim Mead White building from 1915 that has been expanded twice in the last century; at night, the 24th street entrance (the original, colonnaded one) is lit in multicolor. ...more...

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The Sculpture Garden opened in 1988, and now features works by Claes Oldenburg, Siah Armajani, Jonathan Silver, and Richard Stankiewicz. It is part of the Walker Art Center, one of the city’s preeminent museums (see the listing immediately below). The garden is just as lauded, and is one of the country’s largest urban sculpture parks. When it opened, the New York Times called it “the finest new outdoor space in …more…

Walker Art Center

Although a few old masters can be found in the collection, the Walker concentrates on 20th-century art, especially Pop Art, with works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns in a very flexible and accessible space. The adjacent 11-acre Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is an attraction all its own (see listing immediately above)… The Walker also maintains a very active performance program, presenting music, theater, dance, films, and other events. ...more...

Weisman Art Museum

Designed by Frank Gehry, the Weisman (a.k.a. ”Baby Bilbao”) is a steel-clad collection of curves and angles reflecting everything around it, including the nearby Mississippi River. Inside is a modern American art collection primarily focusing on the first half of the 20th century, including a portrait of founder Frederick Weisman by Andy Warhol. ...more...