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Visitor's Guide To Minneapolis Institute Of Arts

Art reflects and enriches our lives. By visiting an art museum, we learn from a historic roster of masters such as Cezanne, Picasso, Goya, Gauguin, Rembrandt, van Gogh and Michelangelo. The images they etched, sculpted, carved, engraved and put on canvass sprung from their life experiences. We also discover the works of emerging and renowned contemporary artists from around the world. Some Minnesota art museums are culturally singular. Others are a study in global cultures. Before roaming any museum exhibit halls, museum goers take many factors into consideration. The services at MIA complement the institute's fascinating exhibits. Furthermore, it is on the list of best places to visit in Minnesota.

Minneapolis Institute Of Arts
2400 Third Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 870-3000

At MIA, visitors can always look forward to something new, even in the old. MIA is always in action. The exhibits are gorgeous, on-topic and unabashedly a tad controversial. The MIA features a body of creative work and ideas from timeless, forward-thinking innovators such as artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, author of  The Codex Leicester. Today, this collection of scientific writings inspires engineers, scientists and designers. Perhaps it inspired the movie and novel, The Da Vinci Code. The museum also exhibits postmodern work from noted contemporaries such as multi-media artist Mark Mothersbaugh, a cultural critic and the creative force behind punk rock band Devo.

MIA Beginnings And Mission

The MIA's mission is community enrichment through the collection and preservation of art from diverse local and international cultures. This mission began in 1883, when a group of Minneapolis citizens founded the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts to introduce the public to art culture. The original museum opened in 1915. Begun with 800 pieces of art, the museum's permanent collection has increased to nearly hundreds of thousands. The museum receives over 500,000 visitors each year. A neoclassical Twin Cities landmark, the MIA holds classes in art and art education for children, youths and adults.

Accessibility And Services For Visitors With Disabilities

Few museums have publicly known amenities and services for visitors with disabilities. The MIA, in support of its mission to make art accessible to everyone, has many accommodations for the disabled. These include guided tours for the visually and hearing impaired, wheelchairs free of charge, a free-of-charge wheelchair-accessible telephone, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, assistive listening devices and brochures in large print and Braille. The MIA will also customize individual disability needs on request. Visitors with special needs and their families can contact the museum's help desk through phone and e-mail. They may also speak directly to human resources at (612) 870-3990.


Getting to a museum is half the battle, particularly if the museum has a high visitor volume. But getting to the MIA is easy. For those who drive, off-street parking is available in a parking ramp and surface lots around the museum perimeter. For all parking, there is a modest fee. Visitors can be escorted to a lot by contacting the 24-hour security desk at (612) 870-3003. Those who enjoy bicycling can call the museum for information on available bike rentals. Bike racks are available near the MCAD Nice Ride Station for those who rent or bring their bikes. If you don't mind public transit, there are several bus lines that stop a few blocks away from the MIA, located along the metro transit #11 route.

(credit: Amy Rea)

Free Museum Admission, Shopping And Additional Museum Venues

The museum is especially proud of its free general admission policy. General admission to all galleries is free every day. Many museum events are also free. Only special exhibits, classes and hosted events require tickets. Visitors can bring their cameras, laptops and smart mobile devices. If you can't get to the MIA's central location, you can go to the satellite venues at Wells Fargo Center and the Purcell-Cuts House. These off-site locations have smaller exhibits with their own fascinating elements. Admission here is also free. If you are inside the central museum, be sure to stop by the gift shop. Here, you can buy books and beautiful hand-crafted goods from artists across the globe. Proceeds help support the MIA and the artists who craft the merchandise.

Related: Best Museum Tours In Minnesota 

Dining Inside And Near The MIA  

Does museum browsing make you hungry? The Agra Culture Kitchen & Press inside the MIA serves sustainable chef-crafted treats and meals, craft beer, wine, coffee and freshly pressed juices. Outside the museum are several nearby eateries and restaurants where the food is plentiful and very affordable. Depending on the size of your appetite, you can opt for quick refreshments or a full course ethnic or American dinner.

Upcoming Exhibits

The remainder of the season promises to be an exciting one with a fresh series of themed exhibits. Here is a capsule of some of the most fascinating.

"Ferran Adria:  Notes On Creativity"
Dates: Sept. 17, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016

The master chef from Barcelona sketches his way to inventive culinary dishes. Discover how Ferran Adria, through his drawings, became the Salvador Dali of the culinary world. Take notes on his artistic perspectives and the rewarding impact on the creative process.

"Delacroix's Influence: The Rise Of Modern Art From Cezanne To Van Gogh"
Dates: Oct. 18, 2015 - Jan. 10, 2016

French master painter Eugene Delacroix strongly influenced the younger generation of artists during his time. An artist from the Romantic Period, his work shaped the impressionist movement. Two of Delacroix's avid students were the passionate Vincent van Gogh and the reflective Edgar Degas. MIA presents their work and those of other artists who studied with Delacroix. Also on exhibit will be Delacroix's unpublished "Dictionary of Art."  

"Seven Masters: 20th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints"
Dates: Sept. 26, 2015 - March 13, 2016

At the center of this exhibit are the works of seven artists who helped launch modern woodblock printing. Called shin-hanga, the new method began as a movement away from the solo artist tradition. Woodblock printing became a collaborative effort with the artist, wood carver, printer, publisher and others skilled in the craft acting as a team.

Related: Best Upcoming Exhibits For Kids In Minnesota

Linda Cameron has written home design, home improvement and lifestyle articles for The Boston Globe and City Shopper Magazine. She has related interests in the building industry, travel, real estate and financing. She is a contributor to Examiner, House Spot, Techsling and Behance, covering topics on career, people, businesses, education and technology.

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