Visiting Minneapolis Institute of Arts Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Have you been to your local art museum lately?

I think it’s always worth the trip! (the title picture here I took standing in the Frank Lloyd Wright room of the MIA, looking at the Minneapolis skyline through a gorgeous arts and crafts metal screen)

It had been a few years since I’d been to the art museum that is closest to us, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, in Minneapolis, MN, but, the other day, being close to my birthday, my sweet husband, knowing how much I love to go there offered to spend the afternoon there with me, so off we went!

They are having a special exhibit ‘The Habsburgs’ through May 10, 2015. We did pay the $20 fee to see that, (otherwise to just visit the art institute there is no charge, but they do encourage you to buy a membership or donate a bit, is not required though). We weren’t allowed to photograph in the special ‘Habsburgs’ exhibit, but I can tell you, it was really amazing. This is the first time this famous Austrian collection has ever been to America. There were gorgeous horse drawn chariots and sleighs with the likes that fairy tales are made from. And it was just as interesting to read about the history of the Habsburg family. Some generations of rulers and family members were not so nice, while others were heroes in their bravery to rescue Jews and Christians. Very interesting, I highly recommend it.

But there are other exhibits that are at the Art Institute all the time, and I never tire of seeing them. Here are a few things I saw, that I was allowed to photograph: Vincent Van Gogh

My all time favorite style of painting is impressionism, and I’m mesmorized with Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings as well as his life story. To me, unlike some paintings that seem to painted by artists that are trying to please others, Van Gogh’s paintings have a raw emotional expression revealed in them. The thick paint and chosen colors speak volumes to him truly expressing his true self, troubled self at times, and all through the paint, brush and canvas. Maxfield Parrish

This very large Maxfield Parrish painting with it’s beautiful colors always conjures up almost magical dreams. Serevin Roesen

‘Abundant Fruit’ is a lovely mid 19th Century painting. Doesn’t its lavish display of fruits contrast sharply with the simple lifestyle of ‘Landscape with Cattle and Sheep’ painted in the same year. Constant Troyon

And there are of course local artworks… Robert Koehler

Such as this beautiful gray toned painting by Robert Koehler depicting a rainy evening in Minneapolis in the early 1900’s. Grant Wood

Or this painting by Grant Wood depicting a small town in Iowa. Grant Wood is the artist that painted the well known 1930’s painting  ‘American Gothic’… you know the stoic farmer sporting round glasses with a pitch fork in hand standing next to his aproned wife with a stressed far away look in her bright blue eyes, standing in front of their gothic style farmhouse…

Of course, there are all sorts of artworks you can find exhibited at the Art Institute besides paintings… Jewish stained glass window


This stained glass window from a Jewish synagogue was stunning, and even though this picture doesn’t do it justice, I really wanted to share it with you.

But there are much simpler pieces of art to behold as well… Rooster 1

There is a whole wall full of a great collection of American rooster weathervanes! simple copper rooster

Including this single layer copper silhouette rooster. gold rooster

As well as this golden colored one.

I’ve got to wrap up this post, but I wanted to share one more painting with you…

To me, it’s the ugliest painting of a woman I’ve even seen, and yet somehow every time I go to MIA I’m drawn to stare at it.

Supposedly the artist back in the mid 1700’s was very sought after and well known… I’m not sure I would have been too happy with his work if he would have painted me with this look, but apparently the family that commissioned him was pleased with the outcome!

What do you think? portrait of Sarah Allen nee sargent

The description states that the artist purposely painted her with a ‘masculine’ look showing her strength, yet daintily pulling up her gloves.

Can’t see it well enough?

Here’s a close up of her face: (I feel like I need to put quotes around the word ‘her’ 🙂 ) Sarah Allen nee Sargent

She even has a 5 o’clock shadow! I don’t know… is it just me? or are we maybe missing something here?

Well, now I just can’t leave you with what I describe as a ‘hideous woman painting’, after all the gorgeous things I’ve seen there, so here’s one more: Renoir

Here we go, the exact opposite of that painting is this Renoir painting… it embodies the beautiful soft effect he’s so well know for.

Hope you can get to your local art museum and be inspired by great artworks as well! I am working on another post about my visit there, I want you to see the fabulously inspiring Norwegian painted cupboard I saw there.


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If you’re close to Minneapolis, here is the information for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts:

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

2400 3rd Ave S

Minneapolis, MN 55404



Want to read a little more?

Click here it see more of my travels and trips to other places and neighborhoods.

Click here to see more stained glass I’ve written about.


Inspired to get some fresh artwork up on your walls?

Here’s a list of shopping links for you:

Art on Ebay

Art at World Market to fit every style

or Make your Own Art with Supplies at Dick Blick

120x90 Save up to 50% All Dining Furniture

Blick Art Materials

300x250 Save up to 50% All Dining Furniture

this post is linked at:

MIA Minneapolis Institute of Arts

 I Should be Mopping

Uncommon Designs

Nifty Thrifty Things

From my Front Porch to Yours

Posed Perfection

Joy in Our Home

The Charm of Home

My Repurposed Life

Design, Dining and Diapers

French Country Cottage

The Handmade Hangout

My Romantic Home


Reader Interactions


  1. arkgrandma2 says

    I totally love your post!! Beautiful paintings and art… what an inspiring place to visit. The Robert Koehler painting reminds me of a painting by current artist G. Harvey.

  2. Donnamae says

    Thanks for the mini tour! I think your assessment of that portrait is spot on! She, and I use that term loosely, doesn’t look like a woman! Each to their own I suppose…if the family was happy, who are we to criticize. Enjoy the first weekend of Spring…it’s been a long time coming! 😉

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