The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Collection

The permanent collection of Minneapolis Institute of Artscontains approximately 100,000 works of art. These objects are organized according to seven curatorial areas: Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; Architecture, Design, Decorative Arts, Craft, and Sculpture; Asian Art; Paintings and Modern Sculpture; Photographs; Prints and Drawings; and Textiles. The museum is known for its particularly strong collection of Asian art, which represents 17 Asian cultures and spans nearly 5,000 years. Other collections of note include 42,000 works on paper in the Prints and Drawings collection, and 8,000 objects from more than 70 countries in the Textile collection. Selections from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts' collections are represented in Artstor with over 4,600 images from all curatorial areas.

Starting in 1889, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts operated out of a space within the Minneapolis Public Library. By 1915, the museum moved into a stand-alone Beaux-Arts style building designed by McKim, Mead and White. The museum building was built on donated land in the Washburn-Fair Oaks Mansion District, a neighborhood occupied by the mansions built by wealthy Minneapolis business leaders between 1880 and 1920. Despite these rarefied surroundings, the Institute has endeavored to engage the community of Minneapolis with public events, educational programs, and a free general-admission policy. For instance, in order to encourage private collecting and assist in acquiring works for the permanent collection, the Institute hosts “Curatorial Councils,” which are allied with each curatorial department and organize events and travel for museum members. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts includes the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP), an artist-managed curatorial department devoted to the exhibition of works by artists who live in Minnesota. A recently completed expansion of the original museum building directed by Michael Graves has resulted in additional exhibition space, as well as new facilities to house educational programs for museum members and visitors.