May 18 is International Museum Day around the world.
Here in Minnesota several museums are participating in International Museum Day with special discounts.
- The Watercolor Worlds of Lars Lerin includes more than 40 large-scale multi-piece watercolor works displayed in the gallery and throughout the mansion. These often ethereal works depict both natural and built environments. They are powerful and luminous – it’s a lovely show and it closes May 22, so now is the time to see it!
Museum Day Deal: Buy one get one free admission; museum open until 8 pm.
- Retreat: Fractured Landscapes is Alyssa Baguss’ exploration of natural environments through wallpaper photo-murals of mountain scenes that have been altered by cutting away sections.
In addition, all of the dioramas should still be on display. This is a good time to see them in their original setting before the museum moves to its new building and the dioramas relocated or removed from display. (11 of the 16 large dioramas will make the move to the new building, but it is unclear how many of the smaller ones will be relocated for display.)
Museum Day Deal: Free admission all day (9 am to 5 pm)
Current exhibits at the Minnesota History Center:
- What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones includes original sketches, storyboards, cels, photographs, and animated films.
- Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation includes artifacts, oral histories, and reflections from Minnesota’s Indian American community.
- Minnesota’s Greatest Generation tells stories of the Depression, WWII, and the post-war boom.
- Then Now Wow explores Minnesota history in ways designed to appeal to school-age children.
Current exhibit at the James J. Hill House:
- Power Couples: Selections from the Permanent Collection explores couples through Minnesota history, including husbands and wives, fathers and sons, sisters, and an aunt and uncle.
- State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now features more than 130 contemporary American works in a wide variety of media. (Special exhibit, entrance fee usually required.)
- Living Rooms – The American Period Rooms: Inside/Out consists of photographs that examine the displacement of the museum’s period rooms and visually reincorporates them into their original locations.
- Living Rooms – The Jane Austen Reading Room recreates scenes from the novel Emma and encourages visitors to consider Austen as a reader and writer.
- International Modernism: Art in a Fast-changing World explores the artistic response to modern life from the 1910s through the early 1960s.
- American Modernism: Selections from the Kunin Collection includes work representing diverse artistic styles and movements from the early 20th century.
- Beyond the Selfie: Portraits in the 21st Century features a varied selection of 21st-century self-portraits that are notable for their thoughtful examination of the self.
- Who’s Who: Seeing Back to Front explores the modern ability to recognize stardom.
- The Chronicles of Native Life: The MacMillan Gift of Seth Eastman Watercolors features watercolors and drawings that record the lives of Minnesota’s Native people during the 1830s and 1840s. I saw these wonderful paintings many years ago and am looking forward to seeing them again.
- America, Seen includes more than 45 works from the first half of the 20th
- The Fierce and the Fancy: Urban Masks from Sierra Leone features masks from youth associations in Freetown.
- Prints of Darkness: The Art of Aquatint features includes a range of work from Goya to Picasso.
- Transcendent Mountains: Chinese Landscape Painting spans 500 years of Chinese history.
- Living Rooms – Made in China: The MacFarlane Room Wallpaper switches the focus of the room from its furniture to its hand-painted Chinese wallpaper.
Of course, all of the regular exhibits are also available, including the museum’s extensive collections of European and Asian art.
Museum Day Deal: The museum’s regular exhibitions are always free, but if you become a member, you’ll also get free admission to State of the Art all day (10 am to 5 pm) on International Museum Day.
- Less Than One is a group show offering in-depth presentations of work from 16 artists central to the Walker’s collection.
- Ordinary Pictures consists of work by 45 artists that probe, mimic, and critique stock photography and other forms of industrial image production.
- Art at the Center – 75 Years of Walker Art Collection celebrates 75 years of collecting at the Walker, with many iconic pieces on display.
- Lee Kit – Hold your breath, dance slowly features object-based installations fashioned from everyday materials and household items transformed through subtle painting, drawing, and placement.
Note that the sculpture garden is closed this year while it is renovated.
Museum Day Deal: Free admission all day (11 am to 5 pm)
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