The Twin Cities loves to show its outdoorsy side. Don’t be fooled—it can pull off its buffalo plaid jacket and remove its Redwing boots and get artsy, embracing and honoring diverse cultures and art forms throughout history and into the present.
With notable venues, specifically the Minneapolis Institute of Art, featuring more than 89,000 artworks from six continents, and the Walker Art Center, highlighting visual, performing and media arts, the area is home to some museum heavyweights. Even if you move down in weight class, as it were, to smaller museums, you’ll still be treated to knockout artistic experiences.
The American Museum of Asmat Art exhibits the art and culture of the Asmat people of southwestern Papua, Indonesia, and is located at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. With more than 2,200 objects, the space is one of the largest of its kind in the country.
The University of Minnesota is home to the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. Originally housed in the campus’s Northrop Auditorium, it is now at home (since 1993) in an abstract building designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Considered a teaching museum, the Weisman has more than 25,000 works in its collection and focusses on American modernism, ceramics, Mimbres pottery and Korean furniture while hosting an array of alternating exhibitions.
The U of M’s St. Paul campus features the Goldstein Museum of Design, which is part of the university’s College of Design. Founded in 1976, the Goldstein boasts that it is the only museum in the Upper Midwest that specializes in designed objects.
St. Paul’s Minnesota Museum of American Art hosts a collection of more than 5,000 works, highlighting American artists from the 19th century forward. With the largest institutional collection of works of Paul Manship and George Morrison, the museum celebrates other American masters, as well as craft and folk art and emerging artists.
The Museum of Russian Art celebrates Russian heritage and culture by including representations of 20th century art, including exhibitions of Russian icons, lacquer art, photography, porcelain, printmaking, textiles and more.