The Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis links the University of Minnesota and its surrounding communities by creating art experiences, sparking discovery, and promoting critical thinking. Since opening in 1934, the museum has made its mission to make the arts accessible and available to the University and the community.
The Weisman Art Museum is the fulfillment of a dream first shared by University of Minnesota President Lotus Coffman in 1934. At that time, a few unused rooms were set aside to allow the school to play its part in making the arts a source to sustain the arts as the moral of individuals. In its 70-year history, the Weisman Art Museum has collaborated with more than fifty departments, sharing ideas of the university in multi-disciplinary and widely collaborative projects.
Architect Frank O. Gehry designed the museum, and its residents along the Mississippi River has been home to the museum since 1993. This architectural achievement has become a prominent and easily spotted landmark for the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities.
The museum offers and interprets works of art, providing exhibitions that place art within cultural, social, and historical contexts. Each year several major exhibitions are offered. As part of its touring program, rural communities, primarily in the Midwest, are provided cultural and educational experiences and displays.
In 2011, the building of an 8,100 square-foot expansion was completed. The museum re-opened its doors again on October 2, 2011, nearly doubling the size of its galleries and collections, while simultaneously enhancing its role as a cultural resource for the state of Minnesota.
The Weisman Art Museum boasts a permanent collection that includes over 25,000 works of art. It is rich in American modernism, ceramics, Mimbres pottery, and Korean furniture.
The Mimbres are an ancient Native American people who played an important part of the cultural history of the American Southwest. Residing in desert valleys along small rivers in New Mexico, Arizona, and northern Mexico.
For a short period of time, they created beautiful pottery, which included black-on-white bowls on which they drew the world around them as they perceived it. These included depictions of one another hunting, gambling, dancing, and swimming.
They drew animals, mythical creatures, abstractions, clouds, and plants as they imagined them. Each individual pot offers a glimpse into the logical structure of their world.
Traditional Korean Furniture
The Weisman’s traditional Korean furniture display is unrivaled in the United States. The collection includes roughly 200 examples of the Choson Dynasty furniture. On display are stoneware pieces, 150 folk paintings, wood bowls, and utensils. The collection was donated to the Weisman Art Museum from Dr. Edward Reynolds Wright Jr. in 1988.
Dr. Wright's collection includes traditional Korean furniture and accessories that are both beautiful and varied. The display includes storage chests, tray tables, boxes for documents, letter holders, desks, beds, coin chests, medicine chests, and many other types of furniture. Never every wood, decorative material and joinery are represented in the collection.
Engaging with the Weisman Art Museum allows for discovering, wondering, creating, and thinking critically, all while provided a way to look at the world with a new perspective. Many programs offer opportunities for experimentation, inspiration, reflection, and enjoyment of authentic learning experiences.
Museum Studies Minor
The University of Minnesota offers a Museum Studies Minor that explores the history, operations, and functions of museums. The program offers theoretical and practical experiences in the form of internships and provides directed research projects to give students experience and preparation for work in private, public and university museums.
K-12 Artful Writing Classroom Resource Kit
The resource kit includes twenty color print reproductions of art from the museum's permanent collection, background information, teacher resource guide and writing activities for all levels.
Community and Family
Free guided public tours are provided to the community each Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm. These tours are thematic and covers a topic related to current exhibits. Tours focus on in-depth and current exhibitions as well as specific pieces of art and their artist.
The Weisman Art Museum offers many special events throughout the year. These include intimate discussions with artists, panel roundtables, yoga events and student workshops.
Some of these events include:
· Artist Talks
· Yoga at WAM
· Lights on Afterschool
· Small World Coffee Tour
· Study Night with WAM
The shop provides an array of gifts, including jewelry, accessories, toys, and much more. Handmade gifts made by local artists are also available.
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum 333 E. River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN, Phone: 612-625-9494
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