Weisman Art Museum. Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Weisman Art Museum

Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Weisman Art Museum Photo © David Strom

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Weisman Art Museum

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Marsden Hartley, Eight Bells Folly:  Memorial to Hart Crane, 1933 - Weisman Art Museum
Marsden Hartley, Eight Bells Folly: Memorial to Hart Crane, 1933 - Weisman Art Museum. Photo by Sharon Mollerus
The Weisman Art Museum is a museum on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This unique museum located within an architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Gehry showcases collections related to American Modernism, ceramics, traditional Korean furniture, and Native American pottery by the Mimbres (Wikipedia Article) culture. If you’re interested in art and history, this free museum is a great place to visit for an hour or two.

History

The Weisman Art Museum is named after Minneapolis native, Frederick R. Weisman who is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and art collector who enjoyed sharing his love of art with others. Since 1993, the University of Minnesota’s art museum has been located in its current building, a modern architectural marvel designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, who also designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion (Wikipedia Article) in Chicago’s Millennium Park. While the museum contains hundreds of fascinating works of art, the building itself may be its most impressive feature, which has quickly become a local landmark.

2008.06.21 - Weisman Art Museum - Weisman
	Art Museum
2008.06.21 - Weisman Art Museum. Photo by Jeremy Yoder

Architecture

One of the highlights of the Weisman Art Museum is the building itself, which is located atop a bluff that overlooks the beautiful Mississippi River which flows through the city. It is a fascinating building with two unique facades: one side resembles nearby brick buildings, while the other features an intriguing array of curving, brushed steel sheets that are said to be an abstract representation of a waterfall and a fish. The striking building is now one of the city’s most photographed buildings and won architect Frank Gehry the Progressive Architecture Design Award in 1991.

Collections

Paul H. Winchell, The Fruit Tree, about 1930 - Weisman Art Museum
Paul H. Winchell, The Fruit Tree, about 1930 - Weisman Art Museum. Photo by Sharon Mollerus
Whether you’re interested in paintings, sculptures, pottery, or furniture, you’re sure to find something that fascinates you in the Weisman Art Museum’s diverse collections.

American Modernism

In this collection, you’ll find modernist pieces by renowned American artists such as Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Roy Lichtenstein.

Ceramics

The Weisman Art Museum’s ceramics collection features over 2,000 objects from a wide variety of cultures and countries around the world, from decorative urns to beautiful bowls and statues.

Traditional Korean Furniture

One of the most unique art collections in the region is the museum’s collection of traditional Korean furniture, which is considered to be one of the finest in the entire country. It features furniture from the Choson dynasty and stoneware from the Silla dynasty, as well as wooden bowls, folk paintings, and numerous other folk arts. The pieces of furniture are especially interesting since they include everything from tray tables for making food offerings to ancestors to wedding gift boxes, sewing boxes, coin chests, and rice storage chests made out of varying types of wood in a wide range of styles.

Mimbres Pottery

If you’re interested in history, you won’t want to miss the large collection of pottery by the fascinating Mimbres culture, an ancient Native American group that produced gorgeous pottery between the 9th and 12th centuries in the southwestern United States. These intriguing black and white pieces depict animals, mythical creatures, natural landmarks, and people doing activities such as hunting, swimming, and dancing.

Artful Bees

While it’s not a collection, one of the highlights of the museum is its bee exhibit, which features two colony boxes that are home to over 100,000 bees. The boxes themselves are considered works of art because they have been painted by local students. They also allow the university to collect data related to these important creatures and teach visitors about their importance to agriculture.

Weisman art museum in the sunset -
	Weisman Art Museum
Weisman art museum in the sunset. Photo by tanakawho

Practical Information

Here’s everything you need to know in order to visit the Weisman Art Museum.

Public Transportation

The easiest way to reach the museum by public transportation is by taking the Metro Green Line to the East Bank Station or one of the city’s many Metro Transit bus lines.

It is also easy to reach the museum by bike using the city’s Nice Ride bike sharing system, which has numerous stations on the University of Minnesota campus. The nearest station to the art museum is located at Coffman Union.

Address

333 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Opening Hours

Open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 until 17:00 with extended hours until 20:00 on Wednesday evenings, as well as weekends from 11:00 until 17:00.

Prices

Admission to the museum is always free.

Tours

Free public tours are available each Saturday and Sunday at 13:00, or you can pay for a guided tour of the museum which focuses on museum highlights and includes information related to notable artwork in the collection as well as the design of the museum building.

Shop

The Weisman Art Museum also has a popular shop which sells all sorts of art-related items and gifts, including handmade ceramics and jewelry, cards, toys, and other accessories.

Similar Landmarks

Popular art attractions in Minneapolis include the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center. Other art museums in the Midwest include the Saint Louis Art Museum in St. Louis and the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago.

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Author: ehuttner. Last updated: Jun 30, 2015

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