Post from The BubblerView all posts

The Curator Is In, September 1, 2011

Posted on by sbernhardt

MIA: Our curators are now online. Bring on your questions, and get ready for our curators’ questions!

Joe Horse Capture: yes we are!

Corine Wegener: Hi Everybody!

James V.: Now that you’re expanding the modern and contemporary collection, I hope you’ll consider acquiring a Joan Mitchell painting. She’s my current favorite abstract painter (and it wouldn’t hurt to get another female artist in the museum).

Liz Armstrong: Hi James, I’m a huge Joan Mitchell fan and would love to add one to the collection. Her work is on our wish list.She has several major collectors locally, and we hope one of these may come our way. FYI, we do have some of her wonderful prints in our collection.

Gillette W.: I would recommend an Ana Mendieta, It is a little known fact that she studied under Bill Welu at Briar Cliff College (now University) in Sioux City, I. Welu has had an unrecognized yet broad and lasting influence on art and artists of the past 4 decades. She also studied at University of Iowa.

Terri L.: Do you have any Glen Ranney (WPA artist)in your collection?

Erika Holmquist-Wall: Hi Terri – we do have a work by Glen Ranney – “Early Evening” – acquired in 1942. It’s in main storage, and unfortunately, it’s unlikely that it’ll be displayed anytime soon, due to condition and framing issues.

Terri L.: Erika if MIA would be interested in receiving any of his paintings as a “gift” I would be pleased to donate some from our family collection. I would love for his work to stay in Mpls.

Erika Holmquist-Wall: Hi Terri! I’m going to ask you to get in touch with our department assistant, Nicole, who can be reached at 612-870-3111. She’ll ask you to send in some photographs and general information, and then we can determine how to proceed (making a home visit to determine if it’s right for the collection, appraisals, etc.)

Mary F.
: Can I ask a question about a specific painting in your collection?

Liz Armstrong: Of course, and we’ll do our best to answer.

Christopher Atkins:
I’ve got a question for people: I’m going to the State Fair tomorrow and seeing the fine art exhibition. What are the pieces that I absolutely, positively shouldn’t miss?

Pamela G.: mine, that got rejected — it’s in my laundry room at the moment ~!

Christopher Atkins: Dang, sorry Pamela! There’s always next year, right?

Thomas Rassieur: Hi Chris, there are some terrific drawings at the fair. If you like super detailed drawings, check out Mark Hittner’s “Portrait of a Young woman” or Nicolas Bly Pope’s “Jessica.” Anne Morales has a nice watercolor of a dog. Andrea Ruth Martin’s papercut silhouette “The Harvest” is lovely. Ethan Pope’s “Franz Kafka’s the Trial” may give you the chills. Janie Morgan’s “Lipstick” is totally cool, as is Wendy Westlake’s “Button Box.” There are lots and I’ll add some more in another post…

Christian Peterson: Pam, as you know I was at your house a few days ago. Why didn’t you show me that piece then?

Christopher Atkins:Thanks Tom, I had a feeling you’d recommend the best drawings :) But aren’t you a big seed art fan too?

Pamela G.: cp ~ i don’t mean to kvetch. . .it’s all in the past; opportunities are coming my way soon. (next time i’ll show you the laundry room if you really wanna see it.)

Thomas Rassieur: More… John Reipas’s “Ma Barber’s Family Business” is an updating of the scratchboard tradition. How about Catherine Hearding’s watercolor “Color Theory” or Nanci Yermakoff’s “Series 6 32″? Loved Jeanne Louise McGee’s “Road trip”–a terrific woven paper piece! Rachel Beth Breen’s paper and thread “Re-sist.” Erik Krenz’s “Reflection” reminds us to drive safely this holiday weekend! I wanted to go to Rebecca Cardinal’s cheese shop–her watercolor is beautiful. Doug Maythaler’s “Gawkers Slowdown” is the kind of car that we expect to wind up like Krenz’s Reflection…and more!!!! Love the Fair!!! See John Salminen’s seriously good watercolor “San Francisco Lanterns.” Ditto for Francis Meisch’s “Industry.” Wish those had been for sale. It was poignant to see Eugene Larkin’s “Featherstone Farm 3.” He will be sorely missed. Also in the returning masters’ division, Barbara Hultman’s “Fuschia Dahlia.” Tried to buy Carol Reardon’s glass piece “Bubble Trap”–but it was sold. Hoping that Carol can make me something similar!
The Fair never quits! Aaron Squadroni’s drawing of the ghosts of industry is well worth spending time with. One of the highlight’s of my visit was getting to meet Yudong Shen to tell him how much I like his fabulous drawing “After Rain.” THANK YOU TO THE ARTISTS WHO ENTER THEIR WORKS IN THE FAIR!!! I HOPE THAT MANY MORE WILL JOIN IN NEXT YEAR! DON’T MISS THE SHOW!!!!

Thomas Rassieur: Hi all! We have questions for you today. Do you prefer peanut M&Ms or gummi fish?

Christopher Atkins: Gummy fish!

Joe Horse Capture: M&Ms. Do you have any?

Christopher Atkins: JHC: Yeah but you gotta come out of your office and hang with us in the boardroom.

Rachel McGarry: If you are referring to Swedish Fish, I vote for them.

Joe Horse Capture: dang!

Jennifer Olivarez: Peanuts and M&Ms do not belong together.

Christian Peterson: For those of you from the public participating, I will let you know that we have bowls of M&Ms and gummi fish in the room that we curators are writing from. So, by the end of the hour, we will all be high on sugar.

Carissa G.: Aesthetically – Gummi Bears. Gastronomically — chocolate wins every time. Plus, peanut M&Ms remind me of my grandpa.

Heidi Q.: Gummy worms over gummy fish over M&Ms :)

Anne-Marie W.: Sour gummies any shape.

Paige D.: When a museum looks at a resume for an Assistant Curator what are the most important things, aside from education & museum experience, that will help the candidate be the best choice for the position? Thank you!

Ben M.
: Creativity and risk taking.

Paige D.
: Oh good- then I’m ok!! :)

Jennifer Olivarez: Perhaps expertise in another area than the hiring curator.

Corine Wegener: Writing and publications.

Paige D.: Ok, thank you this is valuable.

Nancy A.: I think contacts would also be important

Thomas Rassieur: Deep first-hand knowledge of the works of art in one’s field. Connoisseurship is fundamental to building a collection. I also want to see desire and ability to help museum visitors connect with the works of art.

Paige D.: Thank you, I appreciate these points!!

Paul W.: At Art Perchance there were several pieces of jewelry. Yet the MIA seems to have very few items of jewelry on display. Are there any plans to expand the jewelry collection?

Joe Horse Capture: We now have over 60 pieces of Diné (Navajo) silver jewelry pieces on display in the exhibition, “Woven and Worn: Textile Arts and Silverwork of the Diné” in gallery 255. Here’s more info:

Jennifer Olivarez: Paul, we do have jewelry in different cultural collections. Joe Horse Capture is putting out Native American jewelry if I’m not mistaken. With American and European jewelry, we have been collecting selectively within the context of our design collection. One example is the three Harry Bertoia brooches currently on view in “The Experiment Continues” that complement our modern design. We have to be careful because showing jewelry has its own challenges within our decorative arts galleries, and we want to show it to its best advantage. I would also like to add jewelry within the context of contemporary craft as well. Those are goals for our department. Don’t think bling, think excellent design and craftsmanship!

Corine Wegener: Here’s my question for all of you – if you were on the MIA Exhibitions Committee what kind of exhibition would you propose for our 100 year anniversary in 2015?

Carissa G.: 100 masterworks on loan from 100 of the greatest institutions (besides MIA)? One work from each of the 100 years in question?

Corine Wegener: Great idea Carissa!

Rachel H.
: i’d love if there were a storyline behind the actual original proposal with the boulevard to downtown and what happened to prevent that. i’d love if there were a timeline of acquisitions including a small photograph. i’d love if you just continued to be you. i’d love if we could hear how you got the most amazing asian art exhibit i’ve ever seen. i can’t believe it’s coming up so soon!

Lee Z.
: Do several things in centuries: 100 most important works, 100 most historical, 100 largest works, 100 living artists

Terri L.
: I was thinking along the lines of Lee Zimmerman’s above.To include one pc of work from each year.

Brad L.
: A photographic history of the MIA itself, and then more photos on how it has related, and does relate, to the community. Also, maybe some behind the scenes stories, e.g. how does specific art come to the attention of the MIA and how are selections for display made, and maybe a day in the life of a curator, volunteer, and the remaining staff members.

Kelli H.
: black and white photography of other countries history, maybe evn a particular time in the worlds history

Paul W.
: World on the Brink: Art of the Austria-Hungrian Empire and the Great European Powers of 1915

Rachel McGarry: Well stay tuned Lee, I’m in the midst of organizing a show featuring the 100 greatest drawings, watercolors and pastels in from the MIA’s collection. Many of these works are usually kept in storage, protected from light exposure, so this will provide a rare event to see many of the hidden treasures of the museum all at once. The show opens in late 2013 or early 2014, as we are writing an in-depth exhibition catalogue to accompany the exhibition.

Via Twitter from @amandahankerson: CW, it would be nice to create a city-wide participatory exhibit that extends beyond the walls of the MIA for the 100th.

Jennifer Olivarez: Of the most memorable exhibitions you’ve seen recently, were they ones that you’ve seen intentionally, or stumbled upon them (in other words, pleasant surprises)?

Paige D.: Red Wing Boot Museum was a surprise! Nicely done displays that told the story of “working by the boot!” Had participatory experiences my kid even liked! I liked the massive 3 story boot – largest built to scale in world! (Not my style though…)

Paul W.: Bad to the Bone: Prints From the Grip of Death. Wonderful show!! Unfortunately it was in one of the more hidden galleries. Should have been right out in the open!

Molly F.: I loved the St John’s bible exhibit.

Jennifer Olivarez: They don’t have to be MIA exhibitions either.

Abigail H.: A Walton Ford exhibit in while in Denmark!

Nancy A.: I was at the Met in May and “stumbled upon” the Alexander McQueen exhibit. Since I live under a rock, I didn’t know anything about his work. I’m glad I got to see that exhibit…..

Bethany K.W.: The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl at the MCA Boston this summer. Didn’t think I would like it at all, but found myself in the exhibition for 3 hours.

Brody H.: while in DC at the national gallery; i could have stayed in their impressionism to modernism room for hours and hours. or the walkers benches and binoculars. a room filled with iconic artists’ works’ from floor to cieling.. aahmazing.

Kristina D.: Kutluğ Ataman: The Enemy Inside Me at Istanbul Modern.

Triton C.: The recent Paul Gauguin exhibition in Washington DC.

Addy F.: Though I have friends in DC that I like to visit, I timed a visit to see HIDE/SEEK at the National Portrait Gallery and in spite of its controversial decision, I thought it was great, particularly the accompanying text. Highlights: Romaine Brooks self-portrait, Hujar portrait of Sontag and the Poets (Clothed) Poets (Naked) diptych by Wynn Chamberlain.

Britt F.
: All pleasant surprises. MY wife had never been to an art museum; when I took her to MIA she was amazed at the longevity of ancient, beautiful art.

Anne-Marie W.
: Hands down the McQueen exhibition this summer at the Met.

Paige D.
: I loved the Design Museum at Munich’s Pinokotecht Moderne!!

Molly F.
: Yves Klein at the Walker.

Liu Yang: Hi, all, I have a question for you: what kind Asian art exhibitions, Chinese show in particular, would you like us to organize?

Caroline P.
: I would love to see an installation piece by Cai Guo-Qiang.

Alice G.M.
: history of porcelain! also, woodblock prints!

Micah H.
: Woodblock printing.

David G.
: I’m ignorant of the terminology or the periods, but I love the landscape paintings in MIA’s Asia rooms, would love to see more along that line.

Anna M.
: I think something more contemporary would be meaningful, like Liu Bolin:

Rachel H.
: it would be cool to have an exhibition that tracks the history of where the art comes from and also tracks the “cultural revolution” i’m fascinated by how much of the art that was “stolen” from china and brought to taiwan would’ve been destroyed but i’m also interested in what is currently coming out of china. so in short i want something sweeping.

Brody H.
: japanese atrist, tetsumi kudo exibit!

Duane D.
: something interactive – a mixing of Chinese Music with the artwork – I would love to see the Bianzhong of the Marquis Yi of Zeng but since they can’t leave China, perhaps some collaboration with the Hubei Museum?

Aaron M.
: Ai Weiwei

Forrest C.
: Chinese Communist propaganda posters.

Brody H.
: hokusai woodblock prints

Casey F.
: Terra Cotta Warriors

Liu Yang: Thank you! I guess I have to convince our director to allow me to do at least three shows a year to satisfy you guys!

Via Twitter from @Lorika13: To L.Yang: I would love to see a contemporary Chinese art exhibition. It seems like that is something you never see!

Britt F.: An exhibition of how Tao is reflected in Chinese painting through the ages.

Paige D.: I like peonies & chrysanthemums… something thematic like dragons would be fun. Thank you!

Joe Horse Capture: To my fellow curators: Please name a couple of your favorite exhibitions in the past few years that were organized by other departments than your own.

Erika Holmquist-Wall: Thaw! :)

Joe Horse Capture: oh, behave!

Rachel McGarry: As I just told our colleague Jennifer Olivarez, I spent a few hours in “Conversations with Wood” this week and was blown away by some of the works in that show. I thought the object labels were really fantastic too, with Jennifer’s discussion of the objects combined with the artist’s comments on their own works. It closes Sunday; don’t miss it!!

Jennifer Olivarez: Thanks Rachel!! And thanks for the plug…How about the Thaw Collection exhibition?

Christopher Atkins: I really liked “Beauty and Power” of Renaissance & Baroque bronze sculptures. Mostly because I had no interest in them previously, now I’m a huge fan!

Corine Wegener: Bad to the Bone by Prints and Drawings, the Alexander Roslin show by the Paintings Department

Jennifer Olivarez: I thought Embarrassment of Riches was a thought-provoking show and a new way to look at photography as a medium for a message.

Joe Horse Capture: The exhibition, “A Mirror of Nature: Nordic Landscape Painting 1840–1910” about made me pass out it was so stunning.

Thomas Rassieur: Must say that I love seeing the galleries all over the museum. It’s great to focus on just a few pieces during a single visit.

Erika Holmquist-Wall: Hello! Question for the public: Paintings are the most expensive objects to acquire for the collection, so we have to be incredibly judicious. Assuming we had 7 million dollars, who are the top three artists we should acquire?

Ben M.: Van Gogh, Johns and Chagall.

Paul W.: Gerome, Rubens and Rosetti

Ben M.: What painting period do you feel the MIA is particularly strong in, or would like to become stronger in?

James V.
: rothko, pollack and joan mitchell and gerhard richter. And it’s not a painting but a Joseph Cornell box would be great.

Paige D.
: Alexi Jawblinsky! Anselm Kiefer maybe a George Baselitz. Emile Nolde’s sunflowers is in my mind too or something by Ludwig Meidner- (secretly I like French Orientalist paintings! too!)

Addy F.
: Egon Schiele and Cy Twombly. Oh and Otto Dix.

Kelli H.
: Paul Cezanne, Salvador Dali, and Rembrant Van Rijn

Corine Wegener: Peter Paul Rubens

Scott S.
: Gerhard Richter

Aaron M.
: Richard Pousset-Dart

Wyatt L.
: Keltie ferris, Philip Taaffe, Leon Golub

Heidi Q.
: Jackson Pollock

Gillette W.
: I suggest you not acquire the same artists that every other museum is exhibiting. The international Tour de Museums is starting to resemble the tourist districts of every urban center, offering your average expected fair; Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, ad nauseam…. There have been many competent artists who aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. Establish yourself as ahead of the pack, not one of the pack.

Duane D.
: Gustave Caillebotte / William Etty / John Singer Sargent

Kristina D.
: Mark Rothko

Heidi Q.
: Yes. Rothko.

Bethany K.W.
: Some paintings by women! Paula Modersohn Becker, Gabriele Muenter, Julie Mehrtu… (You know, unfortunately, your money goes further when you by work by women…)

Anne-Marie W.
: Rothko, Niki de St. Phalle, Barbara Hepworth, Thomas Hart Benton, Louise Bourgeois, Windslow Homer (oil), Anthony Gormley.

Mary F.
: John Sloan, Theodore Robinson, Lilla Cabot Perry.

Anne-Marie W.
: Oops, sorry I went over three.

Rachel McGarry: I’m curious–who else at the MIA, besides the curators, would you all like to direct questions to on

Flaun C.
: The admins! They get to see a lot of different things from many vantage points.

Abigail H.
: It would be fun to ask the security guards a few questions!

Jon S.
: Lucretia, if possible …

Jackie H.
: random guests…..

Kate D.
: the librarians/archivists!!

Via Twitter from @amandahankerson
: RM: It would be fun to ask employees questions about how they install an exhibition.

Angela C.B.
: I would like to ask questions of the people who actually do the displays…I have several pieces of artwork that I am terrified to frame or put in display because I don’t want to ruin them.

Liz Armstrong: Has anyone experienced the Great Sing Along at this year’s State Fair? It’s a fantastic artist-designed collective karaoke piece. It’s happening from 8 am to 8 pm every day, found near Machinery Hill.

Chayo L.S.
: It was awesome! My kids thought it was pretty great.

Liz B.D.
: Yes! This was a great piece – a group of people of all ages singing Prince’s Purple Rain!!! A highlight to be sure!

Hyacinth C.
: I saw an old guy in overalls singing katy perry with his granddaughter

Anne-Marie W.
: That’s the reason I needed to go to the Fair this year, thanks. *not a big Fair fan*

Jennifer Olivarez: Who are some of your favorite contemporary craft artists working today?

Corine Wegener: Hariet Estel Berman

Merlin P.: Roxann Sorenson

Hyacinth C.
: My friend madonna beads amazing birch bark jewelry.. Is that craft art?

Jennifer Olivarez: Sure it is! I would be fascinated to see it?

Angela C.B.: Teesha Moore – hands down! Traci Bautista, Susan Lenart Kazmer, Michael de Meng, Deryn Boyd Mentock, Lisa Bebi, Carla Sonheim, and the list goes on…..Linda & Opie O’Brian, Daniel Essig, Keith Lo Bue…

Christopher Atkins: I came across this pieces by Kirsten Coehlo the other day & think they’re really cool.

Erika Holmquist-Wall: Another question for the public: Exhibitions present great opportunities to get creative with installations. Got any great ideas?

Brody H.: something… Anything by Christo and Jeanne-Claude!

James V.
: I thought the Walker’s exhibit, Benches and Binoculars, was fantastic. It covered the walls with paintings from floor to ceiling, salon style, and provided binoculars to see everything. MIA has paintings and galleries that would lend themselves to similar exhibition.

Paige D.
: Dying to see a Kinects wall used in an exhibition! Imagine enlarging an image wall size and visitor points at spots on image for enhanced content!!

Wyatt L.
: katharina grosse installation?

Merlin P.
: Gear an exhibit to tour smaller venues around Minnesota. Maybe “Walk Across MN One Square Foot at a Time.”

Carissa G.
: I like things of different media presented together — furniture, paintings, sculpture, whatever. At Harvard last summer, they had a small Degas bronze en arabesque under a Degas ballet rehearsal oil. Three bronze heads mounted very high over corresponding paintings. I also like when the building’s architecture is used — I noticed this spring how beautifully things are framed across the balconies.


Liu Yang: Another question: which part of the Asian gallery is your favorite?

Karlie N.L.P.: The Jade display. It’s incredibly beautiful, and so delicate! I am amazed every time that I look at the jades.

Jennifer Olivarez:
The Reception Hall and the Scholar’s study really set our museum apart.

Liu Yang: Do you like the room with early Chinese bronzes?

Birdie F.: The woodblock prints and the scrolls are forever my favorite!

Jennifer Olivarez: The bronze room is very meditative for me.

Erika Holmquist-Wall: I know there’s not a lot on display, but the Asian textiles we own are amazing.

Rachel H.: the amida buddha hands down. whenever i’m having a rough day i go to look at him. i love the shreds of gold leaf that cling to his body. lovely.

Jennifer Olivarez: Yes, the Imperial robes are very impressive when they’re shown, especially as a group.

Liu Yang: thank you all!

Bob D.: when I was a kids and would come to MIA on school trips, these were my favorite objects in the museum…. they still are!

Jennifer Olivarez: What’s your favorite place to eat when you’re visiting the MIA? Eat Street, anyone?

Brian H.: Pancho Villa, clearly.

Corine Wegener: Christo’s!

Jennifer Olivarez: I also vote for Jasmine Deli.

Christopher Atkins: I agree with Brian, you can’t beat a sidewalk seat and 2 for 1 margaritas.

Joe Horse Capture: Jasmine Deli

Thomas Rassieur: Christo’s AND the garden at the Black Forest.

Ana F.: The Mexican Restaurant on Eat Street.

Addie N.: quang!

Rachel H.
: jasmine 26

Keli C.
: Caravelle’s :)

Flaun C.
: Definitely Quang.

Julie C.
: Quang or Rainbow

Mel M.
: I like christos or salsa a la salsa

Heidi Q.
: Jasmine 26

Addy F.
: The guy selling BBQ in his front yard on 3rd… =)

Britt F.
: Pho Tau Bay

Deb B.
: Jasmine 26!

Eric W.
: Quang Quang Quang!

Merlin P.: Thanks for doing “Ask a Curator” and promoting it on Twitter. Love the access to staff in this informal setting.

Comments are closed.

Leave A Comment

The Latest from our Blogs

Feed is loading...


The Latest News & Information

Feed is loading...