Minneapois Institute of Arts
New Pictures at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

ENTRY POSTED May 16, 2011

Avedon Photograph Shot Near MIA


Richard Avedon
Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1963

This “Inside Story” will take you outside of the Institute.

In 1970, Richard Avedon, the renowned fashion and portrait photographer, had one of his earliest museum exhibitions right here at the MIA. He spent time in Minneapolis helping layout the show, and decided that one print—his 1963 image of the Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution—was the wrong size, so another one was printed. Avedon then gave the first print to the Black Forest, a nearby German restaurant, as he had befriended its owner while eating and drinking there.

The inscribed picture was hung in the restaurant’s bar, but about fifteen years later a customer pulled out a gun and plugged the thing. Luckily, no one was harmed, but the two bullet holes remain to this day. And, since you could smoke in the bar until fairly recently, those holes are now rimmed in a distinctive nicotine brown.

Have you ever come to the MIA at a time when we’re not open and still felt the need to see original photographs? Well, just stroll a few blocks southwest, to the corner of Nicollet Avenue and 26th Street, and you’ll get your fix. But, please leave your gun at home.

Christian A. Peterson, associate curator of photographs

Category: Inside Stories of the Collection

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