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

Opening soon at MIA: “Strangers in a Strange Land”

Posted Sep 11, 2012

Strangers in a Strange Land:  Photographers’ First Impressions

Thursday, September 20, 2012—Sunday, March 3, 2013
Harrison Photography Gallery (365)
Free Exhibition

Dorothea Lange
Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936
The Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Fund

Photographers are avid travelers. Since the late 19th century, they have carried their cameras to unfamiliar neighborhoods and around the world to take pictures of people, places, and cultures. “Strangers in a Strange Land: Photographers’ First Impressions” features photographs that document photographers’ encounters with foreign subjects and lands. These seemingly fleeting first impressions often become lasting records of historical memory. The exhibition looks closely at how photographers translate a sense of culture and place through imagery. It also considers the power of first impressions to shape historical representations of cultures. How do the photographs presented inform our understanding of the global culture, particularly in the early 20th century, before globalism?

Boris Mikhailov
Sots Arts, 1981
The Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Fund

“Strangers in a Strange Land: Photographers’ First Impressions” will feature a range of classic masterpieces in the MIA’s collection: Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California; Philip Jones Griffiths’s Wounded Female Civilian, South Vietnam; Francis Frith’s The Pyramids of Dahshoor; selections from Diane Arbus’s A Box of Ten Photographs, 1970; and Paul Stand’s Mexico portfolio. The exhibition will also include recent acquisitions, such as Boris Mikhailov’s Luriki, and Martin Parr’s New Brighton, Merseyside.

Did you see The Sports Show?

Posted May 14, 2012

The Sports Show closed yesterday.  In case you missed it, here is a quick tour in one last piece of press coverage from Pat Evans on Kare 11.

MPR covers the Sports Show

Posted May 1, 2012

Yesterday, Chris Roberts of Minnesota Public Radio discussed MIA exhibition, The Sports Show, and its examination of  sports and media.  These intermingling spheres reach into wider culture, as shown by the range of new museum visitors, many of whom “know more about some of the pieces” than curator David Little, an odd combination of an art historian and avid sports fan.


The Sports Show runs through Sunday, May 13th

BreakThru Radio explores The Sports Show

Posted Mar 20, 2012

Thomas Seely, of weekly online radio show Art Uncovered, takes a deeper look into The Sports Show, asking why  sports and the visual arts often fail to coincide in academic discussion.   Featured are pieces such as those by Eadweard Muybridge, Alexander Rodchenko and Kota Ezawa.  With the help of curator David Little, audio overlays from Paul Pfeiffer’s The Saints and a Muhammad Ali interview as well as musical interludes, Seely’s program reveals thoughtful angles on the exhibition.



Check your chains and  pump up those tiresSports Show Tickets are available (free for members) through May 13th.

Time Magazine features The Sports Show

Posted Mar 18, 2012

Time Magazine‘s March 19th issue reviews the show, commenting on some big–and not so big–shots in sports history.

Also, view 14 images from the exhibition at Complex.  Featured pics are paired with the themes Leisure, Circulation, Politics, Race, Icons and Spectacle and include deeper descriptions.


Slap on your swimming cap and adjust your gogglesTickets are available (free for members) through May 13th.  Enjoy works by Joseph Beuys, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Frances Benjamin Johnston and Harold Eugene Edgerton.

Joe Schmit cheers Sports Show

Posted Mar 7, 2012

Remember to stretch …

Unknown Photographer New York Times Press Photograph
Roger Bannister Breaks 4 Minute Mile (3:59.4), 1954
Private Collection


Rolling into more media coverage, we pass the baton to Channel 5 Twin Cities Live and sports news anchor Joe Schmit for a visit to the museum as they share stories with curator David Little.  The intimacy in these images of players’ lives reveal moments of strength and fragility.  We may no longer see personal photographs of contemporary stars in recovery like the ones Stanley Kubrick shot of boxer Rocky Graziano.  Pictures of icons Babe Ruth and Kirby Puckett illuminate the highs and lows which affected not only the players, but their communities.

Go for the gold and visit the free companion exhibition, as well.  The Sports Show:  Sports Memories flickr pool continues its rotation of our community’s own sports pictures outside Gallery 365′s The Sports Show: Minnesota.


Slip on your ballet slippers and pirouette over to the MIA!  Tickets are available (free for members) through May 13th.  Don’t miss a piece of the action with these sporty works by Martin Munkacsi, Andreas Gursky, Roger Welch, Kota Ezawa, Tim Davis and more.

Accelerating with The Sports Show reports

Posted Mar 5, 2012

Rev your engine for another lap….


Jacques Henri Lartigue
Grand Prix of the Automobile Club of France, 1912
© Ministère de la Culture – France / AAJHL


Setting the pace, watch interviews of curator David Little and photographer Tom Arndt at the opening.  Rounding a corner, catch a deal at the STrib for 2-for-1 ticket pricing to see the show.  Leaning into the curve, a great write-up on e-flux describes how the show’s themes:  Leisure, Press, Race, Icons and Spectacle, move museum visitors through the transition of sports imagery over a century.

Relax with a cool down lap and idle in the free companion exhibition, The Sports Show: Minnesota in Gallery 365, and keep an eye on the action at The Sports Show:  Sports Memories flickr pool.  Remember to enter your favorite personal sports photo for a chance to win a free catalog.


Put on your helmet and slip on those shin guards!  Tickets are available (free for members) through May 13th.  Don’t get winded (remember to breathe) with these sporty pieces by Wolfgang Tillmans, Martin Parr, Andreas Gursky, Aleksander Rodchenko,  Stanley Kubrick, Roger Welch and so much more.


The Sports Show media coverage: Round 2

Posted Mar 2, 2012

Dust off your gloves and enter the ring …

Gordon Parks, Close-up of Muhammad Ali's fists, 1966Gordon Parks, American 1912-2006
Muhammad Ali, 1966
Courtesy of The Gordon Parks Foundation and Howard Greenberg Gallery
© The Gordon Parks Foundation


The tempo of The Sports Show coverage picks up with an interview of curator David Little on Kare 11.  Little describes the communication of athletics through images, and the shift of sports imagery from leisure to spectacle as photographs tighten with a heightened feel of participation.

Twin Cities Metro tossed their man in the ring, observing that the combination of these works reveals “an exhibit that shows art and sports really aren’t mutually exclusive after all.”

Don’t forget about the free Gallery 365 companion exhibition, The Sports Show: Minnesota.  Did you check out the competition at The Sports Show:  Sports Memories flickr pool?  You haven’t entered yet?  Choose a favorite personal sports photo for a chance to win a free catalog.


Pull on your roller skates or lace up your sneakers!  Tickets are available (free for members) through May 13th.  Don’t miss a piece of the action with these sporty works by Thomas Eakins, Gordon Parks, Tim Davis, and Paul Pfeiffer’s sound-and-video installation on the 1966 World Cup soccer final between West Germany and England.

Sports Show scores in the media

Posted Feb 29, 2012

And the crowd goes wild!

Frances Benjamin Johnston, [Female students playing basketball]
Frances Benjamin Johnston, American 1864-1952
[Female students playing basketball, Western High School, Washington, D.C. ]
from Western High School album ca. 1899
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division LC-USZ62-71237


The Sports Show opened in MIA’s Target Gallery on Sunday, February 19th to much fanfare.  Grab a seat and catch up on what people are saying.

The Star Tribune cites the power of images and greater culture:  “even those who hate overpaid athletes, stadium debates and Super Bowl commercials will find plenty to chew on.”

Why a photography exhibition about sports?  Amy Carlson Gustafson of the Pioneer Press writes about the history, the balance of art and sports, and how David Little would’ve been run out of town if he didn’t include the right image in the free companion exhibition on view in Gallery 365, The Sports Show:  Minnesota, which also features new image diptychs of former and current Minnesota sports figures such as Rod Carew and Joe Mauer, shot specifically for the show by MCAD professor Katherine Turczan.

Come back for another set of interviews and stories in the next inning.  In the meantime, enter your own images at The Sports Show:  Sports Memories flickr pool for a chance to win a free catalog.  The flickr feed plays outside The Sports Show: Minnesota gallery.


Hop on your bicycle or strap on your skis!  Tickets are available (free for members) through May 13th for a front row seat to these sporty pieces by Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Andy Warhol, Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, Annie Leibovitz and more.

When else will you be able to practice your putt in a gallery?

Facing the Lens in ARTNews

Posted Feb 6, 2011

Judith Golden
American, born 1934
Untitled, from the group portfolio Silver See , 1977
Gelatin silver print, hand colored
National Endowment Arts Photography Purchase Grant 77.39.6
Judith Golden © 1977

In case you missed it, this month’s ARTNews has a great review of Facing the Lens!

Henri Cartier-Bresson took thousands of pictures during his long career, but he was notoriously camera shy. Edward Steichen had painterly aspirations and made early self-portraits as a Baudelairean dandy wielding a palette and brush. Robert Mapplethorpe liked to take photos of his own mesmerizing gaze. Those are a few of the revelations to emerge from “Facing the Lens: Portraits of Photographers,” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

“Originally we thought of doing portraits of artists in general,” says Christian Peterson, associate curator of photography and the organizer of the show, which runs through August 28. “Then I realized that a lot of the works are of photographers, either self-portraits or photos made by other photographers.”

Spanning the years from 1887 to 2003 – much of the history of the medium – “Facing the Lens” includes about 75 works, drawn largely from the museum’s collection. A portrait of Edward Weston by Ansel Adams shows the former looking like a tree toad or a humanoid outgrowth at the base of a giant eucalyptus tree. “Weston was a fairly short man, and to put him in front of a big tree makes him look particularly small,” says Peterson, though the curator believes no malice was intended. Cartier-Bresson, captured against a brick wall by Arnold Newman, looks poised to flee the decisive moment at any second. And Eadweard Muybridge, famed for his series of motion studies, did one of his own naked self throwing the discuss, walking, and going up and down steps. “This photo is part of a group that shows multiple images of a subject,” says Peterson, “which makes the point that, of course, we all know a single portrait of any individual can in no way sum up his or her entirety.”

One of the most spontaneous images is by a local Minneapolis legend, Raymond J. Muxter, who “was a really gonzo crazy street photographer,” says the curator. “When he ran into well-known people in New York City, he would hold the camera out at arm’s length and take a self-portrait” with them. Muxter’s photo of himself and William Burroughs shows them at the Spring Street Bar in an uneasy embrace, eyes shut tight.

Sometimes the style of the subject’s work asserts itself even when other photographers are behind the camera. Alec Soth’s 2000 study of a rumpled William Eggleston hunched over a keyboard looks a lot like . . . a William Eggleston. -Ann Landi, “Shooting the Messenger,” ARTNews, February, 2011, 27

“Facing the Lens: Portraits of Photographers” is on view now through August 28th, 2011. Free exhibition!