Whether or not you’re an avid art aficionado, the Minneapolis Institute of Art – also known as MIA – is an enormous fun and free museum that’ll have you captivated for a few hours or so.
It has tons of exhibits spread over three floors that range from paintings and sculptures to cultural art and 40,000-year-old artifacts.
With the quantity of exhibits and the large space at MIA, it’s truly amazing that general admission is free. There’s a suggested donation of $10, but there’s no pressure to drop any bills or coins into the container in front. (Apparently there’s even a free level of membership.)
Upon entering MIA, even if you don’t donate anything, workers will gladly provide you with a map of the grounds. As you walk in, you’ll probably see the fountain first, which is located in front of the pathway to the auditorium.
To be entirely honest, MIA wasn’t a priority on my itinerary when I visited the Twin Cities, despite the fact it was literally the next block over from the hostel I stayed at. I was more interested in checking out the downtown area and taking public transit to other attractions. But I’m glad I found the opportunity to go here and would recommend travelers going to the area to do the same, especially if you like art, culture and history.
It’s a beautiful museum with a huge variety of exhibits and collections to indulge in.
Another nice thing about MIA is that everything is indoors, making it a perfect place to go if the weather outside sucks.
And there is so much to see.
In addition to exhibits, the museum features a bunch of cool rooms, like the Jane Austen Reading Room (one of my favorites) and American Periods Room.
Jane Austen reading room
I was also quite fond of the contemporary art collection, and was particularly impressed with “Frank” by Chuck Close. It’s insane how that piece of work was not a photography, but acrylic on canvas. I stared at it for a good while, just appreciating how talented the artist is.
“Frank” by Chuck Close
If I’m ever in Minneapolis again, I will definitely be revisiting this place. I spent about two to three hours walking around in there, but that wasn’t enough time to fully take everything in! So be sure to plan to spend at least that amount of time – most likely more, though – if you go there 🙂
*I received permission to use photos I took of the exhibits in this blog post.