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Weisman Art Museum

333 E. River Rd.
Minneapolis  Minnesota  55455
United States
(612) 625-9494
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Midwest Living Review

Lisa Meyers McClintick
The riverfront Weisman houses a modern art museum, but the star attraction is its Frank Gehry-designed architecture.

Even a showy Georgia O’Keefe painting of two vivid red poppies can’t compete with the Weisman’s biggest eye-catcher: its building, which changes appearance throughout the day as light reflects off a shiny steel maze of curves and funky angles designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.

Gehry’s iconic steel panels create a multidimensional structure that would fit well within a Dr. Seuss book. The museum easily ranks among the Twin Cities’ more interesting landmarks. Opened in 1993 to house the University of Minnesota’s collection of more than 20,000 artworks, it expanded recently with new side panels.

The Weisman is best known for its 20th-century American art, claiming the world’s largest collection of modernist works by Alfred Mauer and Marsden Hartley. Other items on display include works by Expressionist landscape painter B.J.O. Nordfeldt and colorful 3-D geometric pieces by Charles Biederman. There’s an impressive photo collection (including Great Depression portraits by Dorothea Lange); Korean furniture; and American, European and ancient Native American ceramics. Temporary exhibits might feature Laylah Ali’s cartoony, emotional Greenheads, or show how natural structures—leaves to skeletons—inspire architecture.

To make the most of the museum, look for tours with Weisguides, usually on weekends. Even if you’re not a fan of modern art, at least take a drive by the building. It looks especially dramatic draped in the warm tones of sunset. The Weisman doesn’t charge admission, but a $3 donation is suggested. 

Visited: 
May 5, 2013

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