When the rest of the world thinks of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, they probably don’t think about art or the sophistication of curated museums. As Minnesotans, we know that’s wrong and we’re here to put that stereotype to sleep. Minneapolis and Saint Paul both contain vibrant museums that are for everyone to see. Here are the 10 museums you must visit:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The Science Museum of Minnesota
Dinosaurs, electricity, and mummies, oh my! The Science Museum of Minnesota has something for everyone. Celebrate the excellence of science with interactive exhibits that are fun for the whole family. The museum even features 'adults only' nights where alcoholic beverages and science collide. The Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul, MN 55102.
2. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Mia's motto is "inspiring wonder through the power of art," and we couldn't agree more. Located in the Whittier neighborhood, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is the center for fine arts within the state. The museum contains countless exhibits featuring art from the Ancient Greeks to modern art. Throughout the museum you'll find thoughtful questions posted by museum staff, usually pertaining to relevant, everyday life. The MIA is a magical place to be and you have to see it to believe it. The Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404.
Oskar Kokoschka, Tower Bridge, London, 1925.
3. Minnesota Children's Museum
Looking for activities to do with your kids while they're not in school? The Minnesota Children's Museum is the place to be. It's the perfect place for children to learn through play and have a blast doing it. Their are multiple interactive exhibits as well as art making on the Rooftop Artpark. The Minnesota Children's Museum, 10 W 7th St, Saint Paul, MN.
4. The Mill City Museum
This stunning museum is built into the ruins of what was once the world's largest flour mill, before it almost completely burning by a fire in 1991. Dedicated Minneapolitans turned the Mississippi River-adjacent mill into a museum which opened its doors in 2003. The works of local artists are featured throughout the museum, making this spot a special place in any Minneapolitan's heart. The Mill City Museum, 704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401.
5. The American Swedish Institute
Museums in mansions are always a breathtaking site. The Turnblad Mansion, built in 1908 was home to newspaper man, Swan Turnblad who lived there until 1929 when the family donated the mansion to The American Institute for Swedish Art. The mansion pays homage to all things Swedish and is a delight to all those who visit, especially during the holidays when the mansion is elaborately decorated. The American Swedish Institute 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407.
6. The Walker Art Center
Are you a fan of contemporary art? If so, the Walker Art Center is just for you. It's one of the most highly visited contemporary art museums in the country. The Sculpture Garden, which is connected to the Walker, holds the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry, a beloved sculpture. The Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403.
7. The James J Hill House
James J. Hill was the builder of the Great Northern Railway, and was at one time the richest person in Minnesota. His estate is on Summit Ave., overlooking the Mississippi River. The stately mansion is opulent, and even if a majority of the furniture and art no longer remains, you can feel the grandness of this home the second you walk in the door and approach the main staircase. James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102.
8. The Minnesota History Center
The Minnesota History Center aims to preserve the history of the state and show it to all Minnesotans so they know their roots. From exhibits focusing on indigenous persons, to Minnesota weather through the years, to Minnesota music, this is a place of memories. The Minnesota History Center, 345 W Kellogg Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55102.
9. The Weisman Art Museum
Located on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota campus since 1934, this elaborately modern building is a wonder within the city. The museum features mainly contemporary art, from Marsden Hartley and Georgia O'Keefe, to Native American Mimbres pottery as well as Korean furniture. Admission to the museum is free. The Weisman Art Museum, 333 East River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55455.
Jules Olitski, With Love and Disregard: Zeus, 2002.
10. The Museum of Russian Art
Otherwise referred to as TMORA, this museum is the only in North America focused on preserving and sharing all forms of Russian Art to the public. The museum's mission is to give the locals of Minneapolis an understanding of Russian culture and the delicacy of all of their art forms. The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419.
Alexandra Exter, Construction, 1922-23
Minneapolis and Saint Paul are bursting with opportunities for their citizens to learn about art, culture, and history. Whether you only visit museums on a rainy day, or are ready for an adventure at any time, we hope you visit some of these. What are your favorite museums in the area? Tell us in the comments below!