Many museums pretty much always stay the same. One visit is all that is necessary unless you are really into the subject to which the museum is dedicated. That is never the case with MIA, aka, the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Yes, it is filled many favorite pieces that are “can’t miss” whenever I go there, but on a recent visit I was reminded of how there are always new things to discover at this remarkable place. Here is a sample of my new discoveries.
This work is called “Study for a Portrait of P. Jean-Dupré.” It is by Félix Del Marie, French, 1889-1952. It shows a man’s face from two different views – straight on and in profile – to illustrate how people can have multiple views at the same time. It is in the experimental Cubist style pioneered by Pablo Picasso.
This piece is by Reginald Marsh, American, 1898-1954. It is titled “Window Shopping, 14th Street.” Marsh was a prolific artist who documented the city of New York and its inhabitants during a time of tremendous cultural changes.
With his 200 self-portraits, Emerson Burkhart, American, 1905-1969, is the Frida Kahlo of American painting. Burkhart viewed man’s identity as inextricably linked to nature despite the strong influence of machines in the modern age. This piece is titled “The Animal Nature of Man.”
What is going through the mind of this young woman as she cradles a mother cat with kittens in her lap? My guess is that she is thinking about whether or not some day she will be a mother since the woman’s face and dress draw our eye to the woman’s left breast. The titled of this painting by Bumpei Usui, American (born in Japan), 1898-1994, is “My Family.”
Continuing with the family theme, this piece is titled “The Family Circle.” It is by Pierre Daura, American (born in Spain), 1896-1976. Daura fought on the losing side in the Spanish Civil War and so was stripped of his Spanish citizenship. Married to an American woman, he moved to Virginia and eventually became a naturalized American citizen.
Madonna, Italian for “my lady,” is the term used for devotional images of Jesus’ mother Mary holding Jesus as an infant or young child. The painting on the right, one of my new finds, is a contemporary Madonna titled “Madonna of the Mines.” The artist is Phillip Evergood, American, 1901-1973. Evergood’s Madonna is the wife of a coal miner awkwardly holding the child on her shoulder, not her lap. Behind the pair are the beams of a coal mine in the shape of a cross. The image on the left, a much more traditional Madonna, is by Segna di Buonaventura, c. 1310.