Minneapolis is a vibrant city with tons of trendy bars, excellent restaurants and an award-winning stadium. But the Minneapolis metropolitan area also has a staggering number of museums, 55 to be exact, ranging from history and science to arts and culture. Some museums in Minneapolis are quirky and have eccentric architecture, while others are poignant and feel opulent.
If you’re lacking some inspiration in your life, Minneapolis is the perfect destination to fire up creativity in you. From ancient art to contemporary works, this town has it all, so take a look at these nine Minneapolis art museums that’ll get you all inspired.
This neoclassical landmark of the Twin Cities opened its doors in 1915. Its extensive collection of 90,000 artworks is held in public trust, including world-famous works spanning from about 20,000 BCE and representing the world’s cultures across six continents. You would probably need days or even weeks to see all its exhibitions.
Mia is also a research institution that investigates practices of championing empathy and global understanding through art, in addition to offering interactive kids tours and engaging youth and family programs. Whether you have visitors from out of town, kids you want to impress, or have a monotonous Sunday to kill, Mia is always the safe and reliable option.
📍 2400 3rd Ave S
This fairly new museum is all about depicting and sharing the history, culture, and art of African Americans in Minnesota. It’s also a meeting point for celebrating Black culture and how it’s changed since the inception of the country, marked by racism, segregation and historic and socio-cultural events. MAAHMG also has an Artist-In-Residence program designed to give opportunity and exposure to Black artists working in Minnesota. It features rotating art exhibitions so check their website out to see what’s on display at the moment.
📍 1256 N Penn Ave
This monster of a building was built in 1971 in a minimalist architectural style, which was very fashionable at the time, and later on expanded by global architecture powerhouses Herzog and de Meuron. Walker Art Center encompasses 10 art galleries, a cinema, publishing house, theater stage, design studio, restaurant and café.
Walker’s Visual Arts Permanent Collection has almost 12,000 contemporary works by over 2,300 artists, including painting, sculpture, films, performances, books, artist archives, and more. Whether you prefer visual arts or get better inspired by reading a book in a modern café, here you can choose what fits you best.
📍 725 Vineland Pl
This cultural center celebrates all things Swedish, from Swedish intricate woodwork and folk art to Swedish meatballs köttbullar. Founded in 1929, the Institute has a diverse range of exhibits, programs and events that showcase Swedish art, design and cuisine. One of the most striking features of the Institute is the Turnblad Mansion, a historic landmark that now serves as the centerpiece of the cultural center. Keep an eye out for its upcoming Midsommar celebration, and no, it’s not quite like the movie.
📍 2600 Park Ave
Northrup King Building is another amazing cultural destination that is home to over 300 artist studios, galleries and creative spaces. The building itself is an industrial gem that has its unique charm that dates back to the early 20th century, making it the ideal spot to let your creative juices flow.
📍 1500 Jackson St NE
It might look to you like LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Guggenheim in Bilbao, and you’re not too far off. The museum’s eye-catching and glimmering exterior was also designed by acclaimed architect Frank O. Gehry.
The Weisman Art Museum has a great collection of contemporary art, with works by famous artists like O’Keeffe, Lichtenstein and Hartley. They also have a variety of rotating exhibitions that showcase everything from modern sculpture to photography to graphic design. And as if this wasn’t enough, after you visit the expos you can go to the rooftop and admire the panoramic view of the city skyline and the Mississippi River.
📍 333 E River Road
TMORA is a unique cultural institution in Minneapolis with a considerable display of over 10,000 works of Russian art, including works by Naum Mogilevsky and Oleksii Shovkunenko. They also have rotating exhibitions that highlight different aspects of Russian culture, from folk art and Russian icons to Social Realism and contemporary art. One of the things that makes the museum so special is that it’s housed in a beautiful historic building that was once a church.
📍 5500 Stevens Ave
Technically the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a partnership between the Walker and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board opened in 1988. You can consider it as an extension of the Walker Art Center or a stand-alone open-air museum. It houses more than 40 outdoor sculptures, including its famous Spoonbridge and Cherry and Hahn/Cock. The Garden is a unique and green blend of art, design, architecture and gardening in Minneapolis’ urban center. Grab a sketchbook, lay down on the grass and take in the marvelous art.
📍 725 Vineland Pl
The Somali Museum of Minnesota is all about bringing Somali culture to North America, with its ample collection of over 1500 traditional nomadic artifacts and contemporary Somali artworks. It aims to show how tools, traditions and art have evolved as Somalis have moved across borders and time. The Somali Museum of Minnesota also has its own dance troupe and offers traditional finger weaving classes and workshops on Somali culture.
The largest Somali diaspora community in the United States lives in Minnesota. If you want to learn more about Somali culture, or you’re a young Somali wanting to connect with your roots and get energized, in this museum you can do just that.
📍 1516 East Lake St. Suite 011