Top 10 Places for Art in Minneapolis
You can sight-see a world of art, right here in the city. Discover how art speaks to you through the curations of 10 different Minneapolis art galleries and museums. Here are our top picks.
*Most galleries and museums are open, but please check with individual businesses for adjusted hours and requirements.
If you’re into the new and sometimes unconventional, we give the ultimate thumbs up to the Walker Art Center. You’ll be impressed by its national reputation in collections and exhibits of paintings, sculpture, films, performance and new media. Walk the multi-level galleries and discover local artists, as well as special Native American artist exhibits. Stop at the Walker gift shop for unique jewelry, and more. Take a break at the new Cardamom restaurant, with tasty menu and bar options and an outdoor patio. Discoveries await you outdoors as well—the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is known for the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry as well as summertime mini golf with rooftop views of the downtown skyline. And don't forget to check out the free Saturday family art programs each month.
If you’re game to travel the globe in a day, go no further than the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the leading museum in fine and decorative art from six continents. With a global collection of 90,000 artworks that span more than 5,000 years of world history, you can spend all day perusing art galleries devoted to cultures of Africa, Asia, the Americas; decorative and textile arts, sculpture, paintings, drawings, photography and more. Set aside time for monthly Sunday Family Days where kiddos create their own masterpieces and explore the world through art. Before you leave, be sure to stop at the café for a few treats.
If you’re searching for a Nordic vibe (beyond Swedish meatballs and ABBA rock music), come to the place where everything Swedish is always in vogue. At the American Swedish Institute, you can immerse yourself in the world of Swedish culture—customs, traditions, history, art, and food. You’ll be intrigued by Nordic heritage exhibits, art gallery collections, the Wallenberg peace library, and the popular “Cocktails at the Castle” where you can tour the Turnblad Castle with a drink in hand. Check out the gift shop and discover your Nordic style in jewelry, crafts, and home decor. If you're getting hungry, your taste buds will love FIKA, the attached cafe featuring New Nordic cuisine dining, espresso, and pastries.
Curious by the mystique of Russian culture? Check out the Museum of Russian Art. Situated in a Spanish Mission-style former church in South Minneapolis, you’ll be captivated by stories told through collections of paintings, historical photography, and prints dating from Muscovite and Russian Empire times to the former Soviet Union to modern post-Soviet Russia. Even if what you know of Russian culture is limited to borscht or vodka, you’ll be awed by the beauty and history of the extensive collections of lacquer, porcelain, textiles, nesting dolls, and holiday ornaments.
When you want to see modern art, just head to the glimmering stainless steel and brick building overlooking the Mississippi River. You’ll come upon the Weisman Art Museum, a teaching museum at the University of Minnesota and leader in the world of modern art, integrating the perspectives of local culture and history. You can’t miss the unique exterior facade of curved metal structures by architect Frank Gehry. Browse more than 24,000 artworks including American modern, ceramics, Mimbres pottery, and traditional Korean furniture.
*Note: The University of Minnesota’s Weisman Art Museum (WAM) is temporarily closing its galleries and in-person shopping at the WAM Shop to allow for maintenance inside the building over the summer. The museum will be Closed to the public beginning May 17, with plans to reopen in fall 2021, upon completion of scheduled maintenance.
If you’re in search of a place where art stirs the soul through inspiring life stories, get to know the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery. Fairly new to the museum scene, you’ll discover a leading arts center and gallery highlighting African American history and poignant stories of life in Minnesota. This compact museum features early African American artists such as George Bonga, alongside contemporary artists. On Saturdays bring the kids to Storytime for songs and puppetry.
Do you see art as a spiritual journey? We invite you to take one through the arts of indigenous people at All My Relations Gallery—a leading center of native art, history and cultural stories of the original people of our land. You’ll be inspired by retrospective and contemporary exhibits—paintings, prints, photography, sculpture—that feature Native American historic art as well as contemporary fine art. The “Mini Art Wall” displays local and emerging native artists. And don't miss stopping in the Pow Wow Grounds coffee shop for a treat. The All My Relations Gallery is located in Minneapolis’ American Indian Cultural Corridor.
The Third Place Gallery is a community gathering spot for fostering conversations about art and telling stories through public art installations. A permanent exhibit shows excerpts from resident artist Wing Young Huie’s award-winning photos of neighborhood people, sights, and scenes, installed along well-traveled Lake Street in Minneapolis and University Ave. in St. Paul. Check out monthly gallery events featuring national and local guest artists in music, film, and performance. Connect in social conversations with artists and others in an “urban living room” setting. Plus, try out karaoke and ping pong. The Gallery is named for the “Third Place” concept - a place of community building and fostering social relations. While most of us see the first and second places (home and work) as essential, the "third place" is sometimes forgotten about. The Third Place Gallery hopes to create a space for this important community engagement.
A space where new and emerging artists can showcase their talent, Galeria do Beija Flor makes art accessible to all. Founders and curators, Byron Bradley and David Rubedor are finding ways to expand the gallery viewing and buying experience with the type of mixed art they bring to their space. This includes making art affordable and working with diverse set of artists. You will find a mix of pieces here, anything from paintings and photography to jewelry and glasswork.
Northrup King Building is the largest art complex in Minnesota, with more than 350 artists and small businesses who are working, showing and selling their wares in this 1917 former seed company complex. First Thursdays and Open Saturdays, as well as annual events like Art-a-Whirl and Art Attack! give plenty of opportunity to browse and shop 19 mediums from jewelry to mosaics and digital to graphic arts. Part of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, you'll find other art centers like Casket Arts and the California Building nearby.