I arrived on the University of Minnesota’s campus to meet a high school friend and her son for lunch. I asked to meet there so I could see the Weisman Art Museum
again, something I haven’t done since college. I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but time is always short when I’m visiting family back in Minnesota. On this visit, though, it came together like pieces in a puzzle.
I was in high school when the museum opened. I remember it was rather controversial since none of the other buildings on any of the three campuses (St. Paul, and the east and west bank of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis) looked like the Weisman. Heck, while some of the buildings there have been modernized to an extent, still none of them look like it. The only one I can place it with is the expansion of the Denver Art Museum
by architect Daniel Libeskind
. But the views there aren’t nearly as nice as at the Weisman.
The collection in the Weisman isn’t extensive by any means, but what’s there is pretty good. Some of it I raise an eyebrow at, wondering how it’s art, but since everyone has a different definition I just keep walking on by to something I like. For instance, The Pod (above) by Harry Bertoia was something I found rather appealing. I also enjoyed works by more well known artists like Georgia O’Keeffe (left) and Andy Warhol (below).
What has me particularly geeked, though, is the expansion that the original architect, Frank Gehry
, is undertaking for the museum. Unfortunately that means the Weisman Art Museum will be closed for a year starting on October 11, 2010 while all of these renovations are done. Some are already in progress, but in order
to complete it all they need to close the museum. That’s unfortunate, but when I see the finished project includes five new galleries, as well as other studios and studies, I’m excited for it all to happen.
There are presently only five galleries open in the museum, so our visit didn’t take too long. But that’s the good side of free as well; we were able to stop in, take a stroll down memory lane, and it didn’t cost a penny. That was something I always appreciated as a student, visiting the Weisman on occasion during my years on campus, since it was something quite affordable to do when money was tight.