Cool Art and Architecture in Minneapolis

flickr/Paul VanDerWerf
By AAA Travel Editors
August 23, 2018
Thinking about what to do in Minneapolis? Check out these six places to see some of the city’s best art and architecture.
American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis Minnesota
nikitsin/iStockphoto.com
American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Ave.
(612) 871-4907
This 33-room mansion resembling a French château is the former home of Swan Turnblad—publisher of America’s largest newspaper written in Swedish—1908-29. Now the estate, along with the attached Nelson Cultural Center that was added in 2012, displays thousands of Swedish and Swedish-American artworks and everyday items like clothing, dishes, furniture, tools and toys. Cultural presentations as well as an extensive library and archives further showcase the Nordic region and the Swedes’ immigrant experience in America.
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Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis Minnesota
flickr/Richie Diesterheft
Guthrie Theater
818 S. 2nd St.
(612) 377-2224
Guthrie Theater, a AAA GEM® attraction, was founded in 1963, and the modern marvel you see today opened in 2006. Its unique exterior design elements include the 178-foot Endless Bridge and subtle images of past theater performances strewn across the building’s facade. If you can’t get a spot on a guided backstage or architectural tour, you can still visit the public spaces on your own. The ninth-floor Amber Box extends 15 feet out from the building, and from this lobby area made of amber glass you’ll have a spectacular view of the Mississippi River.
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Minneapolis Institute of Art in Minnesota
Wikimedia Commons/Alvintrusty
Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA)
2400 Third Ave. S.
(612) 870-3000
The AAA GEM attraction Minneapolis Institute of Art is a giant among art museums. With nearly 90,000 works spanning thousands of years and six continents, MIA will expose you to historic artifacts, art masterpieces and modern media alike. Edgar Degas, El Greco, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Henry Moore and Vincent van Gogh are just a few of the artists whose pieces fill the galleries. Join a guided tour (offered daily) to learn more in-depth stories about the collection.
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The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis Minnesota
Wikimedia Commons/McGhiever
The Museum of Russian Art
5500 Stevens Ave. S.
(612) 821-9045
This mid-1930s Spanish Colonial Revival building started out as a church but now houses The Museum of Russian Art. Through its frequently rotated temporary art exhibits, the attraction explores Russian art, culture and history. To take full advantage of its offerings, attend one of the many events hosted by scholars of Russian culture.
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Walker Art Center in Minneapolis Minnesota
flickr/Paul VanDerWerf
Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Pl.
(612) 375-7600
Lumber baron Thomas Barlow Walker’s art was the foundation for what would become the renowned Walker Art Center, a AAA GEM attraction. This complex features the trifecta of visual art, performing arts and cinema. The gallery space is dedicated to temporary and permanent contemporary art exhibits, and several theater spaces host an active schedule of dance, music and theater performances, and film screenings. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, a popular public gathering space, is just across the street; among its more than 40 installations is the eye-catching and often-photographed “Spoonbridge and Cherry” (a red cherry atop a white spoon) by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.
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The Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis Minnesota
AAA/Manon Prevost-Mullane
Weisman Art Museum
333 E. River Rd.
(612) 625-9494
Frank Gehry designed this incredibly unique building on the University of Minnesota campus. Stainless steel elements jut out in unexpected places, creating a striking home for the museum’s collection of early 20th-century American art, Korean furniture and Mimbres pottery. While you’re here, be sure to visit some of the nearly two dozen public artworks on campus, including the large-scale, colorful molecules that identify the nearby Molecular and Cellular Biology Building.
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