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Celebrating Minnesota Museums Month!

Happy Minnesota Museums Month! May is the month of a 31-day celebration of the hundreds of historic centers, art museums, zoos, and science centers located across the state of Minnesota. Did you know that there are 55 museums in Minneapolis and St. Paul alone? That's twice as many as in Chicago!

The University of Minnesota has a few of its very own museums right on campus:

The Weiseman Art Museum 

Frederick R. Weisman was a noted California philanthropist, art patron, and entrepreneur who provided the pivotal gift of $3 million, which gave the University of Minnesota Art Museum a new home. Frank Gehry, the architect of the building, won a prestigious Progressive Architecture Design Award for his design. The museum opened in 1993. Its structure was built to represent both the beauty of the Mississippi River and the architecture of the U of M campus.

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Of course, the art within the building is also amazing. There are many exhibits and events currently held at Weisman, including "Cartography of a Collection," "Sympathies," and many more. U of M students are lucky to have the Weisman Art Museum, right at our doorstep in the heart of campus. Visit the Weisman Art Museum website to learn more!

Even if you won't be able to visit the Weisman Art Museum anytime soon, you can still celebrate Minnesota Museums Month! Check out some fun facts about Minnesota museums, and the featured video, "Museums Creating Community," below.

The Bell Museum of Natural History

The Bell Musuem of Natural History was established in 1872 to "collect, preserve, skillfully prepare, display, and interpret our state's diverse animal and plant life for scholarly research and teaching and for public appreciation, enrichment, and enjoyment." This museum allows its visitors to become closer to the natural world through its exhibits. One of the features of the Bell Museum is the ExploraDome, which is a portable dome that allows students to virtually travel across the universe. I've been inside the ExploraDome when I was taking an Astronomy class at the U of M. It was an amazing experience, and I was able to see planets and stars like never before!

Goldstein Museum of Design

The Goldstein Museum of Design has two gallaries on the U of M Twin Cities campus -one in St. Paul (in
McNeal Hall) and one in Minneapolis (in Rapson Hall). This museum features many diverse exhibits. The current exhibitions include the work of Jack Edwards, a master costume designer, and Leonard Parker, an architect and skilled designer. The next time you are on campus, check of the work of these great designers and get inspired!

Did you know?

  • Minnesota has approximately 600 museums. That's one for every 9,000 residents and twice as many as the national average.
  • Every county in the state has at least one museum.
  • The total economic impact of Minnesota museums is over $300 million annually.
  • An estimated 1.7 million tourists traveled outside their region to visit museums in 2011, resulting in $53 million in economic activity in Minnesota.


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