Minnesota Museum of American Art (the M) has announced its 2019-2020 exhibition season, featuring a broad sweep of local, national, and international artists and themes.

The exhibitions will be presented in three areas of the museum the Main Gallery, Henrietta Schmoll Rauenhorst Court and the Josephine Adele Ford Center for Creativity.

“History Is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary”

Co-presented by the M and Mizna

Main Gallery

Now – Jan. 5

“History Is Not Here” presents the work of artists who engage the “Arab imaginary” as a strategy for examining various social, cultural, and political positions. Through painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, book art, installation and video, these 17 artists, working in the U.S. and abroad, make connections between contemporary geopolitics and the histories that inform them. The exhibition rejects the idea of history as a fixed category and looks to alternative imagery and language structures from which new “imaginaries” can be generated. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of Mizna, a St. Paul-based Arab cultural organization, and co-presented by Minnesota Museum of American Art, this exhibition’s roster is selected from artists featured in the pages of Mizna’s art and literary journal over the years.

“Partners in Action: A Community Exhibition”

Ford Center for Creativity

Oct. 3 – Oct. 27

The M joined forces with several St. Paul-based organizations to build relationships with three specific communities in the city through artist residencies focused on reciprocity, social interaction, creativity, and cultural responsiveness.

“Sherin Guirguis: Here I Have Returned”

Rauenhorst Court

Oct. 3 – March 1

Building on her longtime interest in mining lost histories, Egypt-born, L.A.-based artist Sherin Guirguis will fill the museum’s two-story Rauenhorst Court with an installation of hand-cut works on paper and sculpture, inspired by a largely forgotten writer and leader of the Egyptian feminist movement, Doria Shafik. These new works merge several broad themes and interests evident in Guirguis’s body of work, including architectural design, craft traditions, language, and poetry.

“Choice of Weapons, Honor and Dignity: The Visions of Gordon Parks and Jamel Shabazz”

Main Gallery

Jan. 23 – April 19

This exhibition includes photographs that document expressions of dignity, honor, hope, and love in the African-American community by two towering photographers, Gordon Parks and Jamel Shabazz. Featured works include Parks’ images from the Jim Crow-era through the Civil Rights Movement, and photographs by Brooklyn artist Shabazz, who has followed in Parks’ footsteps from the 1980s to the present day. “A Choice of Weapons, Honor and Dignity” explores how Parks and Shabazz have both used photography to empower communities and lift up Black voices. The exhibition is curated by Robin Hickman, CEO and executive producer of SoulTouch Productions and a great-niece of Parks. Hickman first collaborated with the M in 1998 on the traveling exhibition “Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks,” helping to bring the show to St. Paul.

“Gordon Parks in St. Paul”

Rauenhorst Court

March 7 – April 19, 2020

This companion exhibition will focus on Gordon Parks’ rich history in St. Paul, centered on his photography from the 1930s and early 1940s documenting life in the city’s historically African-American Rondo neighborhood, where he lived, on and off, from 1928 – 1941.


“Water: A Minnesota Biennial”

Main Gallery

Opening May 2020

Minnesota Museum of American Art is reviving its longstanding tradition of statewide biennials with a juried exhibition of work by local artists on the theme of “water.” Look for additional details on this snapshot survey of the Minnesota art scene in the coming months.

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