[AROUND TOWN] Be reborn in Mia’s newest exhibition

The newest Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) exhibition beautifully encapsulates themes of newness, inspiration, and rebirth that are the essence of Renaissance art. The carefully curated gallery, arranged through the lens of iconic Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli (1445 –1510), opened Oct. 16 and will remain until Jan. 8, 2023.

Mia is among the largest art museums in the United States and displays over 90,000 art pieces permanently. However, its ever-changing temporary exhibitions are specially put together to remain at the museum for only short, few-month periods. These exhibitions often coincide with real world occurrences or themes.

“What better moment to examine Botticelli in the Florentine Renaissance as we seek the rebirth of culture, art, and connection?” asked Katie Luber, president of MIA, in the introduction to the complimentary audio guide that accompanied the gallery.

What better moment to examine Botticelli in the Florentine Renaissance as we seek the rebirth of culture, art, and connection?

— Katie Luber

The exhibition’s excellence was demonstrated through both the execution of the exhibition and the pieces themselves. The gallery hosts artworks that rarely travel outside the the Uffizi, and Minneapolis is the one and only destination for the exhibition. Mia spent years collaborating with Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries, to design and perfect the exhibition. Additionally, Mia provided an audio guide through a QR code on site that allowed visitors to be truly immersed in the gallery experience. The audio element analyzed 13 of the gallery’s pieces and offered contextual information surrounding the Renaissance.

In addition to following along with the pre-recorded guide, the Mia staff stationed around the gallery were happy to answer questions and eager to share their expertise.

The gallery itself features two accent rooms with pink walls that paired with the specific works in those spaces, which stood out amidst the muted green and grey walls of each other room. While the exhibition is located in the Target Gallery, a space designed as a walk-through of multiple distinct rooms, the exhibition was brightly lit and felt incredibly open. The environment had a quiet buzz: it gathered a large audience, all browsing quietly.

Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks from the Uffizi demonstrates, through every piece of artwork, the endless nature of inspiration and innovation. The era of Renaissance Art directly followed that of Medieval art, and the drastic differences between the two time periods in the Western world shows itself distinctly in artworks from the time. They deviated from exclusively biblical references and introduced realistic scenes, 3-D figures, and brighter colors. They examined individualism, the beauty of the natural world, and intellectualism; in the aftermath of a dark and destructive period of history. Florence, Italy was an incredibly wealthy and thriving city in the 15th century, and is often described by scholars as the origin and center of the Renaissance. Gallery viewers walk away from the exhibition with a refreshed sense of inspiration and deeper cultural knowledge of the Renaissance through the eyes of some of the most famous artists of history.

Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks from the Uffizi showcases 15th century Renaissance art, centering Botticelli’s work to investigate the relevance of renaissance values today. The exhibition is $20 for General Admission, $16 for My Mia Members, and free for investors and youth 17 and under.