Bakken Museum, Star Tribune photo by David Brewster

Museum franchise expansion is all the rage these days. The Louvre will open a branch in Abu Dhabi later this year. In March, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York took over the former Whitney Museum building and dubbed it the Met Breuer. Now the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. has expanded to Minneapolis. Sort of.

The Bakken Museum has been named a Smithsonian Affiliate which means it will share research, collaborate on exhibitions, and borrow items from the Smithsonian’s 136 million piece collection. It’s the first Smithsonian Affiliate in Minnesota, but one of more than 200 in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama.

Bakken staff helped produce a “Medical Alley” show at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2015 and are planning a related show about “Minnesota’s Biomedical Revolution” in 2017.

Located in a mansion overlooking Lake Calhoun, the Bakken showcases scientific inventions, especially in electricity and magnetism.
 

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