Visitors wait at the entrance to the "Martin Luther" exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. (Star Tribune photo by Jerry Holt)

 

MLK Day will be ML Day at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The museum’s blockbuster “Martin Luther” exhibit, scheduled to close Sunday, will stay open one more day – free of charge.

No tickets remain for the show’s closing weekend, museum officials said Friday. So, given Monday's national holiday, they decided to waive the $20 entrance fee and provide schoolchildren and others one last chance to see the show about the revolutionary theologian who forged the Protestant movement.

It also is a chance to make the show the second-most-popular in the museum’s history. At this point, “Martin Luther: Art and Reformation” –  the most significant collection of art and artifacts ever assembled about the man who is Martin Luther King Jr.’s namesake – is on track to attract more than 100,000 visitors, said Kristin Prestegaard, the institute’s chief engagement officer. That could rank it among the 10 biggest shows in the museum’s history.

The institute is normally closed on Mondays, but has kept the exhibit open seven days a week to accommodate the crush of visitors from the land of 1 million Lutherans. (Yes, that’s approximately how many there are in Minnesota, which has the nation’s largest Lutheran population.)

Don’t expect to get in if you just show up on Monday, however. The museum is taking reservations at its website, artsmia.org. Otherwise, it will be first come, first served.

The rest of the museum’s exhibits will be closed to the public, but the lobby’s Agra Culture coffeeshop will serve food and beverages.

TOP 10 SHOWS AT THE MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ART:

1. “The Vikings” (1981); 212,956 visitors
2. “Impressionism: Selections from Five American Museums” (1990); 155,198
3. “China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy” (2013); 146,507
4. “Star Wars: The Magic of Myth” (2000); 128,725
5. “Monet at Vétheuil” (1998); 124,316
6. “Degas and America” (2001); 118,137
7. “Eternal Egypt” (2003); 114,068
8. “Dale Chihuly: Installations 1964 – 1997” (1997); 112,197
9. “Rembrandt in America” (2012); 107,090
10. “Visions of the People: A Pictorial History of Plains Indians” (1993); 101,309

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