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Mary Abbe

Reporter | Visual Arts/Architecture
phone: 612-673-4431
Mary Abbe has been writing art chat for the Star Tribune through the reigns of three Walker Art Center directors, five heads of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and too many gallery scenes to count. She still finds interviewing artists, collectors, curators and crew more fun than fireworks.
Recent content from Mary Abbe
Museum of Russian Art in Mpls. showcases masterpieces of Soviet-era painting

Museum of Russian Art in Mpls. showcases masterpieces of Soviet-era painting

It's a bold move for the Museum of Russian Art in south Minneapolis to tout its current show of 60-some paintings as "Masterpieces of the 20th Century: Russian Realist Tradition."
Scene + Heard: Arts Forum in Minneapolis

Scene + Heard: Arts Forum in Minneapolis

Hundreds of Minnesota arts fans gathered at the Cowles Center in Minneapolis for an Arts Forum sponsored by the Star Tribune.
Three Minneapolis gallery shows celebrate Earth and its troubled beauty

Three Minneapolis gallery shows celebrate Earth and its troubled beauty

Artists in three Minneapolis gallery shows celebrate Earth's vast and intimate wonders even as they fret about its future.
Bell Museum to break ground on new museum, planetarium

Bell Museum to break ground on new museum, planetarium

Friday's kickoff marks the start of work on the $79.2 million complex and a move to near the State Fairgrounds.
How to enjoy a trip to the museum: Look with a 'child's mind,' and other tips from Minnesota art experts

How to enjoy a trip to the museum: Look with a 'child's mind,' and other tips from Minnesota art experts

Slow down. Look more deeply. Listen to your gut. It's all part of a new "slow art" movement.
Voices of America: New exhibit at Walker Art Center poses challenging questions

Voices of America: New exhibit at Walker Art Center poses challenging questions

Walker Art Center probes the American psyche in a bracing new show.
Paintings by Fort Snelling commander depict vanished life of Dakota and Ojibwe in Minnesota

Paintings by Fort Snelling commander depict vanished life of Dakota and Ojibwe in Minnesota

Soldier and artist Seth Eastman recorded the lives of Dakota and Ojibwe people in 1840s Minnesota.
Gordon Parks' 1956 photos from segregated Ala. offer timely reminders

Gordon Parks' 1956 photos from segregated Ala. offer timely reminders

The grim racial realities of 1950s Alabama come alive in a show of Gordon Parks photographs opening Friday at Weinstein Gallery.
Populism enlivens new shows at Walker and Minneapolis Institute of Art

Populism enlivens new shows at Walker and Minneapolis Institute of Art

Two art shows exhibit a more positive populism – one that celebrates the ordinary, embraces our differences and invites spirited dialogue.
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The Walker is giving all of its festival memorabilia to the Minnesota Historical Society.
Goodbye, kitty: Walker ending its Internet Cat Video Festival

Goodbye, kitty: Walker ending its Internet Cat Video Festival

The Walker is giving all of its festival memorabilia to the Minnesota Historical Society.
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The Walker is giving all of its festival memorabilia to the Minnesota Historical Society.
Original prints by 9 Mexican women featured at Highpoint Center

Original prints by 9 Mexican women featured at Highpoint Center

At a time when building a wall to keep out Mexicans is a hot topic north of the border, it's refreshing to see what Mexicans themselves are thinking about.
Clouds fill the Weisman in a fun show

Clouds fill the Weisman in a fun show

A suspended sculpture hovering in a gallery of the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota is part of a cloud-themed exhibition that includes 19th-century prints, 20th-century paintings and contemporary installations.
New watercolors by art star Lars Lerin showcased at American Swedish Institute

New watercolors by art star Lars Lerin showcased at American Swedish Institute

Dark, brooding and romantic, the watercolors of Swedish art star Lars Lerin have an unsettling, febrile beauty in his memorable new show at the American Swedish Institute.
Sculpture Garden to grow with 16 pieces of art from Walker

Sculpture Garden to grow with 16 pieces of art from Walker

The sculptures will be installed this summer as part of a renovation that will be finished by June 2017. The Walker is paying for the art, valued at $15 million, with private funds.
Guerrilla Girls growl and take over Twin Cities arts organizations

Guerrilla Girls growl and take over Twin Cities arts organizations

Consciousness-raising feminist group is taking over Minnesota galleries, museums and storefronts and reaching out to area teens.
5 Minnesota painters celebrate winter in arboretum show

5 Minnesota painters celebrate winter in arboretum show

Five Minnesota painters celebrate nature as the Arb tries to strengthen its art program.
Minnesota museums celebrate a bonanza year of important gifts in 2015

Minnesota museums celebrate a bonanza year of important gifts in 2015

Minnesota museums celebrate a bonanza year of important donations.
Renowned Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt shines in Mpls. show

Renowned Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt shines in Mpls. show

A Weinstein Gallery show affectionately reprises the 70-year career of photo­grapher Elliott Erwitt.
Obituary: Minn. artist behind classic Weird Tales covers dies at 87

Obituary: Minn. artist behind classic Weird Tales covers dies at 87

During his 70-year career, Anoka artist Jon Arfstrom painted pretty much anything. But it was as a pioneering illustrator of fantasy, sci-fi and horror stories in the 1940s and '50s that he won his most lasting acclaim.
The book of love: A Bemidji painter's letters to his granddaughter

The book of love: A Bemidji painter's letters to his granddaughter

Inspired by his granddaughter, a Bemidji painter offers life lessons and lyrical observations of rural Minnesota in a beautiful volume.
Walker Art Center: 75th anniversary a 'banner year' with strong attendance, art gifts

Walker Art Center: 75th anniversary a 'banner year' with strong attendance, art gifts

It ended the fiscal year with a balanced budget, a 9 percent increase in attendance and more than 100 new gifts of art.
Holiday books: Art books

Holiday books: Art books

Art-book picks include "Florence: The Paintings and Frescoes" and The Art of Wonder: Inspiration, Creativity and the Minneapolis Institute of Art."
Andrea Büttner muses on art, science, religion and life in Walker Art Center show

Andrea Büttner muses on art, science, religion and life in Walker Art Center show

In a smart new Walker Art Center show, Andrea Büttner muses on art, science, religion and life in general.
'Florida' will come to Winona as museum spends record $5.9M on painting

'Florida' will come to Winona as museum spends record $5.9M on painting

Minnesota Marine Art Museum spends a record $5.9 million on a colorful 19th century American painting.
Bruce Dayton: The art world's quiet connoisseur

Bruce Dayton: The art world's quiet connoisseur

The late Bruce Dayton may have made his mark as a businessman, but art was closest to his heart.
Business magnate, arts patron Bruce Dayton dies at 97

Business magnate, arts patron Bruce Dayton dies at 97

Bruce Dayton, the father of Gov. Mark Dayton, was the bookish, numbers-oriented analyst among the five Dayton brothers who built a retail empire.
Mural will tell story of Hennepin's past

Mural will tell story of Hennepin's past

Minneapolis artist is ready to start project at Hennepin and 10th.
Like, wow, man: 1960s burst to life in new Walker Art Center show

Like, wow, man: 1960s burst to life in new Walker Art Center show

These days the word "hippie" has a stale vibe. Forget that faded aura and take in "Hippie Modernism," a fresh show of fascinating stuff — posters, furniture, films, installations, even an indoor garden of citrus trees — opening this weekend at Walker Art Center.
Delacroix show at Mpls. Institute of Art offers a feast for the eye – and a debate

Delacroix show at Mpls. Institute of Art offers a feast for the eye – and a debate

Was 19th-century painter Delacroix the forefather of modernism? So argues a Minneapolis Institute of Art show with a host of masterpieces.
Museum of Russian Art shines a light on the tragic 'Faces' of World War I

Museum of Russian Art shines a light on the tragic 'Faces' of World War I

"Faces of War: Russia in World War I (1914-1918)," a timely, albeit somber new exhibit at the Museum of Russian Art (TMORA) in south Minneapolis, is the museum's first truly multimedia show.
Carl Eller among 34 artists commissioned for Vikings stadium art

Carl Eller among 34 artists commissioned for Vikings stadium art

When it opens in 2016, U.S. Bank Stadium will feature about 500 artworks including roughly 200 commissioned paintings, sculptures, digital and installation pieces.
Lumber heiress gives centuries of Japanese art to Minneapolis Institute of Art

Lumber heiress gives centuries of Japanese art to Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minneapolis Institute of Art showcases hundreds of masterworks from the multimillion-dollar Burke and Wells collections.
Unmasked: All-American art of Jack Whitten opens at Walker

Unmasked: All-American art of Jack Whitten opens at Walker

Walker Art Center celebrates the painter's 50-year career in a show opening Sunday.
Art: Fall's big five, from Delacroix masterpieces to 'Hippie Modernism'

Art: Fall's big five, from Delacroix masterpieces to 'Hippie Modernism'

▲ 'Delacroix's Influence: The Rise of Modern Art From Cézanne to Van Gogh'The most influential French artist of the Romantic era, Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) introduced…
Walker Art Center at a 'pivot' point with recent curator departures

Walker Art Center at a 'pivot' point with recent curator departures

Responding to concern about recent staff departures, leaders of the Minneapolis art center outline their ambitions.

Teresa Engeltjes helps Minneapolis' Circa Gallery widen its circle

As the Minneapolis gallery prepares for its 25th anniversary this fall, its director is drawing in fresh collaborators.

Walker Art Center design curator Andrew Blauvelt to head Cranbrook Art Museum

Design curator Andrew Blauvelt is seventh senior staffer to leave in 18 months.
IFP Minnesota gets hip new headquarters in old St. Paul mattress factory

IFP Minnesota gets hip new headquarters in old St. Paul mattress factory

IFP Minnesota opens its cozy new digs in a revitalized St. Paul building that once housed a mattress company.
Van Gogh 'Irises' painting is latest Mpls. Institute of Art centennial surprise

Van Gogh 'Irises' painting is latest Mpls. Institute of Art centennial surprise

Minneapolis Institute of Art caps centennial surprises with famed 'Irises'
German curator goes from Minneapolis to Florence's Uffizi Gallery

German curator goes from Minneapolis to Florence's Uffizi Gallery

Minneapolis Institute of Art curator Eike Schmidt will be the first foreigner to lead Italy's famous Uffizi Gallery.
343 artists + 375,000 fans: Uptown Art Fair by the numbers

343 artists + 375,000 fans: Uptown Art Fair by the numbers

Minneapolis' Uptown, Powderhorn and Loring Park neighborhoods host art fairs this weekend.
Goodbye, art. Hello, construction: Sculpture Garden starts $33M redo

Goodbye, art. Hello, construction: Sculpture Garden starts $33M redo

Only the "Spoonbridge" and a few other works of art will remain during the project, which is expected to dramatically transform Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden as a gateway to downtown.
A Van Gogh is cropping up in an Eagan meadow

A Van Gogh is cropping up in an Eagan meadow

On a sweaty afternoon this week, Kansas artist Stan Herd channeled the spirit of Vincent Van Gogh as he dug a shallow furrow in the loam of an Eagan field.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts' 100th year is a smash hit

Minneapolis Institute of Arts' 100th year is a smash hit

The museum set an all-time attendance record of more than 750,000 visitors in the last fiscal year.
June 21: Modern mind of Leonardo da Vinci revealed at MIA

June 21: Modern mind of Leonardo da Vinci revealed at MIA

Exhibit with rare Leonardo da Vinci notebook links this Renaissance man's methods to his 21st-century progeny.
It's unseasonably hot at four Minneapolis galleries

It's unseasonably hot at four Minneapolis galleries

Summer sizzles this year at local art galleries. Often a slow season when galleries dust off old stock and settle in for a sales siesta, summer is seldom as dynamic as this month.
Fashion struts off the runway and into museum galleries

Fashion struts off the runway and into museum galleries

Fashion sashays off the runway and into galleries like the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.
Northern Spark will light up Mpls. tonight with an all-night art party

Northern Spark will light up Mpls. tonight with an all-night art party

In its fifth year, Northern Spark brings a dusk-to-dawn celebration of art and fun to Minneapolis.
Big art openings this weekend at Circa, Gallery 360 and Bloomington Art Center

Big art openings this weekend at Circa, Gallery 360 and Bloomington Art Center

This weekend four Twin Cities venues are showcasing an unusually large roster of local artists in fields ranging from poster design and furniture restoration to such stalwart formats as painting, sculpture and maybe even a bit of graffiti-on-canvas.
Bicycles and art will ride in tandem at Saturday's Artcrank at Fulton Brewing

Bicycles and art will ride in tandem at Saturday's Artcrank at Fulton Brewing

Bigger than ever, the 8th annual event is expected to draw thousands of cyclists to Fulton Brewing in Minneapolis.
Rolling Stones' Jagger and Watts 'very chatty' on tour of Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Rolling Stones' Jagger and Watts 'very chatty' on tour of Minneapolis Institute of Arts

The rock legends checked out vintage furniture after a bookstore visit by the Stones frontman.
Ben Cameron returns to run the Jerome Foundation

Ben Cameron returns to run the Jerome Foundation

Former Dayton Hudson charity leader Ben Cameron is taking over the St. Paul foundation.
Heads are up in Lowertown, with big photo project

Heads are up in Lowertown, with big photo project

Photos of 180 of the St. Paul neighborhood's artists are on display through September.
Black beauty: Minn. History Center shows vintage fashions of Ebony magazine

Black beauty: Minn. History Center shows vintage fashions of Ebony magazine

Ebony's style influence is celebrated in "Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair," a show featuring 40 stunning garments by top-name international designers, at the Minnesota History Center.
Frank Gehry's $4.5 million Winton Guest House auctioned for $905,000

Frank Gehry's $4.5 million Winton Guest House auctioned for $905,000

An out-of-state buyer bid $750,000 for house once valued at $4.5 million.
MIA unveils $50M Raphael painting on loan from London

MIA unveils $50M Raphael painting on loan from London

Raphael's "small but mighty" painting of Mary and Jesus, on loan as a 100th birthday treat, drew gasps at its unveiling.
Photographer Edward Burtynsky explores water issues in Weinstein show

Photographer Edward Burtynsky explores water issues in Weinstein show

Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky explores troubling water issues in stunningly beautiful photos at Weinstein Gallery.
How Walker Art Center pulled off its big 'Pop' show

How Walker Art Center pulled off its big 'Pop' show

It took five years, hundreds of people and millions of dollars to pull off Walker Art Center's new exhibit "International Pop" — providing an object lesson in how museums work.
Will public love this $1M statue? MIA hopes so

Will public love this $1M statue? MIA hopes so

As the Minneapolis Institute of Arts unveils a $1 million "Eros" sculpture by Polish-born Igor Mitoraj in celebration of the museum's 100th birthday this year, it's asking the public to help pay for it.
Wanna help MIA pay $1M for its new sculpture?

Wanna help MIA pay $1M for its new sculpture?

Minneapolis Institute of Arts unveils a massive sculpture — and a fundraising plan to pay for it.
How the Walker inspired new Whitney Museum

How the Walker inspired new Whitney Museum

As he prepares to open the New York museum's riverfront home, director Adam Weinberg talks about his Minnesota roots.
Centennial confusion: '100+' photo show at Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Centennial confusion: '100+' photo show at Minneapolis Institute of Arts

A muddled show samples a century of photography from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts collection.
Bell Museum prepares for an animal migration

Bell Museum prepares for an animal migration

Most of the Bell's famed scenes will find a new home on the St. Paul campus.
Walker Art Center goes green in $75 million gateway project

Walker Art Center goes green in $75 million gateway project

Positioning itself as a neighborhood green space and cultural gateway, Walker Art Center will add a new glass-walled entrance pavilion, groves of trees and acres of new grass.
Pop goes the world in a dazzling Walker Art Center show

Pop goes the world in a dazzling Walker Art Center show

Walker Art Center takes a global view of an American favorite in "International Pop," opening this weekend.
'International Pop' dazzles at Walker Art Center

'International Pop' dazzles at Walker Art Center

The Walker takes a global view of an American favorite in "International Pop," opening this weekend.
The Walker enters its 'green period' with $75 million project

The Walker enters its 'green period' with $75 million project

The Minneapolis arts center plans a new entrance pavilion.
A garden grows in the Minnesota Museum of American Art

A garden grows in the Minnesota Museum of American Art

As gardens grow, the elegant one in downtown St. Paul came on fast. Two artists grow a conceptual garden in the Minnesota Museum of American Art.

'Washington Crossing the Delaware' lands in Winona museum

After decades in D.C., the famous 1851 painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" leaves the White House for a new home.
Made-by-hand art at three Minneapolis galleries

Made-by-hand art at three Minneapolis galleries

At a time when tech-heavy techniques are ubiquitous, it’s refreshing to encounter shows at three Minneapolis galleries featuring terrific work in such old-fashioned made-by-hand media…
MIA receives historic collection of Japanese art

MIA receives historic collection of Japanese art

Mary Griggs Burke's bequest will elevate its Japanese collection into the top tier of U.S. museums.
MIA receives historic collection of Japanese art, $12.5M endowment

MIA receives historic collection of Japanese art, $12.5M endowment

Mary Griggs Burke's bequest will elevate its Japanese collection into the top tier of U.S. museums. It includes 700 pieces of rare Japanese and Korean art, spanning 5,000 years, along with a $12.5 million endowment.
MIA's 'The Art of Murder' slays

MIA's 'The Art of Murder' slays

In prints, drawings and photos, artists depict murder or its aftermath in a don't-miss exhibit.
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