A Raphael for a Rembrandt?

Museum loans of big-deal art usually involve lots of wrangling and require an exchange of comparable value. One sends out its Van Gogh for six months on condition that the other lends its Matisse or Monet, that sort of loan. So the arrival of Raphael's $50 million "Madonna of the Pinks" at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts last week hinted that the National Gallery in London must have gotten something pretty snazzy in return. But no. "It was just the usual negotiations," said painting curator Patrick Noon, an expert in British art who has long ties to the National Gallery. "Well, I am doing a Delacroix show for them," he added. "And they did have our 'Lucretia' in the 'Late Rembrandt' show that's now in Amsterdam." So there was some horse trading, even if the exchange wasn't tit for tat. The exquisite little 1506 Raphael, a mere 11 by 8 inches, is on view for free through Aug. 9. Noon's Delacroix show will travel only to the National Gallery in London after it debuts in Minneapolis Oct. 18-Jan. 10.

Mary Abbe

King and the clown

Minneapolis entertainment impresario Jeffrey Siegel got his showbiz start as a clown. Back in the 1970s, he emceed a few rock shows in St. Paul. He'd meet with the headliners such as Ted Nugent before introducing them. With the death of B.B. King last week, Siegel reminisced about bringing a bottle of Southern Comfort to meet the King of the Blues. "He was game for a toast with a clown," Siegel told I.W. "He was interested in discussing the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus school I had recently attended [with classmate Penn Jillette, by the way]. We chatted about the kinship between musicians on the road and the circus life. And he played along with my fool of an introduction for his set."

Jon Bream

Bob's best Bud

Nothing too colorful happened when Bob Dylan hit David Letterman's set again for Tuesday's penultimate show, but "Late Show" bandleader Paul Shaffer did tell a funny tale about his fellow Lake Superior shoreline native a few nights earlier. After saying that James Brown was his favorite all-time guest, Shaffer brought up Dylan, who gave the bandleader a stone-faced stare when Shaffer greeted the Minnesota icon with a joke his first time on the show. After a few awkward minutes, Dylan finally got up close to talk to Shaffer. "I think he's going to lay on me the secrets of the universe," Shaffer recalled. Instead, Dylan asked, "Can you introduce me to Larry 'Bud' Melman?"


A better space

Artspace, the Minneapolis nonprofit organization that builds affordable facilities for artists using historic buildings (including the Cowles Center), gave out four awards Tuesday to leaders who have made the world a better place through the arts. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges presented the Paul Brawner Award for Support of the Arts to Melissa Mark-Viverito, speaker of the New York City Council. Mark-Viverito was honored for her work supporting a new artist live-work space in East Harlem. "She didn't just climb on the bandwagon, she drove it, and that's what you need on a project like this," Hodges said. Other honorees were Jacqueline Romano of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., creative director of Blindfold magazine; Tracy Todd Hunger, a community organizer in Patchogue, N.Y., and Austin Williams, a Seattle educator. The ceremony at the Cowles Center was emceed by actor Ansa Akyea and Springboard for the Arts director Laura Zabel.

Sheila Regan

Stones roll with Potter

Kansas City gets Ed Sheeran. Columbus, Ohio, gets Kid Rock. Nashville gets Brad Paisley. San Diego gets Walk the Moon. And Minneapolis, in the end, wound up with Grace Potter as the opening act for its Rolling Stones show June 3 at TCF Bank Stadium. This will be the Vermont rocker's second time playing a Minneapolis stadium; she also opened for Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw at Target Field in 2012. Mick and Keith are a better fit for her — and she's certainly a better fit for us than Sheeran.


Prima boaterinas

Ever seen a boat stand en pointe? That might be too difficult a feat for the Mississippi River Boat Ballet, but watercraft from barges to pontoons to yachts, even windsurfers, will be "dancing" on the river under a full moon July 31 off Ole Olson Park to choreography by Minneapolis performance artist Patrick Scully, who staged a similar event in Germany several years ago. To participate, register at http://tinyurl.com/BoatBallet. You needn't have a boat to join the fun.