1883: Founding of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, the museum's governing board.

1911: New York architects McKim, Mead and White hired to design art museum, symphony hall, art school.

1915: Museum opens with art on loan from New York, Chicago and Detroit; 80,000 visitors come in first month.

1934: MIA acquires Rembrandt's "Lucretia" for $115,000, about $2 million today.

1970: Photographer Richard Avedon given his first solo show at a major museum.

1974: New $30 million complex designed by Kenzo Tange opens, including museum addition, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Children's Theatre.

1975: Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program is the country's first artist-run museum curatorial department; shows include live ants (1985), chickens (2000).

1976: Children's Theatre severs ties to Society of Fine Arts.

1981: "The Vikings" exhibition sets all-time attendance record with 212,956 visitors.

1988: Society of Fine Arts reorganizes; museum and college officially separate.

1989: Museum drops general admission fee, opens its collections to all for free.

2000: Visitor sits on $453,000 Ming dynasty chair, breaks it; repairs take 12 months.

2006: Target wing, a $50 million addition designed by Michael Graves, opens.