Why You Should Visit The Museum Of Russian Art


Milkmaids, Novella  (Baskakov, 1962)
Few artists can capture laughter with paint. ‘Milkmaids’ is TMORA’s ‘Mona Lisa.’ I have a print in my office for contemplation.

One of my favorite art museums is the Museum of Russian Art (TMORA). Unlike the many art museums in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, TMORA is small, and to its credit, very intimate. It’s a converted church with a collection dedicated to Russian and other Slavic art. TMORA has a wonderful permanent collection of fine Soviet-era painting. You won’t find Romanov portraits here! The era dedicated its art to laborers, world wars and peasants.

TMORA is a real gem. If the Minneapolis Art Institute is the Twin Cities’ Louvre, then TMORA is its d’Orsay. The museum is just off highway 35W, south of downtown Minneapolis. It’s a cinch to find and there’s free museum parking across the street. TMORA’s museum shop has beautiful amber jewelry, silver and lovely porcelains.


Friends (Sychkov, 1930)

TMORA hosts several exhibits from private collections. It may be the finest collection of Russian art outside of Russia. Do take a Sunday afternoon and pay it a visit.



Glass Plates from the Revealing The Silk Road exhibit (Through February 28, 2010). There are 26 plates from Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii’s trip through Central Asia in 1906-1907 These were created with a unique three-shoot process  that did not use film. There’s almost a 3-D aspect to these images.


Another exhibit, Matryoshka: The Russian Nesting Doll  runs through March 29, 2010.


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