mnima at the ICFF

Furniture Society Flickr set

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The Museum of Russian Art

Another item checked off my list: The Museum of Russian Art. I must have zoomed by the building hundreds of times on I35 and plenty more on Diamond Lake & Stevens but had never made the effort to visit until recently. First of all, what a fantastic job in converting an old church into a knockout gallery. The intimate two story main gallery to my mind is one of the absolute best places in the cities to consume art. The basement gallery and the smaller main level gallery serve their audience very well as well.

Personally, my tastes run towards the austere, the antithesis of the current exhibitions, but always good to expose oneself to different styles and genres. In particular the amount of ornamentation in both the textile and lacquer displays is stupefying. The degree of concentration and dedication these makers must possess is admirable.

National Farmers’ Bank

I finally crossed off something on my list of things I’ve wanted to do for awhile. Behold, the National Farmers’ Bank of Owatonna:

Unfortunately, the bank was closed when these photos were taken and as such, I was only able to get one interior shot from an ATM vestibule.

I think this is by far Louis Sullivan’s best ‘jewel box’.

If you want to learn more about Sullivan and other modern masters, I highly recommend Makers of Modern Architecture: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry. This book is not for the faint of heart. I read it a couple of summers ago and it took me three or four renewals from the library in order to be able to get through it. Pretty dense, but wonderfully thorough.