In the spirit of the name of this blog, Shareology, here is a tip that is good until the end of this month, less than two weeks of opportunity. The Museum of Russian Art is a jewel of a museum in Minneapolis, located at 5500 Stevens Avenue South, on Diamond Lake Road between 35W and Nicollet Avenue. Shareology has a huge interest in museums and other touristy delights. Two current shows (one of which ends on February 28th) are amazing. TMORA is located in a former white, Spanish style church, and is intriguing not only for its shows, but for the simplicity and beauty of its architecture.
The two shows that captured Shareology’s attention? First, a collection of 100-year-old color (yep, color!) photographs taken in Central Asia. The show is called Photographer to the Tsar” Revealing the Silk Road. Amazingly, the negatives left Russia in 1918 and ended up in the Library of Congress, which lent 26 images to TMORA. The images include observers of a solar eclipse, university students, fabric merchants, amazing architecture, a girl in front of a yurt with a magnificent hand-woven rug, camels, sacks of cotton, cotton gins, fruit and melon stands. The glimpse into the faces of people 100 years ago in color photography amazes.
The second exhibit? A series of nesting dolls. Surprisingly, there are sets of political dolls; the most striking includes USA political figures on one side, Russian leaders on the other side. The tallest dolls are about a foot high; the smallest dolls barely a half-inch. Bring a child and allow them to play with the dolls in the entrance to the exhibit.
The best thing about TMORA is the reasonable size; you can easily enjoy both exhibits and parts of the permanent collection and get out within an hour. If you want to linger, there is a wonderful gift shop.
Just the thing to brighten a Minnesota winter that has been going on far too long. More information at www.tmora.org. Another source is this great article on the exhibit by Mary Abbe: http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/art/80930322.html
Kay Roseland @KayLoire