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Exhibits at the Capitol

Now on Display at the Minnesota State Capitol:

Rotating Exhibits

Our Austin

Our Austin, Our America

On display in the 3rd Floor Exhibit Gallery (Rooms 320 and 321) is now open!

The first in a series of public art installments at the Minnesota State Capitol opens March 13 with a project from photographer William Taufic titled Our Austin, Our America.

The exhibit features portrait photography telling the story of immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers who have made their home in Austin, MN.  The artist presents the small town as a positive example of how communities can embrace growing diversity.

The collection will be on display at the Capitol from March 13-June 30 in the 3rd Floor Exhibit Gallery.

Our Austin, Our America is part of a public art gallery that exists for Minnesota artists to tell Minnesota stories.  Artists are selected by the Capitol Art Exhibit Advisory Committee and approved by the State Capitol Preservation Commission.

Our Exhibits

The Life and Works of Cass Gilbert

On display on the third floor Cass Gilbert Library 

This exhibit recognizes the life and works of one of the leading American architects of the early twentieth century, Cass Gilbert (1859-1934). After growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota, Gilbert studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spent time traveling in Europe. Shortly after his return to the United States, Gilbert apprenticed with McKim, Mead & White in New York, NY, and then returned to St. Paul, MN. There he established a career as a designer of residential, religious, and commercial buildings. The critical success of his first major public building, the Minnesota State Capitol (1895-1905), secured his national reputation. 

Restoration Workers: The Men and Women that Made the Capitol Grand Again

Photographs by Tom Olmscheid
Permanently on display in the L'etoile Du Nord Vault and surrounding hallways.

Instead of simply photographing people working, former House Chief Photographer Tom Olmscheid, attempted to connect individually with the diverse workforce restoring the Capitol. Each person was asked to take a moment from his or her job to stop and look directly into the camera. Using a wide-angle lens to capture their full figure in the environment they are working in and the surrounding area to give viewers a clear sense of where they might be within the building, Tom captured their faces, the tools they are using, the clothes they are wearing, and anything else that is indicative of that moment in time.

The diversity of the workforce is evident in the photographs of this exhibit. These individuals are more than electricians, plumbers, stone carvers, pipefitters, bricklayers, painters, restoration artists, and others who painstakingly display the mastery of their crafts. They are the working men and women of all ethnic backgrounds (42.5 percent of the workforce is represented by women and minorities) who were clearly proud to be an integral part of the glorious transformation of the Minnesota State Capitol building.

Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations

Permanently on display in the third floor East Wing hallways.

Treaties are agreements between self-governing, or sovereign nations. The story of Native nations within Minnesota is the story of making treaties – from the time before Europeans came to this land, through treaty-making with the United States, to the growth of tribal self-determination in our time. This exhibit is presented in collaboration with the Minnesota Indians Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. This project is funded in part with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with a vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008, and The Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation. 

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