Minneapolis Institute of Arts getting rare Asian art collection from MN native


The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is receiving hundreds of pieces of East Asian art from a Minnesota native said to have one of the most prized private collections in the world.

According to the Pioneer Press, more than 700 works from Mary Griggs Burke's collection will be donated to the MIA.

Burke, who grew up in St. Paul but lived her adult life in New York, died in 2012 at 96 years old. The Pioneer Press says the items, along with a $12.5 million endowment, were bequeathed to the museum, but the final agreement was completed just recently.

Most of the pieces are Japanese, and MIA curator Andreas Marks told MPR News the amount of space the museum has committed to Japanese art is unparalleled in the U.S.

Its current Japanese and Korean art collection comprises more than 7,000 different pieces, spread throughout 15 galleries and 10,000 square feet.

But the MIA isn't getting the entirety of her collection.

The New York Times says another 320 pieces from Burke's stash – built up over half a century – are heading to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. An additional $12.5 million endowment will go to the Met as well.

That paper's obituary for Burke noted her art collection grew so large, it had to be stored in its own apartment, directly next to hers, in Manhattan.

The New York Times says Burke worked closely with both museums throughout her life, and in 2006 announced her intention to split her art between the two.

Included in the collection are sculptures, ceramics, prints, calligraphy and more.

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