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Paintings from Microsoft co-founder's private collection coming to Mia

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Claude Monet's impressionist works are among the highlights of a new exhibit going on display in Minneapolis Sunday.

They're part of the Minneapolis Institute of Art's (Mia) visiting "Seeing Nature" exhibit, which will be on display July 10 through Sept. 18, a news release says.

The 39 pieces come from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's private collection, and includes masterworks by Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, David Hockney, Edward Hopper and Georgia O'Keeffe, among others.

The pieces span 400 years, and exhibit the "rich and varied approaches in European and American art to the landscape genre," Mia says, with Monet's impressionist works being among the highlights.

Five of Monet's works are in the collection, including landscapes of the French countryside, and one of his legendary garden at Giverny, called "The Water-Lily Pond (1919)." (pictured at the top of the page.)

The Star Tribune says "The Water-Lily Pond" is the centerpiece of the exhibit – the "almost abstract" painting is more than 6-feet wide, and was Allen's first big art purchase.

Other works include paintings by Cézanne and other post-impressionists, which show a "more structured and theoretical approach," Mia says.

There's also a rare landscape piece by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt – it's called "Birch Forest (1903)" and will be the centerpiece in the exhibition's final gallery.

American painters – Thomas Moran, John Singer Sargent, Maxfield Parrish, Thomas Hart Benton, among others – are also featured to give the exhibit an American perspective on landscapes, Mia adds.

'See nature' campaign

In addition to the visiting exhibit, Mia has teamed up with the Mississippi Park Connection to celebrate the National Park Service's centennial.

Mia says 19 "museum-worthy" frames will be placed at some of the most "iconic and photogenic" locations in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Visitors are asked to "see nature" through the frames, and take photos to share on social media using the hashtags #parkconnection and #seeingnature. Mia will then aggregate the images on its website.

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