Director and President
Kaywin Feldman has been the Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) since 2008. Feldman oversees the museum’s staff of 250, its fine-art collection of some 87,000 objects, its 473,000-square- foot facility, and an annual operating budget of $30 million. She is also the current board chair of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and past president of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD).
During her tenure, the MIA has strengthened its national presence with ambitious special exhibitions, including More Real?: Art in the Age of Truthiness (the MIA’s first blockbuster contemporary art exhibition), Rembrandt in America, and China’s Terracotta Warriors. She also led the creation of a contemporary art department, the reinstallation and reconception of the museum’s African art galleries, the introduction of a dedicated children’s café and artisanal coffee shop, and the launching of innovative programming such as the Sound.Art.MIA concert series.
Kaywin has also overseen innovative curatorial projects such as Globalization, the first in a series of themed installations creatively combining contemporary and historic artworks from all areas of the permanent collection. Supper with Shakespeare: The Evolution of English Banqueting enlisted renowned English culinary historian Ivan Day to enliven the MIA’s period Tudor Room with a full banquet of replica 16th- and 17th-century culinary delights crafted by Day. New Pictures, an ongoing exhibition series, exposes emerging photographers pushing the boundaries of the medium.
Under Feldman’s leadership, the collection has been strengthened through strategic acquisitions and gifts, including Johann Friedrich Baer’s silver masterpiece cup, a Naskapi caribou hide hunting coat, Edgar Degas’s oil and pastel monotype Winding River, Theodore Rousseau’s View of Mont Blanc, and Bill Viola’s video Three Women. Known for its Asian art collection, Feldman helped negotiate a major gift of nearly 1,700 Japanese art works spanning 10 centuries.
Feldman has also served as an exhibition curator and is currently curating The Habsburgs: Rarely Seen Masterpieces from Europe’s Greatest Dynasty, a major traveling exhibition organized with the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the High Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In 2009, she curated In Pursuit of a Masterpiece, a companion exhibition to The Louvre and the Masterpiece that showcased the finest artworks from the MIA’s permanent collection.
Feldman previously served as director of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, in Tennessee, from 1999 to 2007, and received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Memphis College of Art in 2008. Feldman worked on PhD thesis research from 1991 through 1993, receiving a fellowship from the Ministry of the Flemish Community. Kaywin received an MA in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London, an MA from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London, and a BA (summa cum laude) in classical archaeology from the University of Michigan. Kaywin’s specialties are Dutch and Flemish art and Greek and Roman archaeology.
In the Media
- The Wall Street Journal: "A Big Version of a 'weeHouse'"
- Star Tribune: "Art's Minnesota twins"
- Minnesota Monthly: "Prize Acquisition"
- ARTnews: "Art Museum Directors, Unite"
- MPR: "MIA Director appointed to national post"
- MinnPost: "'What they're reading' -- Kaywin Feldman"