Adopt a Painting

We are very excited to share an initiative that the Department of Paintings is undertaking. As curators, part of our role is to present artworks to the public in the best possible manner. The restoration and conservation of the paintings and frames in our collection is an ever-present concern. In a recent assessment of the paintings collection, we have identified a number of artworks that require assistance. We’ve developed the “Adopt-A-Painting” program as a way for our supporters to participate in the process of restoration.

On this site, you’ll find the candidates up for “adoption”. By happy accident, we have representatives for nearly every taste – from Northern Renaissance to Folk Art.

As part of the adoption process, you’ll receive the following:

  • A short dossier on the work you have chosen.

  • A visit to the conservation lab to see the work being treated, and an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the restoration process.

  • A color photo of the sponsor with the adopted object installed in the gallery.

  • A credit line on the gallery label giving recognition to the adoptive sponsor, good for five years.

As a valued supporter of our curatorial department and Mia, we thank you in advance for your consideration.

Thank you for your commitment to this museum!

Patrick Noon, Robert Cozzolino, and Heather Everhart


Midwest Art Conservation Center
Chief Conservator David Marquis

Little Crow, Henry H. Cross (United States, North America), 1863, before and after restoration:

cross_before cross_after

Little Crow, Henry H. Cross (United States, North America), 1863
Oil on canvas
The Julia B. Bigelow Fund, 71.48

This is a very easy process! Once you have chosen which painting you would like to adopt, the hard part is over!

You don’t have to adopt a work all on your own, either! You and friends, family, or other interested parties, can jointly adopt a work. Just let us know!

Here is the step-by-step process of the Adopt-a-Painting Program:

  1. Choose the painting or frame (or both!) that you would like to adopt.

  2. Contact the Paintings department (; 612-870-3111) and tell her which work you’ve chosen.

  3. Decide whether you would like to be credited - Anonymous? Your name(s)? In honor of someone?

  4. We will then send you a dossier packet on your selected work. This includes the condition report and treatment proposal, color prints of the work in its current “before” state, and relevant background information on the object.

  5. At some point during the treatment, we’ll invite you to the conservation lab for a meeting with the conservator and the curator.

  6. When the work is complete, you will be sent an invoice along with the treatment report and an offer for a photo shoot, if you’d like, with the painting when it returns to the galleries.

  7. Send your payment for the treatment and we’ll send you photographs of your cleaned, adopted painting, along with a formal acknowledgment of your tax-deductible contribution.

That’s it! Pretty painless!

If you have questions, please email or call the department and we’ll be happy to