Minneapolis Institute of Art – HauntedHouses.com

Paranormal Overview

• Entities who have attach themselves to cherished favorite rooms or things traveled to the institute.

• Other entities are satisfied just to visit their items.

The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts is made up of one original elegant, neoclassical building, and two really interesting additions; one was designed and built in the Japanese minimalist style, and the other one was another whole wing, that blended in nicely with both of these styles…

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Minneapolis Institute of Art – HauntedHouses.com



Minneapolis Institute of Art
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Minneapolis Institute of Art web site * (888) MIA-ARTS (642-2787)

Admission is FREE every day, thanks to the generosity of MIA Members.

Monday – Closed
Tuesday through Saturday – Open 10-5pm
Sunday – Open 11-5pm


The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts can be found one mile south of downtown Minneapolis at the intersection of 3rd Avenue South and East 24th Street. It is two blocks west of the 35W Freeway, on 3rd Avenue South, between East 24th and 25th Street.


The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts is made up of one original elegant, neoclassical building, and two really interesting additions; one was designed and built in the Japanese minimalist style, and the other one was another whole wing, that blended in nicely with both of these styles.

This 130 year old Minneapolis Institute of the Arts has become a cultural anchor for the people of Minnesota. The institute has been very busy; “collecting, preserving, and making accessible outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures”. Starting with 800 works of art in 1915, The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts now is home to more than 83,000 objects of art, that span 5000 years of human history from cultures around the world. Some of these artistic creations are “world-famous,” and are an example of the “highest levels of artistic achievement”. The MIA has seven categories: Arts of Africa & the Americas; Contemporary Art; Decorative Arts, Textiles & Sculpture; Asian Art; Paintings; Photography and New Media; and Prints and Drawings.

Colonial and turn-of-the-century life and furnishings are on display in the United States section. Exhibits in The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, that I really want to see someday are several rooms; some carefully dismantled from actual American Colonial homes, a turn-of-the-century mansion and even a room from a 1908 Frank Lloyd Wright designed home.

The Connecticut Room – Shows life of the common man in the Colonial 1700s. The actual parlor of a New Hampshire Foxhill Farmhouse, including the fireplace, is in this exhibit, and sparsely furnished by reproductions. Simple chairs, tables, an adult bed in the corner, and a Bible box that are on display, would’ve been in this multipurpose room. As this Foxhill Farmhouse was a two story structure, it was made up of only 4 rooms; 2 downstairs and 2 upstairs.

The Charleston Room – Was the original drawing room, taken directly from a 1772 London Townhouse style home of the Colonial eighteenth century era, located in Charleston, South Carolina. This glorious townhouse was once owned by British Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Col. John Stuart, shows how the other half lived. The Stuart home was at 104 Tradd Street, Charleston, South Carolina.

This drawing room was located on the second floor, and was used by Col. and Mrs. John Stuart “for lavish entertaining and leisure pastimes.” It was a widely held ideal among the wealthy class of this era, that the family’s wealth and prestige be well presented through their living style, as well as their home and its furnishings.

Just about everything in this drawing room is “ornately decorated” in the Rococo or Chippendale style, named for the English cabinetmaker and designer, Thomas Chippendale. “It is noted for its sinuous lines and beautifully carved organic ornament”.

English-trained craftsman Ezra Waite created the outstanding quality of the Rococo carving over the fireplace and door frames, as well as the precise classical proportions of the Cypress woodwork. The carved wood, the upholstered, British style furniture, the oriental rug, and the chandelier also reflect the eighteenth century tastes of Col. John Stuart.

The Duluth Room – Was the actual 1904 living room, dismantled and moved from the mansion of William and Mina Merrill Prindle, who lived in Duluth, Iowa. What is most valuable about the carefully reassembled living room is its wood paneling, and its wooden furniture as well, that also originally was used by the Prindle family in their living room in the original house.

Well-known interior designer John Scott Bradstreet, who was hired by William and Mina Prindle, was impressed by Japanese decor. Bradstreet used a chemical process to mimic the Japanese practice of jin-di-sugi, creating the wood paneling’s lovely designs.

The hand-carved furniture was also inspired by Japanese designs, that celebrated nature. The table in the room on display is called the “lotus table,” carved to resemble an Asian water lily. Likewise, many other chairs and tables have carved designs of flowers and “imaginary creatures.”

The Frank Lloyd Wright Hallway – It was part of a Lake Minnetonka summer retreat home of Frank and Mary Little, and was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. This hallway once led to a bedroom. The hallway was a beautiful, private place to see a glorious view of the lake. The observation windows had large areas of clear glass, framed by colored glass, creating many intricate borders and geometric patterns.

Also of great interest is the display featuring Mabel H. MacFarlane’s roll of this very valuable Chinese wallpaper on the walls of a reconstructed room, copied from a 1800 mansion of a rich merchant. The original mansion still stands today.

The MacFarlane Memorial Room – This display room was recreated to exhibit the hand-painted Chinese wallpaper, bought in New York by Mabel H. MacFarlane, around 1800. This example of a wealthy New England merchant’s 1800 formal parlor is the perfect venue to display the beautiful, imported Chinese wallpaper, that depicts a Chinese family festival, and portrays nature, animals and everyday life as well.



With just 25 art enthusiasts banding together, The Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts was formed in 1883. By 1915, the organization had raised the funds to build The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, that opened its doors in 1915, with the highest goal of bringing the arts into the community of Minneapolis. McKim, Mead & White built the original, older 1915 part of this large and grand institute, creating an elegant, neoclassical structure.

My, how it has evolved and grown in 130 years! Minneapolis Institute of the Arts opened with 800 works of art, and over the years has collected more than 83,000 objects, from many places and cultures in our world, and from many time periods.

In 1974, a new addition, designed by Japanese minimalist architect Kenso Tange, expanded Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, making more space for displays that was badly needed for their ever expanding art collections to be shown.

However, the major renovation and expansion project at the institute was revealed, in June 2006, proudly opening the new wing designed by architect Michael Graves. Graves’ design was complementary to both the original neoclassic style and Tange’s Japanese minimalist style, while expanding exhibition space by 40 percent, and creating 34 new galleries. Plus, a new Lecture Hall, Photographs Study Room, Print Study Room were added, and an Art Research Library was moved into better quarters; more easily seen and accessed.


Entities can attach themselves to favorite rooms, homes or things, and can travel wherever their cherished possession is moved to by the living.

( Huguenot House Museum * Valentine’s Day Massacre bricks * Dayton Air Force Base Museum * McLellan-Sweat House * The Speed Museum )

The Connecticut Colonial Foxhill Farm Parlor Room was not only a space where people socialized, but also was the master bedroom, and where families slept together in front of the fireplace to keep warm, during the cold Connecticut winters.

While alive, some entities that so enjoyed the parlor from the Foxhill Farmhouse may have decided to attach themselves to the original wooden walls, and move with the carefully dismantled room; staying with it when it was reassembled in a display room, located at The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts.

Other entities are satisfied just to visit their items that they took pride in while living in this world, perhaps making sure that people are taking care of their favorite items.

( Lilly Library * Ashton Villa Mansion * Redwood Library & Anthenaeum * The Custer House )

Holding a British Commission Office, Colonel John Stewart and family probably went back to England or Canada; perhaps in a hurry, three steps ahead of the Patriots, leaving their special home in Charleston forever. Perhaps they like to visit their beautiful Drawing Room, and remember all their fond memories they had in this room.

Perhaps William and Mina Merrill Prindle may like to visit their unique living room, and admire the paneling and unique furniture, perhaps very pleased that the living can see how culturally advanced Duluth, Iowa could be!

Perhaps members of the Little Family still like to visit this hallway, and remember the view of the lake seen from its windows.

Perhaps Mabel MacFarlane and family like to visit the Chinese wallpaper on display, as she never got around to putting it up in her own home. Perhaps they would like to come and see the entire room as well, since it was called, “The MacFarlane Memorial Room.”


Extreme ‘cold spots’ are felt by many in these rooms mentioned above, especially in the Connecticut Room; Foxhill Farmhouse Parlor.

Because these special rooms are in a museum, and the living can’t sit on the chairs, etc., it seems that any unseen presences don’t feel the need to interact with visitors or the staff, as they all were used to entertaining people in these rooms, and they still have their special room in the evening hours when the museum is shut.



Visitors and staff have reported feeling extreme cold spots in these museum rooms, especially in The Connecticut Room.

The Minnesota Paranormal Society experienced frigid cold spots throughout, especially in the Connecticut Room. Despite efforts in EVP sessions, no contact was made with any unseen presences that may have been the cause of the cold spots. No logical or rational explanation was found though as to why this extreme areas of cold exist.


Perhaps, but it is not known for sure. Not enough activity has been experienced or captured on investigation equipment.

Only one of the generic tell-tale signs of unseen presences has been experienced and recorded; cold spots. Perhaps a psychic medium can give a fuller picture of what these cold spots are caused by. Spirits are more apt to feel more comfortable with a psychic medium, and come forward if the right person comes for a visit.



“Haunted Minnesota Twin Cities Metro Area” page on Minnesota Paranormal Society web site

Minneapolis Institute of Art – About the Museum * “Haunted Places in Minneapolis to Visit” by K.J. Castle, Demand Media, for USAToday Travel Tips

Minneapolis Institute of Art – “American Period Rooms”

Minnesota Haunted House Index * Paranormal Videos
Ghost Towns * Your Paranormal Road Trip to Milwaukee