In the months leading up to the opening of his MAEP exhibition “Verbatim,” St. Paul–based artist Allen Brewer collected short written descriptions of artwork by MIA visitors. Paying close attention to the words in each description, he took them back to his studio to inspire new paintings, drawings, and sculptures. The number of works in the gallery will increase during the show, as he adds new works of art every two weeks. “Verbatim” proves to be a fascinating study of the differences between seeing and writing, and an exploration of the limits of language as they relate to describing art objects and museum experiences.

Allen Brewer still needs your help! Even though “Verbatim” is installed, he is asking visitors to continue to describe their works of art in the MIA’s collection. You'll find blank forms throughout the museum on which you can write about your favorite sculpture, painting, drawing, or photograph. Or simply e-mail your descriptions directly to, or download the form: Allen Brewer Verbatim Form.


Nick Cave (2010). On view in G275.

A life-sized human form–a sculpture–is completely covered in patchwork crocheted pieces. All colors present, the pieces sizes of doilies or square oven mitts, lacey in detail and full of flower patterns. Only the hands and heels of the black plastic-mold human form are visible under the crocheted work, which fits like a claustrophobia –inducing, homemade grandmotherly sock. Starting at mid-torso on the body, metal poles (1/4 in diameter) poke out from the body. At the end of the curving poles are 40 or so colorful, antique toys– jack-in-the-boxes, bells, drums-–all small scary garish children’s instruments. it feels like a circus and a grandma’s living room. -Alyssa Lund describing “Soundsuit” by Nick Cave, 1/17/13

Adaptation II

Jamie Okuma, shoes designed by Christian Louboutin (2012). On view in G261.

High heeled shoes: Vivid colors of blue like the sky, red like fire, black + white like a checkerboard. Made of glistening, tiny little, blue gold, +white beads, red feathers, tan leather, and gold sequins on a 6” high heeled shoes with 3”platform und the toes. Very sparkly. The feel like fun. -Anonymous describing “Adaptation II” by Jamie Okuma, shoes designed by Christian Louboutin, Paris, 2/24/13

Two Women

Eugene Carrière (1895). On view in G359.

In a large oil painting, two women are portrayed. The artist used muted reds and browns. The first woman is in the foreground, sitting & leaning to the left of the frame, with her head resting in the crook of her fist and thumb. She is looking sort of sadly at something to the right. The woman directly behind her is also looking at the mysterious thing to the right. The second woman appears directly to the left of the first. The whole painting is sort of obscured, like you’re looking at them through a dusty window. It’s contemplative & sort of sad. Beth Ireland describing “Two Women” by Eugene Carrière, 1/17/13

Portrait of Paris von Güttersloh

Egon Schiele (1918). On view in G377.

Young accountant-looking man in chino-type pants + oxford shirt. Rust + orange + brown/ red w/ gold hints is color scheme. He is sitting on a small sofa type chair, hands up @ shoulder level His eyes look a bit dazed + wild. The texture of the brush strokes is a little frenetic energy. His body + clothes are all outlined in black adding a crisp pronounced young energy. His ocean blue tie matches the chaotic energy that seems to border on the edges of passion, frustration, youthful vigor, and anger. Cheryl Dornfeld describing “Portrait of Paris von Güttersloh” by Egon Schiele, 1/17/13


Rembrandt (1666). On view in G266.

This work is hauntingly emotional. The face of complete & utter despair. It is primarily browns & blacks & tans & white: This palette highlights the fact that Lucretia’s Night gown is blood stained from her suicidal stabbing. You can fairly see the life’s blood draining from her in her final moments. It is extremely powerful emotionally Sandra describing “Lucretia” by Rembrandt, 1/17/13