The Arts Collection
This collection consists of mainly of oversized and folio volumes collected by the library many years ago. It is a legacy of the early days of the library when Central Library also housed the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts and the Minneapolis School for Fine Arts – now the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) and the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design. Many of the volumes are rare, some even unique to this library in North America.
The collection contains several thousand volumes and spans nearly all types of art, including drawings, etchings, woodcuts, ceramics, glass and metal work, furniture, textile arts, sculpture, painting and architecture. The focus is on European and American art, but there are also many fine examples of Asian art. All time periods are reflected, but the publications date mainly from the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. Works in the collection are notable for the high quality of their illustrations, particularly in the folio volumes.