OUTSIDE THE GRAND CENTER for Arts & Culture in the heart of downtown New Ulm, I found a most unusual attraction—THE smallest MUSEUM in MINNESOTA.
And when I write “small,” I mean “small.” The enclosed box museum measures 31.75 inches wide x 32.75 inches high x 7.5 inches deep. Just enough space for artists, makers, collectors, culture buffs, writers and historians to create a mini exhibit.
I love this concept for its uniqueness and also its public accessibility. Posted outside The Grand, this museum is viewable 24/7. Similar museums, the Hoosesagg Museum (Pants Pocket Museum) and The Smallest Museum in St. Paul, inspired the one in New Ulm. The museum also reminds me of Little Free Libraries.
Local Clay Schuldt curated the first exhibit, “The Stacked Deck,” featuring select playing cards from decks in his long-time collection. His card showcase continues through April 23 and includes a take-home informational sheet explaining his exhibit. For Schuldt, these cards are not just for playing games. He views cards through multiple lenses of art, entertainment, history, storytelling, marketing and more.
This is what I love about creativity. Creatives bring their backgrounds, experiences and individual interpretations into their work. While I considered a deck of cards as just that, a deck of cards, Schuldt views them differently. And now, because of his featured collection and insights, I view cards from a wider perspective.
I look forward to seeing more of these mini exhibits outside The Grand. Creatives, collectors, historians and others are invited to submit museum proposals. You can do that by clicking here and then clicking on the PDF link. Guidelines call for applicants to consider how the proposed exhibit relates to the region, audience engagement and simplicity.
Selected artists receive a $50 stipend for a two-month exhibit.
Please check back one more time as I return inside The Grand Center for Arts & Culture, and two more particularly creative finds. If you missed my first post on The Grand, click here.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
What a fun thing! I absolutely love this idea.
I expected you would. I hope the idea catches on and we see more of these mini museums.
Yes what a fun and unexpected display that challenges an artist to think small and be concise sharing a collection. The Grand Center looks like a wonderful inviting place to enter and explore creativity.
You would enjoy The Grand, Sue. Inside and outside.
Such a unique idea, I love it!
I agree. I hope other communities pick up this idea and establish their own small museums.
Another fun and unique idea. I’m so glad to read about it. I do hope the idea catches on in other communities, just like the Little Free Libraries.
Hopefully it will.