Special Exhibits

The former packing floor of the mill, now Mill Commons, now features the museum store, cafe, changing exhibits, and visitor information. The exhibits are free to the public during regular museum hours and change two to three times per year.

Current Exhibit

The Builders Exhibit.

The Builders: Shaping Minnesota’s Architectural Landscape on the Color Line

August 8, 2019–October 27, 2019

This exhibit by the African American Interpretive Center of Minnesota (AAICM), showcases the social history of three black Minnesotans who impacted the architecture and design of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and encourages exhibit visitors to appreciate familiar Twin Cities buildings in a new way.

The exhibit features the following architects:

  • Clarence “Cap” Wigington: Lead architect on 90+ Saint Paul city projects, including the Highland water tower and Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Wigington was the first African-American municipal architect in the nation.
  • Casiville Bullard: A renowned stoneworker, Bullard first arrived in Minnesota to work on the third Minnesota State Capitol and contributed to some of the most iconic buildings in the Twin Cities, like the Foshay Tower, the Cathedral of Saint Paul and the governor’s residence.
  • William Hazel: Already a noted architect and stained glass artist when he moved to Saint Paul in 1887, Hazel worked as one of the few African-American designer-salesmen for Tiffany & Company. He worked on Saint Peter’s African Methodist Episcopal Church in Minneapolis and went on to teach at the Tuskegee Institute and Howard University. 


Upcoming Exhibit

“My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall’s Story”
Prints by Gaylord Schanilec

November 9, 2019–March 29, 2020

Explore artwork by internationally acclaimed artist Gaylord Schanilec that tells the story of the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River—known as Owamniyomni in Dakota and St. Anthony Falls in English—and the changes it has witnessed over 12,000 years.

Making prints with materials collected along the riverbank, Schanilec creates works of art that show the progression of the waterfall over thousands of years from present-day St. Paul to its current location, 15 miles upriver in downtown Minneapolis. The exhibit features images of Schanilec's artwork from the MNHS Press book "My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story" by author John Coy.