Mrs. Grace Morrison Kimball was the daughter of Dorilus Morrison (1814-97), who came to Minneapolis from Maine in 1855. He became the first mayor of the city of Minneapolis in 1867. The following year, in 1868, he built an imposing Italianate-style house, called Villa Rosa, on the present site of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. After Mr. Morrison's death in 1910, his son, Clinton Morrison, donated the land on which his father's house stood to the Society of Fine Arts to be used for an art museum. Like many of the wealthy citizens of the Twin Cities in the 19th century, Dr. and Mrs. Kimball traveled to Europe to see the ancient and modern historical sites. While on a trip to Rome in 1887, the Kimballs commissioned portrait busts from the sculptor Orazio Andreoni.