MIA Stories

  • MIA STORIES is the museum beyond the walls, outside the frame, at the lively intersection of life and art. From behind-the-scenes buzz to inspiring connections with current events, it’s the museum in conversation.

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Gallery Club; Paul Revere Silver

Once at MIA: Unlocking American history

When the fourth graders in the MIA’s Saturday morning Gallery Club were told they’d be discussing Paul Revere, perhaps the wide-eyed young man on the left with arms folded didn’t expect it would include talk of tea parties. The students had most likely read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s dramatic re-telling “of the midnight ride of Paul . . . Keep reading »

Conforti and Sachs

Once at MIA: The elegant ’80s

Someone give them a glass of chardonnay. By the 1980s, when this photo was taken at the MIA in the Charleston Drawing Room, the ‘Tute, as people called it then, was grappling with how to dismantle crusty notions of art as an upper-class activity, the museum as sacrosanct, even as its leaders often held exclusive . . . Keep reading »

2012-06-03 23.51.52

Mind in motion: The MIA’s Leonardo show traces Scott Olson’s inventive impulse

Plunging into the MIA’s Target Galleries to see Leonardo da Vinci’s incredible Codex Leicester, on view through August 30, visitors come to a room containing works by a Minnesota boy born five centuries later. The connection might at first appear to be water: the codex pages show Leonardo struggling to understand the properties of water, while . . . Keep reading »

Living Rooms Project

A period room evolves: The MacFarlane Room’s 40-year odyssey

The MIA’s period rooms are tucked in the back of the museum’s third-floor galleries, spaces you can walk into and feel enveloped in a “moment in time.” But period rooms change, even after the museum first installs them. The MacFarlane Room has evolved dramatically over the past 40 years, as I came to understand while . . . Keep reading »

Family of Man

Once at MIA: A voyeur’s view of life on Earth

Many baby boomers will remember The Family of Man, MoMA’s epic coming-out party for humanistic photography, a voyeur’s view of life on Earth in the decisive postwar moment. It was a cinematic global group hug conceived to illustrate our essential oneness and to soothe a generation anxiously adjusting to the new political order that emerged in the Atomic Age. Its archetypal . . . Keep reading »