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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Magical Thinking

Why magical thinking still prevails—and it’s not a bad thing

Most of us adults think of ourselves as rational. We no longer believe, if we ever did, that Wile E. Coyote can walk off a cliff—and keep walking. That we never have to grow up. But in many ways, we don’t. We are creatures of magical thinking, even as adults. Even in the supposedly über-rational . . . Keep reading »


Italian style in Minnesota: A brief, rakish history

The new exhibition “Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945,” in its opening week at the MIA, showcases the post-war clothing designers that helped glamorize a rebuilding nation: Gucci and Versace and Valentino and all the other vowels. It can feel, intentionally, like a glittering guest visiting from somewhere more exotic. But Italian style has been strutted in Minnesota . . . Keep reading »


How to dress for Halloween as your favorite MIA artwork

You could don a hockey mask or paint yourself in zombie blood. Or you could class things up a bit. Go as your favorite MIA artwork. With a few clicks and overnight delivery you could give the kids who treat-or-treat at your door something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives—yes, a full-size candy . . . Keep reading »

Opening of the Bell Period Rooms

What are period rooms, really?

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about period rooms. In fact, a small group of us at the MIA have been thinking about the period rooms at the museum for some time now: a multi-year initiative to understand how they came about, how people think about them, and how we might engage them going forward. . . . Keep reading »


Magic, mystery, and wrapping paper: Inside the Ely studio of MAEP artist Andy Messerschmidt

Last winter, I drove up to Ely, near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, to hang out with Andy Messerschmidt, whose MAEP exhibition, “Delta Delta Delta Force,” will be on view at the MIA from October 17 to  December  28. It was 10 below zero, but a beautifully clear day for a Sunday drive. I . . . Keep reading »