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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Depression Boy crop

Introducing “Once at MIA”—a year of amazing images and surprising stories from the archives

His sweater, torn to shreds, gives him away. An urchin, a ragamuffin, a child of the Great Depression. He is William Moloney from northeast Minneapolis, according to the caption, age 11. What could he relate to in the marble temple to the arts? In 2015, as the MIA celebrates a century of art and wonder, . . . Keep reading »

Liz brooch

Love, Italian style: The infamous “scandale” behind Elizabeth Taylor’s Bulgari brooch

Midway through the exhibition “Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945,” up through January 4 at the MIA, the gallery called Hollywood on the Tiber spotlights the role of films and celebrities in popularizing Italian fashion worldwide in the 1950s and ’60s. Many of the objects in this section boast high-profile provenances, having been worn by Audrey . . . Keep reading »


A Short Glossary of Italian Style

To fully immerse yourself in “Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945″ (at the MIA through January 4), or if you simply want to dress with a little more pizzazz (that’s Diana Vreeland, not Italian), you’ll need to know the language. Not all of it, but a few key words that unlock the mystery of looking like . . . Keep reading »

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 »