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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Friends with lecturerCrop

Once at MIA: The ladies and the lecturer

His smile says he knows how this looks. All those years of studying, squinting at dusty texts, the asthma. And now the payoff: after his 1936 lecture on “oriental architecture” at the MIA, three lovely ladies seeking his attention. Walter Agard was the lucky lecturer. He was a professor of classics at the University of . . . Keep reading »


Art Inspires: Tom Weber on the Frank Lloyd Wright Hallway

Something has always been off. I grew up near Chicago, where the Art Institute is an institution. I’ve lived in St. Louis, where the St. Louis Art Museum is a beloved part of the even more beloved Forest Park. I’ve stood in line for the Louvre (and still had time to explore it). Yet my memories are rarely . . . Keep reading »


A life in photos: MIA visitors share their #tbt images

The images in the current exhibition “100+: A Photograph for Every Year of the MIA.” drawn from the museum’s collection, chronicle the century since the MIA was founded. Visitors were invited to share their own photographs and the stories behind them. Here are a few of these #tbt submissions, flashbacks to meaningful moments in their . . . Keep reading »

EX.1981-1; The Vikings; exhibition inauguration

Once at MIA: Vikings pride

A lot of people didn’t think this ship would float. The Hjemkomst was built on the prairie, for one thing, in northwest Minnesota, far from any ocean or even a respectable lake. In fact, it was built in a former potato warehouse in Hawley, near Moorhead, by a junior-high guidance counselor named Bob Asp. It took . . . Keep reading »


Once at MIA: Art on the move

In 1967, a semi-tractor trailer was loaded with a curated, museum-quality exhibition and sent out on the highways and byways of Minnesota. Occasionally, it would return to port, refill with art, and hit the blacktop again. Its 1968–69 exhibition of early American painters made 48 stops across the state, including the Red Lake Indian Reservation and Stillwater State . . . Keep reading »