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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Once at MIA_swordsplowshares

Once at MIA: War and peace

Nothing small was ever going to be performed on the steps of the MIA, the neoclassical columns perfect for tales of Samson and Delilah, gods and their oracles. In July 1919, it was Swords and Plowshares, an epic morality play about war and peace, that was staged out front by the Civic Players of Minneapolis, . . . Keep reading »

Rosa Bonheur painting

Once at MIA: Behind the scenes in broad daylight

June 14, 1969, seems to have been a warm, sunny day in Minneapolis. Which was lucky, given that the MIA chose to uncrate Rosa Bonheur’s Horse Fair, perhaps her most famous painting, outside the museum. It’s not the usual protocol—then or now. But what a wonderfully strange insider experience for the gentleman and young boy . . . Keep reading »


Tales from the script: Secrets in the MIA’s collection

If your Italian fails you while trying to read Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester, on display through August 30 at the MIA, it’s not you. Leonardo created his notebook with mirror writing, transcribing his sentences backward and right to left. Yet recognizing the trick behind Leonardo’s coded script requires only the slightest Sherlockian effort compared . . . Keep reading »

Richard Avedon 1970

Once at MIA: Avedon sits in

It looks innocent enough: Richard Avedon, the celebrated New York fashion photographer, sitting cross-legged on the gallery floor surrounded by young admirers. But something tells me they are not talking f/stops and Tri-X. It is, after all, the summer of 1970. The counter-culture is coming down from the high of Woodstock, President Nixon has escalated . . . Keep reading »


Links to Leonardo: A self-guided tour of the galleries reflects the master’s life and work

This summer, the MIA has Leonardo on the brain. The exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci, the Codex Leicester, and the Creative Mind,” now on display in the Target Galleries, features the master’s original notes and drawings along with contemporary examples of invention and visionary design. But there are links to da Vinci’s life and work throughout . . . Keep reading »