Verso: Unveiling the Backstory

Current Issue

Announcing Verso 12

Celebrating our 100th Birthday Year, this issue invites you to experience:

  • A visiting masterpiece by Raphael.
  • A behind-the-scenes look at ancient Chinese bronzes.
  • Our community’s welcome to Eros, a monumental sculpture to love.
  • A Birthday Year commission by photographer Cinthya Soto.
  • Plus, a surprising look at Jade Mountain. (Please pass the salt!)


Check it out, share the love—and tell your friends!


Verso: Mia’s award-winning digital publication

Verso gives you backstage access to Mia. You’ll interact with artwork in ways that take you far beyond what’s possible in the galleries, with 360-degree rotations, pinch-and-zoom details, artful games, and more. You’ll hear from experts who are passionate about the art they create, curate, acquire, donate, fund, research, and restore. And you’ll find out about how the museum inspires our community to create, participate, and revel in art. Verso digs deeper, to bring you the good stuff.

Why Verso? “Verso” describes the flipside of works of art on paper and canvas. To us, Verso means bringing the MIA to life in a whole new way.

Generous support for Verso provided by The Rum Fund and an anonymous donor.

2013 winner of the International Design Communications Award best museum app, the silver Muse Award from the American Alliance of Museums, and the American Graphic Design Award.

Verso Archive

Click on the images below to access a web viewer for all past issues.


  • An ice dragon sculpture surprise.
  • Springtime insights from a pair of Art in Bloom perennials.
  • The best of the Habsburgs, featuring the curators’ top 7 picks.
  • A pop-up b-day surprise masterpiece by Vermeer.
  • ArtStories, the MIA’s new way to engage with art.
  • Plus, 1940s-era youth, getting medieval in the galleries.

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Verso 10

  • 100th Birthday Year surprises for all!
  • The mystery of how the Tibetan sand mandala stayed put.
  • Photographer David Goldblatt, behind and before the lens.
  • Deep focus by Google Art Project on masterpiece paintings.
  • Local makers who gave the Birthday Candle its dimple.
  • Plus, a “noble monument of progress” is founded in 1915.

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Verso 9

  • Dutch framing techniques reimagined by one of the MIA’s extraordinary framers.
  • A video of the “wave engine” in action.
  • A dishy “Marks of Genius” tour with Mequitta Ahuja, featured artist.
  • Curators’ snaps from Southeast Asia’s contemporary art and archaeology hubs.
  • Plus, a “candid camera addict,” c. 1937.

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Verso 8

  • Glorious drawings from “Marks of Genius,” the summer’s special exhibition.
  • Icky pics of mold spores, a scourge of pastel drawings.
  • Highlights of the year’s acquisitions, with the curators’ reasons for acquiring them.
  • A Carleton grad tackles Soutine’s Carcass of Beef, flanked by Rembrandt’s Flayed Ox.
  • Art Team portraits that reveal the creativity of youth today.
  • Plus, life drawing, then and now, and more.

Web Viewer


Verso 7

  • Mesmerizing works by Ann Hamilton, MIA artist in residence.
  • Wisdom from Greta Stryker, who turned in her security badge after nearly 40 years.
  • An interactive look at the evolution of Matisse’s Large Pink Nude, as told by a descendent of the original owner.
  • Two acquisitions that celebrate Modernist sculptor William Edmondson.
  • A steamy affair: Dogwood Coffee at the MIA. In lieu of smell-o-vision, video will have to do!
  • Plus, thriving hives on the rooftops, lots of original insights, and more.

Web Viewer


Verso 6

  • Sacred: Hear Liz Armstrong describe two of her favorite installations. And watch MACC’s Nicole Grabow clean and reassemble a baroque water basin.
  • Tune your ears to birdsong in Imperial Nature. Can you ID the tweeter?
  • Catch Shawn McCann’s sidewalk masterpieces and “Matisse” mural.
  • Go deep on Beckmann‘s symbolism for Blind Man’s Buff. Plus, see it flicker!

Web Viewer


Verso 5

  • Take a virtual tour of the MIA’s newly redesigned African galleries.
  • Eavesdrop on a conversation between contemporary photographer Sarah Jones and curator David Little.
  • See new imaging techniques that are changing the way museums and conservators interact with art.
  • Take a peek at the life of an art courier, and find out where the MIA’s globetrotting art has gone.

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Verso 4

  • Travel to China’s mountains to see breathtaking works by Miao artists.
  • Learn how the Monuments Men rescued a Renaissance bust from the Nazis.
  • Listen as a collector and curator of Japanese art describe the thrill of the hunt.
  • Find out what the buzz on the rooftop is all about.
  • Meet a master crate builder and see how the pros do it.
  • Enter the nerd cave with toy collector Andy DuCett.
  • Hear an expert tackle George Morrison’s Collage IX: Landscape.
  • See how LED lights put artwork in the galleries in a whole new light.

Web Viewer


Verso 3

  • Discover the story of a missing curator—by Mark Dion.
  • See what’s hidden inside a Boli doll from Mali. CT scans and more!
  • Get a curator-led tour of the Prairie School gem, the Purcell-Cutts House.
  • See before-and-afters of a special paintings conservation project.
  • Watch Art Team youth interview Dessa—and sample her concert.
  • Pinch-and-zoom beautiful contemporary glass and hear how the gift happened.
  • Match the object and florals in this Art in Bloom matching game.
  • See a custom typeface by Chank with its roots at Mia.

Web Viewer


Verso 2

  • Geolocate water vessels made over a span of 2,500 years.
  • See how a researcher discovered a portrait’s Tudor identity.
  • Compare contemporary stiletto artwork with Native moccasins.
  • Decode the symbols of a Pre-Raphaelite painting.
  • Hear a curator describe an extraordinary Samurai helmet.
  • Revisit the collection captured by now-extinct photographic methods.
  • Pick up Elizabethan-era recipes to try at home.
  • Watch a dance by James Sewell inspired by a Degas sculpture.

Web Viewer


Verso 1

  • See China’s Terracotta Warriors, in glorious detail.
  • Be guided through a mesmerizing, mystifying Dürer engraving.
  • Meet Ivan Day, 21-century curator of 15th-century culinary arts.
  • Explore a cabinet of curiosities, number by number.
  • Watch archival video of an African mask in action.
  • Get a preview of “More Real”—straight from the curator’s mouth.
  • See how local artists transform public benches.

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