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Fresh perspectives on art, life, and current events. From deep dives to quick takes to insightful interviews, it’s the museum in conversation. Beyond the walls. Outside the frame. Around the world.

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Julie Buffalohead on tricksters, colonizers, and the state of Native art

In the world of Julie Buffalohead, coyotes wear tutus, host tea parties, and play with shadow puppets. They, and their fellow animals, are allegorical figures — stand-ins for subjects both overtly political and deeply personal. Now, one of Buffalohead’s anthropomorphic fables, called The Garden (a sly commentary on the controversy over a scaffold sculpture at the Minneapolis Sculpture 

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How the colors in “Hearts of Our People” enhance the exhibition

When Mia began designing “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists,” the first major exhibition of work by Native women artists, the museum wanted to avoid overt references to indigenous motifs, like zig-zag patterns or crosses. For a while, it even considered painting the walls plain white. Ultimately, the decision was made to go with three 

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A new exhibition reveals the Tudors’ complicated relationship with Islam

For the better part of a hundred years, the Tudor Room at Mia changed very little. It was the museum’s first period room, and everything about it—the paneling, the furniture, the stained-glass windows—evoked upper-class England in the 1600s. Now, a new tale is unfolding there. “Turkish Rugs on Tudor Walls: 16th-century Trade between England and the Islamic 

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Why we translated an exhibition’s labels into dozens of Native languages

Language matters. More than two years ago, when Mia was planning the exhibition “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists,” we wrote grants that said we would translate the labels for the artworks in the exhibition into a Native language. The exhibition includes the art of more than 115 Native women, from the past 1,000 years—it’s the first major 

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A summer reading list from Mia’s Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts

After decades of decline, empathy—or the desire for it, at least—is suddenly everywhere. From corporate culture to academia, the urge to instill empathy in a world divided, unequal, and burdened by conflict has become, well, urgent. The University of California, San Diego, plans to create a Center for Empathy in consultation with the Dalai Lama. And 

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How “empathy tours” help us see art—and each other—differently

Our tour group is standing in Mia’s African Art galleries facing a terracotta head. It’s from Nigeria and depicts a woman’s face, placid and peaceful, the creases in her neck suggestive of fatty tissue—a sign of wealth and prosperity. It was likely made to memorialize someone who died. But our tour guide does not linger 

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Mia has launched a new podcast—here’s why

Mia’s new podcast, The Object, began this spring with a fairly simple premise. Tell the curious, incredible, sometimes heartbreaking stories behind the people and objects that have made the museum what it is today. Only it’s not so simple. In telling the stories of objects, artists, and collectors, the museum emerges at the center of some 

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How Native women artists guided the creation of “Hearts of Our People”

By Teri Greeves When “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists” opens at Mia on June 2, it will be the largest exhibition of work by Native women artists ever assembled. It features objects made by 115 artists over a thousand years. It was a long time coming. I am the co-curator of the exhibition, 

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New exhibit reveals Minnesota’s golden age of fashion design

When Rose Boyd died, in 1917, Louise Weyerhauser noted the date in her diary. Weyerhauser was the daughter-in-law of a Minnesota timber baron. Boyd had been one of the high-end dressmakers she hired to design her clothes, for traveling or for balls or for just being seen around town—a fresh wardrobe every year. Boyd had 

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Claudia Rankine, at Mia, on using art to see bias

On May 9, Claudia Rankine spoke at Mia at an event co-presented by the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund and the museum’s Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts. Rankine is a professor of poetry at Yale University, in both the English and African American Studies departments. Her work includes the best-selling collection 

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