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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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Rebels in the middle: The fierce independence of “Art from Chicago”

For most of the 20th century, Chicago was the second-largest city in the United States, lagging only New York. The Windy City. The City of Big Shoulders. The Second City, as it’s still sometimes called, despite losing that title to Los Angeles in 1984. But of all the ways that Chicago was similar to New 

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Newsflash: Was van Gogh’s obscurity just a myth?

The epitome of the unappreciated artist, Vincent van Gogh is famous for missing out on the fame and fortune that followed his death. Except that isn’t true, according to new research that places 10 of his paintings in an exhibition so prominent it was visited by the French president in 1890, four months before van 

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Introducing “Riddle Mia This,” the museum’s new escape-room app

When I went to my first escape room, I was a little unclear about what exactly I was supposed to do. As two experienced puzzlers began to scour the room for clues, on bookshelves and in drawers, I looked around wondering when someone was going to tell me how to help. Had I been on 

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Art museums have struggled to diversify—what will it take to change that?

Competing for jobs is tough, time-consuming, and an emotional rollercoaster. It can be difficult to maintain a positive attitude when you work hard at it but still run into barriers and rejections. I was recently in that position myself—once again—and now it’s what I think about every day as Mia’s first Diversity and Inclusion Manager. 

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5 takeaways from Mia’s “Make Design Weird Again” talk

Last Thursday, a crowd gathered at Mia for a panel discussion called “Make Design Weird Again.” Moderated by Charles K. Youel of ARTCRANK, it was part of Design Night with AIGA Minnesota and featured five Twin Cities creatives. As people filed in, Youel gave a shout-out to his wife, who’d just returned from a synchronized 

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On basketball and art museums: Why seeing yourself on the wall matters

I like to play basketball at the school near my house. There’s a soccer field, some baseball diamonds, a playground, and a basketball court. A lot of the time, I’ll go there after working at Mia. It gives me something to think about besides photographs and art history, since that’s mostly what I do, as 

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Indigo expertise: Malian artist Aboubakar Fofana examines Mia’s West African textiles

This past May, Mia welcomed Malian artist Aboubakar Fofana. He was at the museum to discuss a potential exhibition in Mia’s Charleston period rooms, in 2020. But while he was here, he was shown the museum’s West African textile holdings, and he offered his expertise on how they were made. Fofana first fell in love with calligraphy and was 

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New frame of mind: Monet’s grainstack gets a fresh look in a new frame

What do you notice when you look at a painting? Perhaps the composition strikes you first—the shapes, the colors, the lines. You might notice the depth created by thick or thin brush strokes. Then your field of vision zooms out and you notice the painting’s frame. Is it simple and unadorned, drawing attention not to 

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A one-of-a-kind wedding at Mia

Last year, when Mia was installing its Qing gate at the entrance to the museum’s Chinese galleries, Joyce Sun visited with her father. They were planning Sun’s wedding, still nailing down the venue, when her father noticed the gate. It came from Shanxi, a neighboring province of Shandong, the province where he and his family 

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The Paper Chase: A curator’s obsession with paper in paintings

Curator Rachel McGarry, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, explores her obsession with spotting works on paper in paintings.
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