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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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Virtual vacations: Art for traveling without leaving home

By Tim Gihring If you’re staying close to home this summer, you’re not alone—and you’re not without options. Call it a vicarious vacation or an armchair adventure, or maybe this is how you prefer to travel, without the hassle of the real thing. From the collection at Mia, here are 10 places to escape to 

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The man who flew too close to the sun: Kehinde Wiley and the “father of aviation”

This is a transcript of The Object podcast, episode seven, first broadcast in June 2019. You can listen, subscribe, and find all-new episodes here, or wherever you listen to podcasts. In 2009, the painter Kehinde Wiley flies to Brazil. He’s there to make some portraits, in his signature style: painting brown-bodied men in the heroic 

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The artist Kenneth Tam on pandemic life and the rise in anti-Asian racism

By Gabriel Ritter The work of Kenneth Tam takes shape as video, sculpture, and photography that challenges our received ideas and societal norms regarding the male body as it relates to physical intimacy, sexuality, vulnerability, and private ritual. His practice involves the participation of strangers—often recruited through online message boards and forums such as Craigslist 

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Rebel voice: Inside the Fly Zine Archive, a chronicle of punk, queer, and DIY counterculture

By Ian Karp In 1988, after a life of relocation, the punk artist, writer, teacher, activist, and squatter Fly Orr—known as Fly—landed on New York City’s Lower East Side. Soon after, she moved into an East Village squat (an illegally occupied building, usually neglected, vacant, or abandoned) and became involved with the community art space 

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Secrets of the veiled lady: The passion and politics behind Mia’s marble masterpiece

By Tim Gihring On October 12, 1846, William Spencer Cavendish dropped by the studio of Raffaelle Monti, in Milan, Italy, to inquire about a lady. Cavendish was the 6th Duke of Devonshire, widely known in England as the “bachelor duke.” He had eight of the finest homes in Britain. He had 200,000 acres of British 

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Craftibaking: Let challah ease your pandemic anxiety

By Nicole LaBouff Maybe you are still getting through this pandemic by distractibaking. Or maybe you have decided that bread is over and have turned to knitting, crochet, and other crafts as a way to calm your nerves. If either—or none—of these applies, you might want to consider braiding challah, a practice that brings the 

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Our daily bread: The art of the ultimate comfort food

By Diane Richard I grew up on Butternut, the spongy white sandwich stuff that’s as far from artisanal bread as Tang (which I also grew up with) is from fresh-squeezed orange juice. So why did I just spend good hard cash to order flour from a local mill (thanks, Sunrise Flour Mill)? And why does 

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Confronting the legacy of looting: From colonialism to Nazis, Mia is reckoning with the ancient problem of plunder

By Tim Gihring In February 2007, a UNESCO official named Alain Godonou gave a speech in which he concluded, with some back-of-the-envelope math, that “90 to 95 percent of African heritage is to be found outside the continent in the major world museums.” Godonou is now the national director of museums in Benin, and his 

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To feel seen: Why representation matters

By Natalia Choi On the morning of the museum’s staff photo shoot, I wore my favorite bright yellow skirt. I joked with my boyfriend that it was my “yellow power” symbol, a way of drawing visibility to my Asian self so that I did not become invisible in the sea of whiteness. Growing up Asian 

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The kitchen dance: Watch an ode to women, work, and Mia’s modern masterpiece

By Diane Richard The Frankfurt Kitchen is an icon of modernist domestic architecture, a 75-square-foot ode to efficiency. It was designed in 1926, by Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, as an attempt to simplify the chores of cooking and cleaning up afterward, freeing women—whose chores they were and largely remain—to pursue their own economic and personal 

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