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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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The making of Rembrandt: A new exhibition shows how ego and emulation led the artist

By Tim Gihring // In the 1620s, Rembrandt van Rijn and Jan Lievens were both in Leiden, the small town in the southern Netherlands where they had grown up. They were both teenagers, Rembrandt just 15 months older than Lievens. They had apprenticed with the same master painter. They shared models and possibly a studio. 

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Picturing tragedy: Artists have historically helped us confront crises—can they do it now?

By Gretchen Halverson // In the early 1900s, the sociologist Lewis Hine taught himself photography and began documenting the thousands of immigrants arriving every day in New York Harbor. Eventually, he turned his camera on the conditions of child workers, sometimes posing as a fire inspector or Bible salesman to get into factories. (This work is 

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Creative activity: Mia’s long, unlikely history with the Minnesota State Fair

By Diane Richard For years, Mia had a booth in the cavernous Education Building at the Minnesota State Fair, giving away things like cardboard fans, dubbed “Art on a Stick.” With the flick of a wrist, the eye-catching freebies kept fairgoers cool during those sticky hours at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, which of course is 

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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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