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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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Conservation connection: MN couple brings art back to life

Art conservation is essential to Mia’s mission, preserving art and allowing it to be shown. Consider supporting the museum’s conservation work in your year-end giving. Learn more about our Art Champions. By Tim Gihring // Kevin and Leela Scattum were meeting with a couple of curators from Mia when Pujan Gandhi, the museum’s Jane Emison  ...

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Shifting the perspective: Revisiting history through art

By Alexandra Buffalohead

I am honored to share some insights into the miniature curatorial project I’ve curated in Gallery 261 of Mia’s Americas collection. Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Associate Curator of Native American Art, had invited me to curate a case for an upcoming rotation of objects in the galleries. Jill has worked with other talented artists  ...

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Mia’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

This year, with supply-chain worries shaking up shopping lists, rest assured the Store at Mia is stuffed with inspired, unique gifts for all ages and interests, online and in person. (Mia members save 10 percent by the way, and you can gift memberships as well.) We asked museum staff—among the store’s best customers—for their top picks. Gretchen  ...

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“Unexpected Turns” unravels the long history of American basketry

By Diane Richard

Basket weaving gets a bad rap. Baskets are “decorative arts and functional objects,” says Nicole LaBouff, associate curator of textiles at Mia. “Because of that, they tend to be overlooked and downplayed as women’s work, or ‘craft.’” The exhibition “Unexpected Turns: Women Artists and the Making of American Basket Weaving Traditions,”  ...

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How unspeakable tragedy inspired the art of “The Nazi Drawings”

By Tim Gihring

In May 1960, Adolf Eichmann was abducted in Buenos Aires by agents of Mossad, Israel’s secret service. He was interrogated, drugged, and put on a plane to Jerusalem, where he stood trial nearly a year later for orchestrating the deaths of millions of Jews in the Nazis’ so-called Final Solution. The  ...

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The surprising, creative legacy behind “The Contemporary Print”

By Tim Gihring

When Cole Rogers and Carla McGrath founded the Highpoint Center for Printmaking, in Minneapolis, in 2001, the plan was always to focus on three things: education, community access, and the “pro shop,” where prominent artists could work with Rogers, a master printer, to see their visions roll off the presses and  ...

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With love: Leslie Barlow’s collaborative portraits

By Keisha Williams

Won’t You Celebrate with Me won’t you celebrate with me what i have shaped into a kind of life? i had no model. born in babylon both nonwhite and woman what did i see to be except myself? i made it up here on this bridge between starshine and clay, my  ...

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How Mia’s (re)new(ed) galleries for the Art of Islamic Cultures came together

By Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers

What is “Islamic” about Islamic art? Is there even such a thing as Islamic art? These questions are increasingly debated in the museum world and in academia. But they are not merely academic. Starting on September 23, Mia is opening two new “Islamic art” galleries on the museum’s second floor. One  ...

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Piotr Szyhalski on drawing his 225-day chronicle of 2020, now a book

By Tim Gihring

On March 24, 2020, the day before Minnesota’s shelter-in-place order, Piotr Szyhalski went into his basement studio, took out a sheet of paper, some ink, and a brush, and began drawing. When he finished, he had an image of a severed head, plants sprouting from the eye sockets, with the hand-lettered  ...

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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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