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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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“In Our Hands” turns the camera around, puts Native photographers in control

By Tim Gihring

In the fall of 2020, a group of fourteen mostly Native artists and writers met online to discuss a potential exhibition of Native photography, and they agreed on some basic guidelines. Honor the work of elder artists, while including contemporary photographers. Feature the voices of Native artists and scholars in the  ...

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Dyani White Hawk, artist and frequent Mia partner, wins “genius” grant

Dyani White Hawk, a Sičáŋǧu Lakota artist in Minnesota, has been named a MacArthur Fellow, one of just 20 this year. The so-called “genius” fellowship honors innovation across the arts and sciences with an $800,000, no-strings-attached grant. White Hawk has collaborated with Mia on numerous projects over the years, notably the “Hearts of Our People: Native  ...

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How Bank of America helped restore a 400-year-old masterwork at Mia

By Tim Gihring

In 2020, Mia acquired three monumental paintings—all from the 1620s, all kept in the palace of the powerful Barberini family in Rome for more than 300 years. But until recently, the museum could only show one. The others required restoration. Now, thanks to a generous grant from the Bank of America Art  ...

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Ken Matsubara on creating “Chaos,” the beauty of Buddhist art, and knowing when to let go

By Tim Gihring

Ken Matsubara recently stood before his most personal and certainly largest work, a 36-foot-long painting now installed in a gallery at Mia, remembering how it almost didn’t happen. In 1981, Matsubara was in his early 30s, struggling to define himself as an artist, when his mentor died, leaving him with a  ...

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Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month with a serape made more than two centuries ago

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15) celebrates the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. It also honors  the independence days of many Latin American countries, including Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Chile. Mia is marking the month with the display  ...

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Mia’s Latin American art collection comes into the light

By Tim Gihring

When Valéria Piccoli became Mia’s first curator of Latin American art, late last year, she had few expectations of the collection she was taking over. Begun in the 1940s, it had accreted haphazardly, shaped by trends—like the midcentury enthusiasm for pre-Columbian art—and pieces inherited by donors. In recent times, almost none of  ...

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55 and better: Vitality Arts exhibition reveals latent talents and lasting friendships

For the past year, several different groups of older adults—men and women from the Twin Cities—have gotten together to make art with Mia. Drawings, paintings, assemblages, one quilt and a video—fifty-six works altogether. Now, in Mia’s Community Commons gallery, the work is on display, recognizing not just the artistic but the social, physical, and emotional  ...

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Recently installed Barberini artworks elevate Mia’s Baroque gallery

By Tim Gihring

Two years ago, Mia acquired four Italian paintings from the 1620s, all commissioned by the Barberini family at the height of their power and patronage. Until now, only two have been on display: a monumental depiction of the Archangel Michael defeating Satan, by Cavaliere d’Arpino, and a smaller but highly original  ...

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Last chance to see Caravaggio at Mia, though the story will remain

By Tim Gihring

Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio was so in-demand in his lifetime—despite “his tendency to solve problems with a sword,” as Mia curator Rachel McGarry puts it—that he literally killed a man and the Church still commissioned his work. But when he died at 38, possibly also by the sword, his appeal went with  ...

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New “Shiva and Parvati” painting: A small window into the vast world of Indian art

By Coco Banks

One of Mia’s most recently acquired objects is Shiva and Parvati with Companions, painted around 1810 in northern India: brilliantly colorful, full of minute details, and only slightly larger than a piece of letter paper. Currently on view in the museum’s rotunda (gallery 230), the painting is one of several acquired  ...

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