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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 art of war: For some Vietnam vets, making art of their experiences was the best way to make sense of them

When Jesse Treviño was 25, he was relearning how to paint using his left hand—the only hand he still had. He started by painting a bedroom wall black. Then, over the course of two years, he turned that wall into a mural of beer, cigarettes, and pain pills — the balms of life after war. He called 

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The art of Sister Corita: How a nun melded Pop with protest in the 1960s

Of all the images in “Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965–1975,” a gritty show of anti-war art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, some of the most appealing are by a woman named Corita Kent. One of her prints features a yellow submarine, sprouting flowers and emblazoned with the peace symbol, alongside the slogan 

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A Leading Voice for Growing Empathy Through Art Speaks to its Promise and Pitfalls

When Mia launched the Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts, in 2017, Elif Gokcigdem was among the project’s advisors. Born in Turkey, she became a historian of Islamic art and a scholar of museums themselves before focusing on building empathy. In her 2016 book, Fostering Empathy Through Museums, she introduced the notion that museums 

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The American War: “Artists Reflect” recounts the Vietnam War from the Southeast Asian perspective

The Vietnam War defined a generation of Americans in the 1960s and ’70s, from campus protests to disillusionment to, of course, death. More than 58,000 Americans died in the conflict. But for Southeast Asians, in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, the war was always different. It was longer, for one thing, having begun in Vietnam in 

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What a news printer, in a show of Vietnam-era art, says about our modern media age

When I was 23 years old, fresh out of journalism school, I went to work at The Associated Press bureau in Minneapolis. This was in 1995, just before the internet and email became widely accessible, and the AP still distributed the news — all the news that was fit to print — by printer. In 

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How we created a playlist for “Artists Respond,” an exhibition of Vietnam War-era art

By Esther Callahan The Vietnam War, which ended 44 years ago, may seem long ago and far away. But the damage remains acute: more than 58,000 Americans and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese dead, hundreds of thousands wounded, and a shattered faith in the United States government. In the end, after decades of trying to 

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Why the Vietnam War still matters: Connecting the art of the 1960s to our time

On the morning of January 28, 1976, Kim Jones stepped into his combat boots, pulled a nylon stocking over his face, and slathered himself in mud. He strapped an unruly lattice of sticks — held together by twine and electrical tape — to his back, as though he’d been lying on a forest floor for 

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Meadow Muska on photographing illicit love, the women’s land movement, and why she’s come forward

By Casey Riley and Tim Gihring Meadow Muska was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1952, and grew up in the nearby suburb of Roseville. She earned a degree in photography from Ohio University and eventually got a job as a staff photojournalist with a small-town newspaper in Oregon. It didn’t last long. She was 

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Compassion over politics: Jonathan Herrera Soto’s “In Between / Underneath (Entremedio / Por Debajo)”

Do not dismiss Jonathan Herrera Soto’s exhibition “In Between / Underneath (Entremedio / Por Debajo)” as yet another political commentary. The exhibition, which is on view in Mia’s U.S. Bank Gallery through November 3, consists of three print series: Love Poems/Poemas de Amor, Untitled/Sin titulo, and In Between / Underneath (Entremedio / Por Debajo). In each of these works, 

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A house of awe: Joe Horton on his “Vessel” film, modern alchemy, and the future of museums

Joe Horton grew up in Milwaukee, studied psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, and eventually gravitated to the Twin Cities, where his mix of music, theater, visual art, and philosophy has attracted a cohort of steady collaborators. (Horton would call it a collective if that didn’t sound so precious.) He is currently the artist-in-residence 

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