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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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Why are we so fascinated by ancient Egypt?

Most Americans couldn’t name the current president of Egypt and many would be hard-pressed to name anything that’s happened in Egypt in the last 30 years—or maybe 3,000 years. (It’s Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, and plenty has happened.) But they know about mummies and pyramids and King Tut, and probably even hieroglyphs—an obsolete form of writing from 

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New frame of mind: Monet’s grainstack gets a fresh look in a new frame

What do you notice when you look at a painting? Perhaps the composition strikes you first—the shapes, the colors, the lines. You might notice the depth created by thick or thin brush strokes. Then your field of vision zooms out and you notice the painting’s frame. Is it simple and unadorned, drawing attention not to 

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Spirited away: The incredible ghosts of Yoshitoshi

Owariya Yonejiro was born in 1839 in old Edo, now Tokyo, into a way of life on its way out. His father, a wealthy merchant, had essentially purchased samurai status, becoming part of the ruling class in its waning decades of power. At 11, he was apprenticed to one of the last great masters of 

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Five takeaways from Roman Krznaric’s talk at Mia on empathy and art

Since publishing his “Six Habits of Highly Empathetic People” in 2012, and elaborating on them soon after in Empathy: Why it Matters and How to Get It, Roman Krznaric has become a kind of empathy whisperer. The social philosopher, a founding faculty member of The School of Life in London, has been an empathy advisor 

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How MASS Action could transform museums like Mia

This week, Mia hosts a convening of museums. Some will come from across the river, others from across the ocean. It will be the third meeting of an initiative called MASS Action (Museums as Site for Social Action), a movement that intends to reshape the model of what a 21st-century museum can be. But what 

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Why the Print and Drawing Fair, at 25, is still a draw

The first official Minneapolis Print & Drawing Fair was held at Mia in 1993, when Bill Clinton was president, the Internet was largely limited to college campuses, and, more to the point, there were no Twin Cities galleries dedicated to selling art prints. Much has changed—except for the last point. The only place in Minnesota 

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Picasso: Cutting the bull in printmaking

Throughout his long career, encompassing most of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso tried his hand in almost all art media. Of these artistic pursuits, printmaking absorbed much of his attention: he produced 2,430 images. But apart from his prolific output, his standing as one of the greatest printmakers of all time—in a league with Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, 

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Drawn together: Minnesota’s Pope brothers and the art of being twins

Rowan and Bly Pope live in a duplex they own on the east side of St. Paul, near Maplewood. Not separately, in each apartment, but together in side-by-side bedrooms, which also serve as their art studios. Their food in the refrigerator is neatly divided: Rowan on one side, Bly on the other. Special foods are 

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Rebels in the middle: The fierce independence of “Art from Chicago”

For most of the 20th century, Chicago was the second-largest city in the United States, lagging only New York. The Windy City. The City of Big Shoulders. The Second City, as it’s still sometimes called, despite losing that title to Los Angeles in 1984. But of all the ways that Chicago was similar to New 

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Newsflash: Was van Gogh’s obscurity just a myth?

The epitome of the unappreciated artist, Vincent van Gogh is famous for missing out on the fame and fortune that followed his death. Except that isn’t true, according to new research that places 10 of his paintings in an exhibition so prominent it was visited by the French president in 1890, four months before van 

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