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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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Claudia Rankine, at Mia, on using art to see bias

On May 9, Claudia Rankine spoke at Mia at an event co-presented by the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund and the museum’s Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts. Rankine is a professor of poetry at Yale University, in both the English and African American Studies departments. Her work includes the best-selling collection 

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Mia has launched a new podcast—here’s why

Mia’s new podcast, The Object, began this spring with a fairly simple premise. Tell the curious, incredible, sometimes heartbreaking stories behind the people and objects that have made the museum what it is today. Only it’s not so simple. In telling the stories of objects, artists, and collectors, the museum emerges at the center of some 

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Renewable art? An Earth Day insight from the Congolese rainforest

Although they cover only a small fraction of the earth’s surface, rainforests host more than half of all the world’s animals and plants. They have been given many poetic names, including “the jewels of the earth” on account of their value and beauty, “the lungs of the earth” due to their crucial role in oxygen 

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10 great books for understanding modern Egypt

This is the final weekend to see “Egypt’s Sunken Cities” at Mia, an exploration of ancient Egyptian art and beliefs unprecedented in recent decades. But Egypt didn’t cease to exist when its ancient religion did, of course—its modern history is no less fascinating and complicated. So here are 10 book suggestions from Shaden Tageldin, an 

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Making space for spring: A short history of Art in Bloom

In 1976, the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, welcomed spring into the galleries by pairing art and flowers. The museum was struggling to pay for increased operating costs, and imposing new admission charges had significantly depressed attendance. So the MFA’s membership director had approached the Ladies Committee (now the MFA Associates) with the idea 

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Shinique Smith and the fabric of life

The sculpture is hard to miss. A slender column more than eight and a half feet tall, made of tightly bundled fabrics, like a monument to clothing. Called Bale Variant #0024 (Everything), it’s a strong presence in Mia’s “Without Boundaries” exhibition, a showcase of paintings and fiber art by women artists in gallery G375. The artist behind it, 

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Documenting diversity: How should museums identify art and artists?

Mia has been collecting art for more than a century, from cultures around the world and across history. We now have more than 90,000 objects in our collection, and, like most museums, we have documented them in a computer database. We have noted what each item is, its history and characteristics, and what we believe 

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Mia’s hilarious, poignant role in the new memoir by Minneapolis rocker Mark Mallman

Mark Mallman once seemed indefatigable, invulnerable even. The musician’s four marathon performances include a non-stop, sleepless 78 hours in 2010 (a single song, essentially, with 576 pages of rhyming lyrics). He was like a machine, and then the machine broke. On March 19, Mallman released a memoir, The Happiness Playlist (Think Piece Publishing, $14.95), about 

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Of women, by women: Looking at femininity through the eyes of female artists

Walking around Mia, like most museums, you see a lot of women framed on the walls and formed out of marble. Most of these images of women, however, were made by men. It’s no surprise—the historic disparity between men and women in the arts is well-documented if not well-addressed. But it’s important to consider the ramifications: 

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Who’s that girl? Why so many Native women artists are unnamed in museums

In just a few months, “Hearts of our People” will open at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the first major exhibition of art by Native American women. In selecting the artworks for the show, we chose pieces by named makers as often as possible, rather than designate an item as anonymous from a particular culture. But 

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