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.

What’s the future of Afrofuturism—and museums?

Among the accomplishments of Black Panther—first all-black superhero movie, 10th highest-grossing film of all time—is something that African-American artists have awaited for a long time: the mainstream emergence of Afrofuturism. A movement borne in the cultural margins of the 1970s, now on the big screen in multiplexes around the world. Blending African history with technology 

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Jade Mountain

The curious history of Mia’s beloved jade mountain, now starring in "Power and Beauty"

In the penultimate room of Mia’s current exhibition, “Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty: Concept and Design by Robert Wilson,” sits a large, greenish rock. The room is dark—and stormy, for that matter, rattled by thunder—and the wallpaper that wraps around it suggests the craggy mountains of Chinese lore. The boulder adds to the mystique, carved into 

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Essma Imady

Essma Imady and the art of anxiety

When I first met Essma Imady, she was pacing through a mostly empty gallery, glancing among her unassembled installation pieces, and occasionally fidgeting with her singular dinosaur earring. Her art was scattered along the perimeter of the long, rectangular gallery, most of it unfinished. A large, white teddy bear sat propped against a white wall; it 

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The doll returns: From difficult conversations, a fresh start

A few months ago, in a meeting room at Mia, a small figure of an African American woman stood in a Plexiglas case, surrounded by flowers. “Who knows how she was treated during her creation,” said Andrea Pierre. “Treat her like a goddess tonight.” The figure belongs to a dollhouse given to the museum by the 

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The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shows how much the monarchy has changed–and hasn’t

Prince Harry might’ve had to do a little Googling before proposing to his fiancée Meghan Markle in November 2017. Harry is now sixth in line for the throne—behind his father, brother, nephew, niece, and brand-new baby nephew —which means he’s just barely under the jurisdiction of the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, which requires the first six persons in 

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Two ways to skin a cat: Minnesota’s Elizabeth Olds and Wanda Gág took different paths to acclaim

Elizabeth Olds would have liked that I own her 1941 screenprint The Lighthouse. She was determined to make art that was affordable to everyday people, and the damage on this print (note the missing lower left corner in the image above) made it affordable to me. I also have Wanda Gág’s 1925 Spinning Wheel on my 

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Newsflash: The trouble with "neutral face"

In the hundreds of painted portraits in Mia’s collection, almost no one is smiling. And we don’t know why. We really don’t. People didn’t smile in old photographs either. It may be because of bad teeth or because big smiles were uncouth—a sign of craziness or drunkenness, the so-called “grinning idiot” (this is apparently still true outside the United 

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5 great gift ideas for Mother’s Day from the Store at Mia

The best gift for Mother’s Day is simple: a card. We have plenty of them, an ever-changing selection in-store. We’ll even mail your card for you, so there are no excuses! If you want to show your appreciation beyond a card, here are five ideas we’re loving right now, available in-store and online. Of course we’re 

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plant collector

Botanomania and the secret history of women plant collectors

It’s that time of year again, when Art In Bloom brings Mia’s collection to life through floral artistry. For four days every April, we enjoy blossoms from all over the world in the museum’s galleries, paying little regard to their bloom cycles, and it all seems quite “natural.” But the flowers are only here, in 

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Yang Yongliang art

Yang Yongliang’s commentary on humans and nature in "Power and Beauty" is devastating—and hopeful

My favorite room in “Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty: Concept and Design by Robert Wilson” is the ninth room—technically Gallery 274, though I more affectionately refer to it as the Mountain Room. The theme of this gallery is the love of mountains shared by Chinese emperors and court officials, an almost romanticized view of mountainscapes as a 

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