Of monsters and man caves: The inspiration behind Mia’s Guillermo del Toro show

I always read the New Yorker on the elliptical torture machine at the gym, mostly to avoid the repugnant boredom of exercise. But I also find that the effect of the endorphins, combined with the great writing in the New Yorker, fires up ideas. I have lots of bad ideas (I can tell they are bad because . . . Keep reading »

Newsflash: Just how old were the founding fathers in 1776? Younger than you’d think.

George Washington, whose birthday is today, didn’t go in for wigs. But he did powder his hair white. Most men did in his day, including the other major figures of the American Revolution. Yet this innocuous fact of fashion, according to recent research, may be coloring our perception more than 200 years later, when white hair implies extreme old . . . Keep reading »

Author Erin Sharkey on AfroFuturism and the necessity of imagination

On February 16, in Mia’s Pillsbury Auditorium, five literary and performance artists will offer their takes on AfroFuturism, the burgeoning cultural movement that projects people of color into the future. It’s an expansive notion—an extension, if not a rebuttal, of Black History Month—encompassing the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra, the dystopian science fiction of Octavia . . . Keep reading »

Art Inspires: Kolina Cicero on second dates, grand staircases, and the art of love

After dozens of visits to Mia, I still find it as beautiful as the first time I came, though I can’t quite remember when that was. In high school, driving in from Chaska in search of something new? Not until I moved to Dinkytown to take journalism classes at the U? Whenever it was, my . . . Keep reading »

Newsflash: China finally bans ivory sales. Here, 9 fascinating stories about the ivory in Mia’s collection

At the end of 2016, China extended a potential lifeline to elephants, rhinos, and other ivory-bearing animals. China has vowed to shut down its country’s commercial trade in ivory by the end of this year, closing the world’s largest market for tusks, horns, and other ivory material. If the ban is effective, it could dent the alarming rise in . . . Keep reading »

Newsflash: Could artificial intelligence replace artists?

Among the sticking points about reviving American manufacturing’s heyday, when millions of men flooded into factories every morning, is that their jobs have been replaced by robots. And soon, artifical intelligence may have a go at more than just mundane work. Last summer, a European “neural network” studied the paintings of Van Gogh, Munch, and other . . . Keep reading »

Material girls: What a show of prehistoric female figurines says about us

On the first day of my first dig, in central France, I uncovered a dead man’s foot. It was the 1980s, the first of four seasons I spent digging a Late Iron Age/Early Roman site in the Auvergne during the hot summer months. The man had likely died in the first century CE and was . . . Keep reading »

Collection of faith: To fill out its portrait of Luther, Mia drew from one of Minnesota’s most surprising art caches

On the skyway level of the Thrivent building in downtown Minneapolis, amid a coffee shop and a guard station and throngs passing through, is a simple brown door. Behind it is a kind of heaven. Rembrandt. Albrecht Dürer. Picasso. They’re all here, among some 1,200 prints and a small number of Old Master paintings, in the . . . Keep reading »

Boyhood: Watch John Singer Sargent’s “birthday boy” grow up

  It was my favorite painting at Mia when I was a kid: The Birthday Party, by the American artist John Singer Sargent. I looked for it whenever I visited the museum with my parents or on a field trip. The subject would captivate any child, but for me the image encapsulated what it would . . . Keep reading »

Who is Dave Muller and what is he doing in Mia’s galleries?

Dave Muller owns a lot of records. He assembled the soundtrack to his life many years ago—a roomful of records filed alphabetically—and he keeps supplementing it. (“The A’s start here,” he said on a tour of the shelves, then walked down the hall a bit. “The Beatles start about here.”) For a brief period in the pre-digital . . . Keep reading »

Mia Stories

The museum beyond the walls, outside the frame, at the lively intersection of life and art. From behind-the-scenes buzz to inspiring connections with current events, it’s the museum in conversation.

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A special collection of Mia Stories containing our connection to a wide range of current topics including diversity, the right to creative expression, the spread of knowledge, and the need to preserve the planet and its cultural treasures for future generations.

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