Using Mia’s new Divining Rod to discover your next favorite artwork is easy—creating it was not

With its colored lights and uncanny vibrations, Mia’s Divining Rod appears to work the same way its ancient inspiration did in ostensibly helping people find fresh water—with a little magic. In fact, the winning proposal of the third annual 2016 3M Art and Technology Award has an internal logic, powered by the kind of like/dislike feedback we’ve become accustomed to . . . Keep reading »

NewsFlash: Welcome to the body electric

Some of the first scientific instruments and experiments, like those shown in the “Science and Sociability” exhibition in Mia’s Georgian drawing room (seen above), attempted to understand the nature and origin of electricity. George Adams, Jr.’s friction machine, for instance, from 1780, rotated a glass cylinder against a silk flap to generate and store static electricity. Benjamin Franklin, . . . Keep reading »

Filmmaker Omer Fast on storytelling, stopping time, and turning Mia’s photo galleries into a waiting room

A few years ago, Omer Fast was presented with a dilemma. The Israeli-born filmmaker had been invited to create a solo show at the Martin Gropius-Bau, a prominent contemporary art space in Berlin, Germany, where he has lived since 2001. He would have seven galleries to fill—a tall order in any case, but they were also all in a . . . Keep reading »

Why so many people claim to be Cherokee—who aren’t—and why that matters

“Rose is A Rose is A rose is A rose.” Gertrude Stein’s famous line illustrates our propensity for collapsing words and images into universal meanings, identities that need no interpretation. When we see the word “rose,” she suggests, we picture the rose in our mind’s eye. But a Cherokee rose is not just any rose. It is . . . Keep reading »

“Eyewitness Views” and the long, strange history of documenting disaster

I was a cub reporter at the Minneapolis bureau of the Associated Press when historic flooding inundated the Red River Valley between Minnesota and North Dakota in the spring of 1997. It followed a historically cold winter in Minnesota, full of blizzards and record-low temperatures, that left a massive amount of snow still on the ground in April—when it . . . Keep reading »

The Buddha FAQ: Answers to your top 10 questions about Buddhist art

Mia recently revamped its display of Buddhist temple sculpture, in Gallery 200 on the second floor, with the help of dozens of art fans who sent us their questions about Buddhist art. We condensed the list, had our fans rank their favorites, and asked Aaron Rio, Mia’s A.W. Mellon Assistant Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, to respond. Here’s the top . . . Keep reading »

Teens made a video inspired by the Propeller Group’s show at Mia—and it’s as cool as you’d expect

Last spring, the Propeller Group opened “Reincarnations” at Mia, a music video installation that abstractly captures the surreal, sensual, thumping nature of funeral traditions in Vietnam. This summer, a group of Twin Cities media students from the SPNN program toured the installation, then worked with local artist Xiaolu Wang to make their own video in response. It’s . . . Keep reading »

How the first major museum exhibition of contemporary Somali art came together at Mia

Mia recently opened “I am Somali,” the first major museum exhibition of work by contemporary Somali artists in the Midwest if not the United States. The title refers to one of Somalia’s best-known poems, Soomaali baan ahay, or I am Somali. Poetry, after all, has long been Somalia’s preferred medium for artistic expression—it is often called “the land of the bards.” . . . Keep reading »

The paintings in “Eyewitness Views” were the Instagram of the 1700s. Here’s why that matters.

The paintings in “Eyewitness Views,” a major exhibition opening September 10 at Mia, were made more than 250 years ago in cities thousands of miles from Minneapolis. They are so-called “view paintings”—views of events that were important at the time they were painted but are generally no longer remembered: balloon flights, volcanic eruptions, royal visits. They are . . . Keep reading »

Ifrah Mansour on Minnesotans’ micro-aggressions, adding humor to refugee stories, and Mia’s “I am Somali” show

Ifrah Mansour was born in Saudi Arabia, and by the time her family returned to their native Somalia a few years later it was too late. Civil war broke out, the government collapsed, and Mansour’s family—her parents, five siblings, and herself—soon left for a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, one of the oldest and largest in the . . . 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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