The art of being dad: A Father’s Day reflection

Shortly after my daughter was born, two years ago, I was asked by the Star Tribune to write about the experience of being a first-time father. A weekly chronicle of transformation, discovery, and one-sided battles with the diaper genie. Pepin, almost as soon as she left the hospital, became part of my work. It wasn’t . . . Keep reading »

Taking Pride: Drag queen Tygra talks stagecraft, love amid darkness, and her Third Thursday debut

Tygra was Tristan at first—a “Marine brat,” she says, growing up in Scottsdale, Arizona. She went to college in Omaha, Nebraska, where she studied nursing. And there, one night in a bar, she saw a drag performance. “I was 20, not even old enough to be in a bar, slowly coming out as a gay boy,” she says. This . . . Keep reading »

The surrealist in love: What Chagall’s wedding portrait says about artists and marriage

Artists are supposedly bad at marriage. The evidence: Picasso, to use one word. Hemingway, to use another. Elizabeth Taylor, if you just want to drop the mic. There’s an entire movie (and a pretty good one at that) devoted to Picasso’s destructive infidelity, and of course an entire industry devoted to picking through the carcasses of artists’ . . . Keep reading »

NewsFlash: As the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” turns 50 today, a reflection on Mia’s Dave Muller show

It’s impossible to hear the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band the way it was heard when it was released, in 1967, 50 years ago today. Filled with instruments rarely heard in British rock music, such as the sitar, and technical experiments including double-tracked vocals and variable tape speeds, it was like nothing that had been . . . Keep reading »

NewsFlash: Should Damien Hirst have copied an Ife head?

Damien Hirst’s popular show at this year’s Venice Biennale, “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable,” is an underwater fantasy about objects found after a fictional shipwreck. It’s his first exhibition of new work in 10 years. Some critics had begun to wonder if he’d run out of ideas. The answer might depend on your worldview. One of the sculptures . . . Keep reading »

Social science: How to recreate an Enlightenment-era “science party”

About two years ago, I was conducting research at the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis when Mia curator Nicole LaBouff approached me with a question about solar microscopes. She was planning an exhibition called “Science and Sociability in 1700s England,” now open in the Queen Anne and Georgian period rooms at Mia. The Georgian Drawing Room is arranged as though for a “scientific . . . Keep reading »

A comics expert explains the secret pleasures of Mia’s Guillermo del Toro show

Somehow, over the years, Rurik Hover wound up with 85 boxes of comic books. Now he’s starting to sell—”culling out the crap,” as he puts it. And not just his comics but other people’s, too. He’s gone from a fan to a collector to a dealer, a cycle that has made him something of an expert . . . Keep reading »

Why immigrants value art: Stories from Mia’s “Global Movements” artists

On May 11, Mia opens Global Movements, a four-day series of programs on immigration, migration, and the arts. Among the presenters are several Twin Cities artists, and we asked them how art has been important in their lives and work. Here are some of their responses. Cy Thao A Hmong painter and former state legislator whose epic 50-painting series The Hmong Migration . . . Keep reading »

Can algae save us? Why Mia is getting personal with pond scum

In this land of ice and snow, summer is something magical. Almost in the blink of an eye, the world becomes lush and green and you can finally feel your toes! As the snow retreats, 10,000 lakes suddenly appear, offering respite from the humidity of the summer heat. But warmer weather brings another, less pleasant transformation: . . . Keep reading »

Art Inspires: Stephanie Wilbur Ash on tornados and other ways to leave home

They say we do not have them in Norway, but several times I saw them over the sea, and once I saw one skip across the lane like a silly little girl. The colors are different in Norway—more gray and green over the water, more blurry white on land—but they exist. Those who say they do . . . 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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