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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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Indigo expertise: Malian artist Aboubakar Fofana examines Mia’s West African textiles

This past May, Mia welcomed Malian artist Aboubakar Fofana. He was at the museum to discuss a potential exhibition in Mia’s Charleston period rooms, in 2020. But while he was here, he was shown the museum’s West African textile holdings, and he offered his expertise on how they were made. Fofana first fell in love with calligraphy and was 

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New frame of mind: Monet’s grainstack gets a fresh look in a new frame

What do you notice when you look at a painting? Perhaps the composition strikes you first—the shapes, the colors, the lines. You might notice the depth created by thick or thin brush strokes. Then your field of vision zooms out and you notice the painting’s frame. Is it simple and unadorned, drawing attention not to 

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A one-of-a-kind wedding at Mia

Last year, when Mia was installing its Qing gate at the entrance to the museum’s Chinese galleries, Joyce Sun visited with her father. They were planning Sun’s wedding, still nailing down the venue, when her father noticed the gate. It came from Shanxi, a neighboring province of Shandong, the province where he and his family 

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The Paper Chase: A curator’s obsession with paper in paintings

Curator Rachel McGarry, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, explores her obsession with spotting works on paper in paintings.
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Art Inspires: Carter Meland on “6EQUJ5”

Carter Meland, a writer and educator of White Earth Anishinaabe heritage, shares a fiction piece inspired by Jennifer Steinkamp's video installation 6EQUJ5.
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Mia deepens understanding of immigration with “Your Story, Our Story”

Tim Gihring, editor at Mia, explains the immigration exhibition called "Your Story, Our Story" featuring students from St. Paul's LEAP High School.
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Four takeaways from Bryan Stevenson’s talk on justice and healing at Mia

Lizzi Ginsberg, intern at Mia, summarizes a talk at the museum on justice and equity by Bryan Stevenson.
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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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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 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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