“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 »

NewsFlash: Looking for the solar eclipse in art

It will last less than three minutes. But on August 21, when the sun will be totally blocked by the moon in parts of the United States for the first time since 1979, some schools will close, traffic will back up from Oregon to Appalachia, and inevitably we will hear that the world is ending. It’s being billed as . . . Keep reading »

Funk Fest organizer LaDonna Sanders Redmond talks Prince, his legacy, and what to expect on Sunday

LaDonna Sanders Redmond was 13—”an impressionable girl,” she says—when she went into the record store in her Chicago neighborhood with a friend and saw a big poster of Prince. It was the late 1970s. Redmond was into Michael Jackson as well as David and Shaun Cassidy, some classic soul and R & B. But now there was Prince. . . . Keep reading »

Portal to the past: How Mia’s “new” Chinese gate came to Minnesota

In 2004, Bruce Dayton helped Mia purchase a gate in China. The businessman and longtime Mia benefactor had done this before, in the late 1990s, when he and his wife bought a heavily carved, nearly 300-year-old ceremonial gate, along with a reception hall and a scholar’s study, on their way to making Mia’s Chinese galleries among the finest in the world. . . . Keep reading »

Mia is stepping up its support of bees—and celebrating them through art

Since 2013, Mia has hosted several colonies of European honeybees on its roof, a striking if largely unseen part of its mission to preserve the planet and its treasures. But recently it became clear that merely hosting the bees was not enough if the museum wants to help bees. Providing bee-friendly flowers is the best way to support . . . 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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