Behind the Scenes

Magic, mystery, and wrapping paper: Inside the Ely studio of MAEP artist Andy Messerschmidt

Last winter, I drove up to Ely, near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, to hang out with Andy Messerschmidt, whose MAEP exhibition, “Delta Delta Delta Force,” will be on view at the MIA from October 17 to  December  28. It was 10 below zero, but a beautifully clear day for a Sunday drive. I . . . Keep reading »

Fair to middling: A dinner that’ll test a print dealer’s good manners

Imagine having a yard full of creeping Charlie and inviting Gertrude Jekyll over for a garden party. That’s what it feels like to have the dealers from the annual Minneapolis Print and Drawing Fair to my house for dinner. Someone always hosts the dinner one evening during the fair, which runs this weekend, September 20 . . . Keep reading »

Carrion on: Paul Shambroom brings back the dead for “The Nature of Nature”

I first met Paul Shambroom while working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, when he presented editor Brian Anderson with his idea of setting up a photo booth in front of the Shinders newsstand at Sixth Street and Hennepin Avenue, in downtown Minneapolis, on two Saturday nights. He wanted to capture the avenue’s night owls in the era . . . Keep reading »

Flip-side finds: Secrets of the creative battle

An artist with Guido Reni’s ego would be horrified to learn that a mass-market lithograph had snuck into an exhibition where his rapturous Madonna and Child was also hanging. Yet there it is in Target Gallery, a yellowed print of the marauding French infantry, issued by P. F. Collier & Son, New York. If you . . . Keep reading »

The age of innocence: A personal history of family portraits

Later in life, Édouard Vuillard was in great demand as a portraitist among the Parisian elite. We can imagine he sketched the wonderfully ad hoc bouquet in “Marks of Genius: 100 Extraordinary Drawings,” now on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, in some industrialist’s luxurious villa, between sittings. Locally, the artist old Minneapolis families . . . Keep reading »

The family that visits museums together: A Family Day flashback

Let’s assume those are props. Right? The MIA would never actually have allowed kids to horse around with real spears and helmets, like those on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the third floor hallway. Right?? They sure look real, though. That was a long time ago (well past the statute of limitations . . . Keep reading »

“In the Stacks with Eric Hanson”—Epilogue

For the past 6 weeks or so, Eric Hanson was hanging around the MIA’s Art Research and Reference Library, poking his nose into books and folders of photographs before putting pencil to paper. As an artist-in-residence, courtesy of the Coffee House Press library residency program, he’s helped draw attention, no pun intended, to libraries as . . . Keep reading »

His portrait has been restored. Now to restore the memory of John S. Bradstreet: MIA founder, craftsman, and the Twin Cities’ original tastemaker

Newspapers rarely, if ever, engage in hyperbole. They hardly ever make declarations, like where you should eat, what you should buy, or “Top 10 Things You Need to Know” about Beyonce or eggplant. So it’s surprising that the Minneapolis Journal, in 1914, declared, “If this section of the country is to furnish a name that . . . Keep reading »

“In the Stacks with Eric Hanson”—Bagatelle Painting

Eric Hanson, the Coffee House Press author/illustrator-in-residence at the MIA’s Art Research and Reference Library, is full of surprises. Just when I think I have him figured out, he gives us something delightfully unexpected—like this. And I can’t get enough. If you haven’t planned to check out his final residency presentation on June 19th as . . . Keep reading »

“In the Stacks with Eric Hanson”—Appian Way on Endpapers

Drawing, scanning, layering—Eric Hanson has been busy as the MIA’s Coffee House Press author/illustrator-in-residence in the museum’s Art Research and Reference Library. Check out his presentation at 7 p.m. on June 19th during next week’s Third Thursday and follow all of his musings until then here on MIA Stories or over at CHP In the Stacks. . . . 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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