Exhibitions

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 »

“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 »

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 »

Who is an American? Here’s one way museums can ask—and answer.

In 1931, the Minneapolis Institute of Art received a pair of rooms from the 1772 home of John Stuart, the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs in colonial Charleston, South Carolina. The Charleston Dining and Drawing Rooms, as they’re now known, are among the museum’s many period rooms, historic interiors that were disassembled in their original . . . Keep reading »

I live in the U.S., but I don’t call myself an American

One of my jobs at Mia is working with curators to make labels about art that are as accessible and inclusive as possible. To that end, I avoid using the term “American” as a synonym for someone who lives in the United States or is a U.S. citizen. Why? Because the United States of America is only . . . Keep reading »

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 »

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 »

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.

Don’t Miss: Trending Now

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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