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 »

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 »

The Propeller Group’s Tuan Andrew Nguyen on beautiful funerals, faking an ad agency, and their new show at Mia

In the mid-2000s, when the artists Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Phunam Thuc Ha, and Matt Lucero came together in Vietnam, they decided to register as an ad agency—to make art, not ads. It was a workaround. They wanted to shoot a documentary on Vietnam’s first graffiti artists, who were just starting to make their mark on . . . Keep reading »

Lost and found: Missing Mia curator re-emerges to praise Guillermo del Toro show

Barton Kestle is not dead. He has never been dead. He has no plans to be dead in the near future. At almost 88, he looks terrific: thick mop of white hair, stylish round glasses, all of his own teeth. He does not look like someone who was all but buried in 1954. Oops. Back . . . Keep reading »

What’s so fascinating about Guillermo del Toro? We asked a superfan

This week, Mia opened its highly anticipated show “Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters,” about the innovative Hollywood director, his creative process, and the things that inspire him. But what if you’ve never heard of him? What if you stopped thinking about monsters in third grade? What if you could never imagine watching a . . . Keep reading »

5 quotes from Guillermo del Toro’s Q&A at Mia that reveal his genius

For a visual guy, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has a way with words. During opening weekend for “Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters,” the exhibition at Mia exploring GDT and the origins of creativity, he sat for a Q&A with Mia director Kaywin Feldman and curator Gabe Ritter. He was thoughtful, profane, and hilarious, . . . 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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