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Perspectives from Mia on contemporary topics impacting the world: locally, nationally, and internationally.

The doll returns: From difficult conversations, a fresh start

A few months ago, in a meeting room at Mia, a small figure of an African American woman stood in a Plexiglas case, surrounded by flowers. “Who knows how she was treated during her creation,” said Andrea Pierre. “Treat her like a goddess tonight.” The figure belongs to a dollhouse given to the museum by the . . . Keep reading »

The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shows how much the monarchy has changed–and hasn’t

Prince Harry might’ve had to do a little Googling before proposing to his fiancée Meghan Markle in November 2017. Harry is now sixth in line for the throne—behind his father, brother, nephew, niece, and brand-new baby nephew —which means he’s just barely under the jurisdiction of the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, which requires the first six persons in . . . Keep reading »

Botanomania and the secret history of women plant collectors

It’s that time of year again, when Art In Bloom brings Mia’s collection to life through floral artistry. For four days every April, we enjoy blossoms from all over the world in the museum’s galleries, paying little regard to their bloom cycles, and it all seems quite “natural.” But the flowers are only here, in . . . Keep reading »

Mia’s resident poet, Al Naylor, on finding inspiration in art

Al Naylor grew up in Miles City, a former cattle town on the high plains of Montana, and became an executive atop what is now U.S. Bank in Minneapolis. He had always liked museums but disliked the hierarchies and pretensions that seemed to govern them. And so, in the mid-1980s, when he struck up a relationship with the Minneapolis . . . Keep reading »

The irresistible mix of art and activism in Rory Wakemup’s “Ledger Craft” performances

Last fall, the courtyard between Mia and MCAD was a battlefield, at once ancient and futuristic. Kids with bows and arrows moved in a kind of martial dance, then donned cardboard costumes in the rectangular, early-digital style of Minecraft, the popular world-building computer game. They fought zombies. They were filmed by drones. They declared victory. Rory Wakemup calls it “Ledger . . . Keep reading »

Lily Yeh and the transformative power of art

Lily Yeh once had the perfect life. Or so it seemed—even, at times, to her. Other times, she told me, she sensed she was “missing something deep down.” Something beyond her settled family life, beyond her successful career as an artist and professor at the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia. And so she began . . . Keep reading »

Inherent vice: Saving a beloved George Morrison painting from itself

An untitled painting by George Morrison, made in 1960, spent eighteen years lying on its back in storage—and for good reason. It certainly wasn’t unloved. The striking abstraction of an urban landscape had been hanging in an office at Mia for years, a favorite of one of the museum’s former directors. But in 1999, curators noticed that its . . . Keep reading »

NewsFlash: As flu season rages, a look back at epic pandemics of the past

The history of human existence is also the history of infectious disease. The plague killed 25 to 50 percent of Europe’s population in just a few years in the 1300s. The flu, which we contend with every winter, killed up to a fifth of the global population between 1918 and 1920. This year’s flu season . . . Keep reading »

Why I became a Super Bowl spy

I need to come clean: I am not a sports fan. That knock on art people being like cats around water on game day? Guilty as charged. I’m happier in the galleries at Mia any day. But when the Super Bowl announced an effort to recruit 10,000 volunteers to help greet and guide the one . . . Keep reading »

How Robert Wilson changed theater—and what that means for his show at Mia

Robert Wilson met Philip Glass, the avant-garde composer, in 1973, after Glass attended a show by Wilson—The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin—that was 12 hours long and almost completely silent. Glass loved it. And the two men, retreating to Wilson’s Manhattan studio after the performance, decided they would meet every week for lunch. Within a few months, as they . . . Keep reading »

NewsFlashes

NewsFlashes connect current events and the art in the Mia collections. You’ll also find them throughout the museum, in print form, hanging beside the art they reference.

May 2, 2018

Newsflash: The trouble with “neutral face”

In the hundreds of painted portraits in Mia’s collection, almost no one is smiling. And we don’t know why. We really don’t. People didn’t smile in old photographs either. It may be because of bad teeth or because big smiles were uncouth—a sign of craziness or drunkenness, the so-called “grinning idiot” (this is apparently still true outside the United . . . Keep reading »

March 8, 2018

Newsflash: “Black Panther” and African fashions at Mia

There has never been a phenomenon quite like Black Panther, the Marvel movie that is on track to become the highest-grossing superhero movie ever and among the most popular films of any kind in North America. Set in the fictional African country of Wakanda, with its mostly black cast doing what superheroes do, it’s been hailed as a . . . Keep reading »

January 18, 2018

NewsFlash: Does Mia’s mummy contain secret writing?

Egypt’s mummies were intended to rest in peace for eternity, slumbering beneath the sand or high up in pyramids. But most were dug up almost immediately. Robbed of their valuables and their serenity. Dragged into darkened British parlors to be unwrapped for entertainment. Burned as train fuel. But they’ve been slow to give up their secrets, . . . Keep reading »