There’s no way a few photos from my phone on a quick trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts will do it justice, but I’ll give you the express tour anyway.
The Detroit Institute of Arts, or the DIA as we call it, is a beautiful place. The building itself is gorgeous and then it’s filled with masterpieces. Pictured above is the side entrance, but the front entrance is much more grand with huge steps. I suggest you go in that way for your first visit.
The DIA has been in the local news lately because Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, commissioned Christie’s Auction House to appraise the DIA’s collection for possible sale to pay Detroit’s bills after it filed for bankruptcy. The reported estimated worth of the collection is $454 million to $867 million. Of course most metro Detroit people do not want to lose any of the art and thanks to generous donations from big-time donors (you know, the people they mentioned by name on PBS before Downton Abbey comes on) we hope the art is safe.
I’ve been to the DIA a few times now and on this occasion we only had an hour or so before it closed. We went after our lovely lunch at La Feria. I looked at the map and decided we should visit the European art, modern art and end with contemporary art. I did my best to record the art and artist below, but I couldn’t record them all during our quick trip.
I felt small in the large rooms filled with massive paintings. I like to think about where the paintings have hung over the years. We started with the European art and I enjoy lingering to see the colors and moods in each painting.
Agnolo Bronzino, Eleonora Toledo and Her Son, 1545/1550
Giovanni Bellini, Madonna and Child, 1509.
Diego Rivera, Detroit Industry, 1933
Diego Rivera’s fresco mural Detroit Industry is comprised of 27 panels depicting industry at The Ford Motor Company. It was commissioned by Edsel Ford (Henry’s son) and was painted between 1932 and 1933. Rivera was a well-known Marxist and quickly the art became controversial. Members of the religious community demanded it be destroyed, but it still stands today and is thought to be Rivera’s finest work.
Frans Pourbus, A Man, 1621
The detail in this painting is just incredible. I was fascinated by the lines in his face, the prefect skin tone and the details in his clothing. It almost looked like a photograph.
Pablo Picasso, Portrait of a Manuel Pallares, 1909
Pablo Picasso, Melancholy Woman, 1902
Andy Warhol, Double Self Portrait, 1967
Officer of the Hussars, Kehinde Wiley, 2007
This painting is oil on canvas and an impressive 10 feet x 10 feet. I must come see it every time I visit the museum. I love the scale, color and people in Kehinde Wiley’s work.
We love the DIA and if you find yourself in Detroit, stop in for a visit. In addition to what I’ve shown you here, there is also Asian, Islamic, African, Egyptian, Ancient Middle Eastern, Native American, American, British, Dutch and more African American art. You can spend the whole day there, easy.