A mainstay in Detroit since 1885, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) recently reopened in 2007 after undergoing a six-year renovation and expansion. It is now known as the New DIA.
With over 100 galleries, the DIA is the fifth largest art museum in the country. Its collection contains over 60,000 works of art from all over the world and throughout history. The museum has a world renowned American Art Collection, as well as strengths in European painting, Italian Renaissance sculpture, African art and Islamic textiles.
- Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals
- Van Gogh’s Self Portrait
- Edgar Degas’ Violinist and Young Woman
- Pablo Picasso’s Bather by the Sea
Permanent exhibits are organized by theme, which helps visitors better relate to the works of art and their context. The exhibits also utilize interactive technology to make the exhibits more accessible, such as projection, animation and digital-book kiosks. Pentagram.com offers a good summary of some of the new technology incorporated into the exhibits.
The DIA is family friendly with kids’ activities, live entertainment, drop-in workshops and eye-spy panels for children throughout the Institute’s galleries.
The museum is also becoming a center for performing arts. Its 1,000-seat theater hosts a summer film series, which includes films like Contempt, a 1963 classic, and My Winnipeg, a 2007 Toronto Film Festival favorite. The Institute also hosts Friday Night Live! music concerts, which showcase local bands like American Mars.
Traveling exhibits keep the DIA experience fresh, such as Kenro Isu: Sacred Places. Monet to Dali: Modern Masters from the Cleveland Museum of Art and the American Chronicles: The Art of Normal Rockwell will be showcased in the coming year.
- The DIA is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
- CafeDIA, a cafeteria with several food stations, and a coffee shop are available.
- Various tours, including self-guided audio tours, are available. Note: Audio tours range from $2 to $3.
- Friday evenings showcase live performances.
- Sundays are family focused with activities specifically for kids, including puppet shows, music and other live performances.
- There are also drop-in workshops available throughout the summer.
Daily admission is $4 per child and $8 an adult. Memberships are also available.
The DIA is located on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit by Wayne State University.