Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Come visit the Detroit Institute of Arts!

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Have you ever visited or lived in Detroit?  I know most of you have heard things about the city.  Probably not good things.  Heck our football team can’t even get us good press.  So let me show you something beautiful that resides in the city; a gem of a place that we are lucky to have.

Enjoying the art.

Enjoying the art.

The DIA as we like to call it, is at risk because the city of Detroit is in bankruptcy and everyone is looking for assets to sell in order to pay off debt.  Just this past election counties outside the city voted to increase property taxes so that funds could be sent to support the DIA, but even that is not enough to guaranty it is safe.

Symmetry

Symmetry

Let me show you a few of the treasures we found inside this past Sunday.  When we first arrived we joined a short tour where the docent explained a few of her favorite pieces.  It’s amazing what you can learn in a few moments listening to someone that understands the art.

Imported Photos 00054 (Small)

Even if you think you don’t like this sort of art it’s worth going to your local art museum and taking a tour.  You might be surprised by what you turn out to like once you know a bit about it.

One of the galleries had several paintings by Picasso.  I was struck by the progression of his work over time.

Melancholy Woman.  1902

Melancholy Woman. 1902

Woman in Arm Chair.  1923

Woman in Arm Chair. 1923

And this one I like a lot, sort of reminded me of my library days.

Girl Reading 1938

Girl Reading 1938

Seated Woman.  1960

Seated Woman. 1960

There were 4 or 5 of his pieces hanging together.  You could see them becoming more and more abstract.  I never knew I liked Picasso until I saw his work all lined up.

Sunday my favorite painting in the museum was this one:

Wedding Dance.  1566

The Wedding Dance by Pieter Bruegel approximately 1566

There was something about the joy, the distribution of color, the movement.  Can you find the bride?  We couldn’t.  Turns out the bride is the only woman there without a headdress.  And she’s wearing black, which was the custom back then.  Do you see her now?  She’s in the middle left, about 1/3 way up.  See?  You learn something new all the time!

The DIA has lots of classical art but lots of modern art too.  Some of it was interesting, some of it was strange.  Some made you think…

Play ball!

Play ball!

…some made you think “why is this art?

Ummmm...

Ummmm…

But the other big thing we have at the DIA are huge famous frescoes depicting the auto industry done by Diego Rivera.

Over the top amazing.

Over the top amazing.

The art is beautiful; the two main panels show laborers working in the auto industry.  Other panels show advancement in sciences and medicine.

Working on the line.

Working on the line.

I enjoyed watching the people as they walked into the huge room and began to notice the detail, the stories that were being told, the history, the beauty of the place.

Look up there!

Look up there!

This museum is less than an hour from my house.  I’ve only been once before, and then only to see a special show.  I’ve never wandered around, never stretched myself to stand in front of something I didn’t understand and ponder, never checked the back of corner rooms or explored around the next corner before.

I’m glad we went.  Granted we went in part because there is a possibility that all or most of it will be gone, sold to raise funds for the strapped city.  We might have procrastinated for more years if not for the fiscal crisis.  Still, it opened my eyes to what is there.  I know we will go back.

Sculpture and landscape.

Sculpture and landscape.

Look around your community.  What has always been there that you take for granted?  What have you not visited lately?  Or at all?  Maybe you aren’t sure you like whatever is stored inside.  As a kid sometimes we’d say we didn’t like something.  My dad would always respond – “How do you know if you haven’t tried it?”  And that’s what I’m saying to you.  How do you know you don’t like classical art…or modern art…or sculpture…or the symphony?  How do you know if you haven’t tried it?

This new year make a decision to stretch outside your normal box.  Visit some treasure in your community.  See what’s there.  See what you like.

I bet you’ll be surprised.

See what's out there.

See what’s out there.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

13 thoughts on “Come visit the Detroit Institute of Arts!

  1. There’s a temporary exhibit at our state museum that I keep meaning to check out……must go soon, before it leaves!

    I love wandering through museums. You never know what you’re going to find.

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  2. Thanks fur showing us those artwork pieces. Our mommy has always wanted to go to a theater that is near us. We will urge her to check it out this year.

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  3. Happy New Year
    Lily
    mom loves a good museum

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  4. They are beautiful! Not good at American history but read about Detroit when I was a student ages ago and truly know nothing much about it. Thanks for showing us your museum!

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  5. When I first came to the USA Dave was working for Chrysler in Detroit. The things I remember are driving through Gross Point and seeing these most amazing huge houses with beautiful gardens then we came to an intersection and as we crossed over it we were suddenly in an area that looked like a war zone…building with broken and barred windows, graffiti everywhere, a burnt out car on the side of the road..it was cary just driving through that area. But we also went to the Detroit Zoo which we loved.

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  6. I probably won’t make it to the DIA, but I do like going to art museums from time to time. I’m very practical-minded, so it’s always a bit of a stretch for me, but I do enjoy it.
    Glad you pointed out the bride; I’d have never found her otherwise 🙂 (And I actually quite like the baseball piece!)

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  7. The DIA is one of the places I’d hoped to visit during our next trip to Detroit, but I’m not sure when that will be now that we’ve moved. I had a great time in Detroit during my weekend visit for the Jazz Fest. Thank you for the tour, and the challenge to stretch. 🙂

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  8. When my husband was young, he loved to play hooky at the DIA. He said truant officers never looked for boys avoiding school at the art museum, and if they did there were always groups of kids on tour that he could join for a few minutes. The Diego Rivera murals were his favorites and reinforced his desire to become an artist. As he put it, speaking of Rivera, “He told the truth and got away with it!”

    I hope the City does not sell the DIA works. They would never be able to rebuild their world-class collection — and who would ever bequeath important art to them, having no confidence it wouldn’t be sold?

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  9. I like the fresco room! So pretty! Thanks for showing me around the museum!

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  10. Coming back to say I’ve been having conversations recently with a local friend about a man who lived in Northport, Dexter Ferry. He was a major contributor to the DIA,. Ferry Seed Company was the family business. I remember Mr. Ferry coming into my bookstore years ago and only regret that I did not get to know him better.

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  11. Dawn, this looks like it would be so much fun. I’m inspired! Have never been to this particular art museum, but so often enjoy the different places we’ve visited. Your enthusiasm makes me want to drop by some museums in Houghton sometime this year that we’ve never visited. That sounds shameful to say!

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  12. Visiting the DIA with you was almost like being home for the weekend. (Consider this a bread and butter note!)

    It’s one of my favorite places in the city. When Rob the Firefighter was little we lived just blocks away, and would walk over there with him in the backpack to see special exhibits and puppet shows and our favorite donkey statue and the Rivera Court and the little spiral stone staircase down to the corridor with the medieval choirstall. When he got older he started taking me to see things he’d discovered. It is a wonderful thing when that happens. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there with him – must remedy that.

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