For as long as I can remember one of my favorite places in Detroit has been the Detroit Institute of Arts. It’s one of the easiest places to lose your sense of time and all your worries in.
Every inch of it is full of art, history and culture that when you finally walk out the doors, you feel so much more filled with life than when you entered. There are over 100 galleries full of every kind of art imaginable making it one of the top six collections in the country.
So, after introducing Dom to the best ice cream in Michigan, I decided to whisk her downtown to one of the best places in Michigan (and I thought I’d bring you along).
When you walk through the main doors of the museum you will be completely tempted to walk straight ahead. There will be people milling about oohing and aahing, pointing and snapping away on their iPhones but resist the temptation!
You, my friend, are a pro and know to leave the very best things for last. Instead head to the gallery on the left.
The galleries are full of every type of art imaginable.
The classics that raise the hair on the back of your neck when you see them in person.
Beautiful African art that you could stare, mesmerized at for hours
Modern art that, if you’re anything like me, you don’t understand in the slightest but will still attempt to figure it out.
No matter how long I looked at it, this still just looked like a shipwreck to me (very In The Heart of the Sea).
My favorite are pieces that depict Greek and Roman mythology.
I will admit, every time I visit I am very disappointed when the figures don’t start moving and singing “Honey, you mean HUNK-ules”.
Once you’ve seen all the galleries, you can now visit the entrance hall.
Just look at that ceiling. See, aren’t you glad you waited?
This hall then leads into the Rivera Court, the best part of the museum.
The mural was created by muralist Diego Rivera in the 1930s. It took eleven months to create and is a tribute to the labor force and manufacturing base of the city.
If you happen across a DIA member, I would highly recommend asking him or her about the mural. They’re always more than happy to chat with you and give you all the details surrounding the history and meaning behind every panel.
With Detroit’s bankruptcy crisis, one of the proposed solutions was to start auctioning off art work from the museum.
In 2014, the bankruptcy plan that was approved put an end to the threat thanks to over $800 million of donations from private downers, the state of Michigan and foundations.
I can’t imagine downtown without the museum and will forever be thankful to those who stepped in to save it. As Detroit continues to rebuild itself, I’m glad to know the DIA will still be there to remind me of how big the world really is.
Whether you’re an artist, history buff or just want an escape from a cold day, give the DIA a visit.