Post Number: 384
|Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 - 4:40 pm: || |
Went to the DIA last Friday with some out of town friends from Chicago. It was really refreshing to see the DIA opened again, Its a major part of the city that has been for the most part sleeping the last several years. I think it looks great, the variety and staging of the art is incredible. The crowd was very impressed. Truly a gem that this whole area should appreciate. I dont think it was "dumbed down " at all but rather smartened up to appeal to all people. My out of town friends were amazed, said they had no idea a museum of this calibre was in Detroit.
Post Number: 343
|Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 - 5:15 pm: || |
Thanks, was wondering how the revamped DIA looks. Have heard a lot of pre-opening talk about it being "dumbed down", but I'm glad to know that the "dumbed down" description doesn't look to be true.
Post Number: 411
|Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 - 11:36 pm: || |
I was also at the DIA on Friday and had the same impression as Detroitbill. I was so happy to see all the art back on display! It was like visiting old friends. There were a lot of pieces I hadn't seen before, especially in the Native American galleries.
And I agree that the museum has not been "dumbed down." Some of the plaques and interactive media are aimed more at visitors who don't know a lot about art, but that's what a museum like the DIA is for-- if they don't educate people, who will? I don't have a degree in art history or anything like that, but I can tell the difference between a Rembrandt and a Rubens and I learned some new things about the art at the DIA during my visit last week. There's something for everyone.
I encourage all the DetroitYes forumers to visit the new DIA when they get the chance.
Post Number: 2876
|Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 - 11:50 pm: || |
I cannot wait to go!
Post Number: 217
|Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 9:25 am: || |
Went Sunday to view the building changes, and just immediately got hooked on revisiting the collection. Labeling is very helpful, beautifully done. Some explain intent and how the artist carried out the message through composition and technique. Some show differing points of view on the same subject. "Big theme" ideas lend context to a suite of galleries. The electronics/touch screens provide depth - as much or little as you want. Wait til you see the "mixing of the wine" shadow video in the Greek gallery. Very cool. The paintings in the darkened American galleries just GLOW. The ceiling-mounted Tintoretto in the Italian galleries is a unique "wow." I spent four hours there when I had intended just a quick tour of the building.
What is truly great for the city and all of us the STRENGTH of our collection here. So many cities are building grand architecture for so-so collections, but we've got the real "bragging rights" - and the reinstallation of the art now affirms that.
In a word, the place is just magnificent. GO!
Post Number: 22
|Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 9:51 am: || |
Went Saturday night.
I could have spent 24 hours in there.
Loved everything about it. Some of the interactive stuff was a little cheesy, but overall I even liked that portion of it.
Post Number: 606
|Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 10:14 am: || |
The new Gift Shop is greatly expanded. I saw many wonderful glass and ceramic tile pieces.
Post Number: 220
|Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 11:51 am: || |
Don't forget "Art After Hours" this weekend.
The DIA will be open from 10am Friday until 6pm Saturday (Open for 32 straight hours!)
It's free admission and they are serving hot dogs and sliders from 10pm to 4am Friday night.
Post Number: 10917
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 3:59 pm: || |
What a blast this morning...got into the DIA just before four and stayed for a good couple hours.
Glad their historic overnight opening was a success, there were so many folks from all walks of life through the joint at that time I marvelled more at the people than the artwork!
We walked up the main steps to see a young man staring into the sky...mouth agape, eyes awide in awe and wonder. I thought he was stoned...but I turned to look at his focus, and ended up in the SAME pose, to hear my friend tell her observations.
The all-but-full moon had an ice halo ten times it's radius in a perfectly clear sky, and his field-of-view included the Thinker statue...making us all wish we had a wide-angle lens camera to capture it all.
It was a magical night at the DIA, I love what they've done with it...next time I go with a woman in comfortable shoes. We left with roughly half the area unseen, but I got her into the Diego Garcia murals and the old church alcove and we saw the entire first floor.
She was fine after the footrub when we got home...
Post Number: 4321
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 4:04 pm: || |
I posted this on the NYT DIA thread but it belongs here:
attended the DIA last night and have to say that I was very impressed, with only a couple of reservations. I walked through every gallery; it takes about three hours at a moderate clip.
It suddenly seems so huge; it feels as if it has doubled in size [even though only about third larger] and it was a thrill to see throngs of people of every age and demographic as well as run into countless friends, all of whom were similarly impressed and complimentary.
I entered through the front entrance past the reinstalled and refurbished Rodin's Thinker, turned left into the restructured American Galleries and was delighted to find the Hudson River Valley paintings, the first great truly American style and the best of the DIA's American collection, as the introduction. Prominently displayed and visible from the main foyer was Church's volcanic masterpiece Cotopaxi.
Another delight was the presence to two magnificent Bierstadt's, on loan from the Manoogian collection. This would foreshadow the rest of the experience, the surprising appearance of delightful new works through out that the expansion allows. For those who may not know, the art on display is the tip of the iceberg of the total collection.
As the author of the NYT piece noted the intended design to make navigation of the museum easier did not. I am reminded of such improvements at the RenCen. I got lost at couple of points. The big open courtyards with wide stairways and skylights that once gave me bearings were filled with new galleries and new stairways that were not easy to find.
I was pleased to find a new rotating exhibition space off the Rivera Court, three or four galleries, that were formerly sleepy classical art galleries, alive with contemporary art. Changes like that and the aforementioned American art changes which break up the previous chronological presentation make the new displays invigorating and less pedantic than formerly without seeming awkward.
The African Art collection and presentation is outstanding as are the galleries dedicated to the African-American art collection. The latter has some potential for controversy, as the NYT writer touches on, the inevitable gripe will come that it couldn’t make it on its own, but the works are outstanding and I heap praise for not only adding it but make it three galleries large. The unfortunate sins of our national past did forcibly create a separate culture with its own creative response and it is good to see it presented so forcefully without wallowing that past.
Unfortunately a large part of the museum’s excellent Asian and Islamic art collection galleries were not completed in time for the opening, so you will only get to see a smathering of that.
As noted above NYT writer was incorrect; there were a number of Detroit artists presented with the piece by Tyree being one the lesser among them. And, oh yes, I was delighted to find a magnificent piece by our very own Leoqueen on display.
This is another great moment in what is turning out to be a chain of successes in Detroit that is slowly but surely doing much to change attitudes, interest people from our region and nationally and internationally to rediscover our overlooked and maligned but great city.
Post Number: 3894
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 5:59 pm: || |
Does the DIA provide wheelchairs for those who need them?
Post Number: 78
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 6:18 pm: || |
According to Penney, the reinstallation process was also informed by extensive data on visitor behavior and traffic patterns. Time and tracking studies on the former Flemish art gallery, for example, found that 50% of visitors looked at Bruegel the Elder's The Wedding Dance, but that 59% of all visitors stayed in the gallery for no more than three minutes. Where visitor interest was small, the DIA found that a key culprit was the labels, which according to Penney were relatively hidden with text that was too long and too crowded.
Post Number: 2122
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 8:10 pm: || |
Not everybody is impressed with the current direction of the museum. Im not alone in my view, as little bird tells me many of the internal curators are furious with the current "leadership".
Does everybody understand that almost none of the new areas are finished or open ? They are far behind schedule at this point, and they simply reopened the old galleries for this event. The ENTIRE third floor was off limits.
The theater renovation is excellent, but I was nonplussed by what was open and what they have done with the collection in the open areas.
Post Number: 68
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 8:20 pm: || |
My Mom is a DIA volunteer in Gallery Services. She and many of her fellow volunteers, several of whom are elderly, are not happy that they have been notified that their shift now runs to 5:00 PM instead of 4:00 PM. For many that might be a deal breaker. In the winter months, Mom does not want to drive home at 5:00 when it will be dark or dusk.
She wishes that the volunteers had been consulted before the new requirements came down.
Post Number: 2617
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 8:28 pm: || |
I don't think there has ever been an undertaking that everyone was pleased with. Internal curators and museum administrators have different duties. It's not unheard of for those differences to be a source of conflict.
I noticed that there were still several areas of the museum that were off-limits. I presume they will continue to work on those things.
The important thing, in my opinion, is that the DIA has made some very significant improvements, both in terms of its artwork and its relationship with the surrounding community. Those two things will make a huge difference for the DIA and Detroit.
Post Number: 2126
|Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2007 - 10:03 am: || |
"Internal curators and museum administrators have different duties."
Yeah, thats an understatement - and I will side with the actual curators every time. The administration brought Czajkowski in with her U of M art history degree to turn the place upside down, undercutting the expertise and authority of the actual curators. That would piss you off too if your boss did that in your department at where ever you work.
People like it, cool..I guess. - Ive said my peace.
Post Number: 1269
|Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2007 - 11:02 am: || |
It was pretty cool overall. Wild to see so many people in there. As Lowell noted, so many demographics represented and all admiring the art (except maybe the modern art).
The entire 3rd floor was not off limits. British and Dutch galleries were open, including Rembrandt.
Administrators are usually generalists and their subordinates are usually specialists. Thats true everywhere. It takes a good generalist to be able to bring it all together without appealing only to the specialist mentality.
Post Number: 69
|Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2007 - 1:27 pm: || |
Today the DIA membership department told me they have signed up over 1000 new memberships this weekend. Also that all membership levels are $10 off through this weekend.
Post Number: 2127
|Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2007 - 1:44 pm: || |
Yeah, Im seeing the third floor galleries on the map now, we just couldnt seem to find the way up there.
Post Number: 1180
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 11:38 am: || |
We went Saturday to the DFT and the museum afterwards. Looks great!
Post Number: 387
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 12:16 pm: || |
I agree , there are always Internal differences in any major project. Lets face it, everyone believes their view to be the correct one and when differences appear its very hard to come to a consensus at times. Since the general idea for the DIA was for it to appeal to the masses I really think we have to leave it up to them to make an evaluation. From what I have heard the vast majority of people think the DIA is incredible now. I do not think I have ever heard these kind of comments from so many people. Many people I know who are not inclined to visit Art Museums told me they feel they have found a new "thing" to do in Detroit and that they never knew it existed. In that right it seems like the mission has succeeded.
Post Number: 2131
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 6:27 pm: || |
Hey Gannon - did you say you were there in the early hours ? Im hearing some pretty horrible stories relating to the late (after 2am) crowds.
First of all they had to lock the front doors a few times during the day due to being WAY beyond the legal capacity per Fire Marshal rules and regulations. When I was there at night they still were certainly at a recklessly unsafe capacity. That combined with the fact that there really was only one way out of the building, opened the event to a possible disaster. Didnt even have to be a fire, just a pulled alarm and hundreds of people would have been crushed trying to figure out how to get out.
After 2 am the problem of alcohol service reared it ugly head. Those of you who have worked in the bar industry will understand what I am talking about. The DIA served alcohol, and was therefore responsible for anybody on their property who was intoxicated - as well as being legally liable for these individuals who drove home drunk after being at their building. After 2 am, they were expecting crowds to die down, but instead they got a post bar "after-hours" crowd that CAME IN absolutely wasted. Again, the law is clear - for an establishment serving alcohol, you are liable for anyone who is intoxicated on your property. EVEN when they got drunk before they arrived.
There were multiple scenes of legless drunk people vomiting in almost every gallery. This on top of crowds of people leaning against and pawing the art objects all night, certainly didnt fair well for the collection.
(if you doubt my explanation of the laws of alcohol service, look up Michigans "Dram Shop" law, it is explicit.)
Lowell knows who I know at the DIA, so he can verify that my observations are not all my own. These are primarily complaints from people on the inside.
The majority of third floor space - the "new" DIA - is office space. New smaller common cube farm style, the folks hate it.
Post Number: 10935
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 7:47 pm: || |
I did not see blatant signs of messy drunken behavior, although many of the patrons between 4 and 6 were obviously continuing their party.
Heck, I was, but I hadn't been drinking.
Young woman I was with had NO clue about proper museum behavior...she's a budding artist and overtly tactile-curious.
I caught her touching a few things, and finally snapped at her when she reached out towards one of the 8 x 12 Renassaince-era masterpieces...I couldn't believe it! (I did see others touching things, probably about six or seven other folk, all about her age, save for one older black man fabulously fascinated with some of the African art!)
She got all bent out of shape about my tone, then we turned the corner to see some sculpture actually LABELLED 'Touch Me' or some shit like that...what kind of mixed fucking message are they sending?!
Cover the expensive stuff with plexi...remove it for special adult showings...but no way should anything valuable enough to be on display in a museum be near enough to unsupervised children...and uncoached twenty-somethings.
Thought they learned their lesson with the bubble gum boy.
I didn't see any trouble when I was there, but security did seem a wee uptight.
I came in just before they quit the music, so perhaps there was a huge exodus when the 'after-party' stopped flowing.
Post Number: 2132
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 8:57 pm: || |
I guess me and a lot of other people not represented here are a bit burned at the attempt to make this like some kind of SuperBowl thing. Less than dignified.
Yeah, touchy feely info objects ARE a conflicting message - that crap belongs in the Science Center with the beef jerky circus.
Proof is in the pudding, look for the crowds next week when ya gotta pay to get in and there is no more hype. I know lots of brokeasses that are more than happy to go for free, but dont think its worth it to pay admission to support the museum.
Amateur night, all the way.
Post Number: 403
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 9:14 pm: || |
They've had a sculpture you can touch in the DIA for as long as I've been going there. It's a bronze donkey or something.
Post Number: 10938
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 9:19 pm: || |
One Thousand New Members.
Amateurs can turn into Pros.
You gonna chase everyone away who doesn't yet know any better?!
My friend learned, I hope. We'll see when we go back for the rest of the tour. I'll let you know.
They did such a great job of renovating the place, yet security cameras were nowhere to be seen...not like I was casing the joint, but I could see where a few pairs of good eyes at a central panel...perhaps encouraged by proximity motion sensors...would go a long way towards keeping another Bazooka Joe Kiddie Show from happening.
The weekend WAS a posture change for the institution...overall I believe it was a good thing, puking touchy-feely X'd-out twenty-somethings notwithstanding.
I'd really wonder how much ecstasy use had to do with the touching...although that wasn't MY date's issue. She is just a naive and curious person who simply never learned...it WAS her first time in ANY museum, ever.
Post Number: 10939
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 9:20 pm: || |
That was IT...I even took pictures of her with it...but they're stuck in my phone until I can get them out!
Post Number: 4087
|Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 3:14 am: || |
Wow, we have one enormous art museum. Those couple years of the "greatest hits" only collection made me forget. Was there tonight and the place looks great. The strength remains the amazing collection and the beautiful original building. The new wings are better, and I think I like the unorthodox groupings of art.
Do you think the artwork will return to the walls of the great hall, or will the walls remain bare as they are now?
Post Number: 2159
|Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2007 - 6:46 am: || |
"You gonna chase everyone away who doesn't yet know any better? "
Only ones who vomited, buddy !
Post Number: 5836
|Posted on Sunday, December 02, 2007 - 2:44 pm: || |
In today's Cincinnati Enquirer there's a nice article about the DIA (and other museums). They quoted the Wall Street Journal as saying that the DIA is "the most important museum west of Philadelphia"... fine praise indeed!
http://news.cincinnati.com/app s/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007712 020342
Post Number: 1030
|Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2007 - 10:33 pm: || |
Newsweek wrote a positive article recently on the renovation
Makeover For a Motor City Gem
The reopened Detroit Institute of Arts didn't just get a face-lift. It got an attitude adjustment for the 21st century.
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2007 - 2:33 pm: || |
Pretty good write up in the Washington Post. Looks like the DIA is on it's way to becoming a major tourist attraction (once again).
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12 /07/AR2007120700865.html
Post Number: 4350
|Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 1:48 am: || |
Welcome to the forum Bigdada and thanks for the link.
The line "For now, some of the walls will remain empty until the museum can acquire more pieces. "
I have been in the vaults of the DIA and they could fill up the new 35 K of gallery space with ease. In fact a lot of it is already in use.
Post Number: 786
|Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 10:10 pm: || |
Was in Mexico City on a business trip recently...had time to visit some of the incredible Diego Rivera murals in the government center...a wonderful reminder of a childhood spent marveling at the murals in the DIA...thank you Edsel Ford!
Post Number: 1042
|Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 7:39 pm: || |
There was a segment tonight on "The News Hour" about the refurbishment of the DIA. Any publicity is good publicity I suppose, but the report seemed awfully formulaic - Detroit, city down on it's luck, struggling art museum. (The DIA certainly could use more visitors and more funding, but that a far cry from "struggling".)
The News Hour report turned what should have been a positive story into doom and gloom.
Post Number: 95
|Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 8:55 pm: || |
We bought a family membership in November and have visited twice since then.
On Sunday afternoon the museum was very busy. A person at Member Services told us the DIA has sold 5000 new memberships in the past two months. I hope the interest and good attendance will continue.
Post Number: 68
|Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 9:45 pm: || |
I went twice in December and it didn't need any more vistors then--the place was packed. I am hoping that interest holds up once the publicity and novelty of the renovations wears off.
Post Number: 4350
|Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 9:57 pm: || |
I've visited twice as well, and the second time, the first week of this month, was a weekday afternoon and it was packed.
Post Number: 1043
|Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 10:24 pm: || |
It certainly was crowded Friday afternoon when I was there. Let's hope that the crowds keep coming.
Post Number: 1158
|Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 7:43 pm: || |
I have a free pass for for 2 adults and kids to the DIA. I will mail it to the first person to respond.
send email w/address to (no spaces) "motown @ michigan . usa . com" Hopefully you have a few posts, I don't need your real name.