Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 DIA gets $15 million in art from Ford estate Previous Next
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Detroitman
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Post Number: 911
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 216.78.46.161
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 4:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

DIA gets $15 million in art from Ford estate
Thursday, February 16, 2006
By Roger Green
Booth Arts Writer
http://www.mlive.com/news/stat ewide/index.ssf?/base/news-7/1 140046803188710.xml&coll=1
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Skulker
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Post Number: 3555
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Posted From: 67.103.104.93
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 6:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It would be nice if the DIA could show them all together in a gallery in context of each other as a collection for a brief period before dispersing them through the collection...

Would make for a great series of fundraising events with private parties hosted in the gallery ....and a great way to show case how one's legacy can be showcased and carried on to current collectors who may be considering gifts in the future.....anybody out there like DH4H reading this?
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Gistok
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Post Number: 1778
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Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 6:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The best picture of the group, the Van Gogh, was already on loan to the DIA, and has been for some time. It was originally in the Morning Room of Edsel & Eleanor Ford's Gaukler Point estate.

All 4 of the Ford children (Henry II, Benson, Josephine and William Clay Sr.) received a major painting from their mother's estate. I believe that all but Henry II, have donated them to the DIA (or are planning on doing so). Henry II got the best picture of the lot, a large Renoir, which he soon sold afterwards (at Sotheby's I'm sure!) for $18 million. Too bad for the DIA.
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Bucho
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Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 6:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How does the DIA rank with other art institutions?
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Gistok
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Post Number: 1782
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Posted From: 4.229.72.205
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 6:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The DIA ranks in the top 7 art museums in the country. What are the other 6? Off the top of my head I would have to say Boston, Chicago, D.C. (Smithsonian's art museum), NYC (Metropolitan), Philadelphia, and L.A. (Getty Museum).

(Message edited by Gistok on February 16, 2006)
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Everydayislikesunday
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Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 6:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

as far as private donors, or the museum as a whole?

The DIA has one of the leading encyclopedic collections of art in the US. Last time I checked, I believe we were ranked 4th or 5th within the US.
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Gdub
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Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 6:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Modigliani is probably the most valuable, though they all sound pretty major. The DIA ranks high in terms of Impressionist and Modernist stuff, but their contemporary collection is really limited. The city doesn't have a contemporary art museum, so it would be a good thing if the DIA really stepped up after their renovation and acquired some more adventurous recent art.
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Motorcitymayor2026
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Posted From: 71.10.63.140
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 7:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

4th largest in the country, in terms of pieces in its gallery. I dont know how or if the expansion will impact this at all
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Belleislerunner
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Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 7:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The DIA is the fifth largest fine arts museum in the the US and ranks as the second largest municipally owned museum in the country.
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Lmichigan
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Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 7:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gdub, it seems to be that most cities are building anew contemporary art museums instead of including them in their older art museums. It would be interesting to see another new location for contemporary art, altogether somewhere in the cultural center, IMO.

The DIA is a great museum, though. I'd call it "world class," in many regards, even.
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Dialh4hipster
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Post Number: 1435
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Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 7:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The DIA's greatest strength is its collection of American art, considered the third best collection in the US (after the Met and, I believe, the National Gallery?). Its collection is very strong in many other areas as well, including African and African-American art.

The modern collection is very solid, and I suppose for a museum that does not specialize in modern it is quite good. It's true, the contemporary collection is small.

The DIA not only attracts great shows but develops them as well. "American Beauty," a collection of some of the highlights of the American Art collection, traveled through Europe a few years ago and was extremely popular. I saw it at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and it was GREAT seeing all these familiar pieces shown in a completely different (very modern) setting. As for shows it attracts, it was the only US venue for the recent Rodin & Camille Claudel exhibition, and of course everyone remembers the big Van Gogh show from a few years back.

I've heard rumblings that monied arts enthusiasts are putting together the financial foundation for a modern/contemporary art museum. I don't know any details, just heard the rumor. When discussing it with DIA personnel the general sense (and personal opinion of the person I was talking to, not an official DIA position) was that yes, ideally the DIA should be involved or should be doing something like that, but they are not. Obviously the recent renovation was an incredibly huge undertaking and there is only so much an institution can do with limited resources.

If people truly do value the DIA, I would ask that they show their support by becoming a member. Membership dollars are incredibly important for the financial health of the museum, and every little bit helps. There are many benefits of membership. But mostly, why WOULDN'T someone want to be a member of their great, internationally-renowned museum?

http://www.dia.org/membership/ index.asp?menu=membership&main =yes
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Leoqueen
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Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 7:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

At one time the DIA was very responsible towards Detroit and Michigan contemporary art; KICK OUT THE JAMS highlighting the Cass Corridor phenomenon, the OMAP series of shows [Ongoing Michigan Artists Program], and the curatorship of Jan VanDerMarck going out into the arts community and integrating it with the museum [the INTERVENTIONS exhibition in 1995, with a DVD catalog, a first, was a great example of this].

The attention just seemed to peter out, especially after the recent fiasco with the Contemporary curator leaving after only 3 months.
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Hornwrecker
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Posted From: 63.41.8.184
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 10:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The DIA would be a lot higher ranked if they didn't piss off old Charlie Freer; he donated his extensive collection of oriental art and the Whistler Peacock Room to the Smithsonian instead of to Detroit.

Freer Gallery
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Karl
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Username: Karl

Post Number: 1276
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Posted From: 72.25.177.194
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 10:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Even tho I usually disagree with him, I'd like to suggest that the term "Kick out the Jams" never be used again on these threads:-)

Thanks for a very interesting & historical thread.
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Smogboy
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Post Number: 1758
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Posted From: 69.47.101.255
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 10:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Geez, $50 million to CCS not that long ago and now this hefty donation to the DIA? The Fords are truly the patrons of art in the Detroit area. Bravo to them for their generosity.
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Gistok
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Post Number: 1786
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Posted From: 4.229.6.82
Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 1:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hornwrecker, I feel the same way about Charles Lang Freer giving his entire collection to the Smithsonian. I've been to the Freer house several times and even got to visit what is now an empty shell.... James MacNeil Whistler's Peacock Room above the carriage house. What a sense of loss that brings seeing it today.

On a similar note, I do hope that Richard Manoogian donates his entire art collection to the DIA. From what I understand, some of it is already on loan to the DIA, and some is at his Masco Corp. HQ in Taylor.

But what really interests me is Manoogian's best picture from his collection, George Caleb Bingham's 1847 masterpiece "The Jolly Flatboatmen" (Mississippi River boatmen), a very important and famous American 19th century classic, which is on loan to the Smithsonian's National Gallery of Art. I hope he gets it back for the DIA's own collections. Time will tell.

But with the DIA's American 19th century collection being 3rd best in the world, it would really be a coup to get it donated to the DIA.
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Gistok
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Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 1:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

DH4H..... a new Detroit Museum of Modern Art.... I like the sound of that. Now that would be something for Frank Gehry to design.... innovative architecture would be superbly well suited for such a project! :-)
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Dialh4hipster
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Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 2:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gistok, you are speaking my language. The Detroit Modern - it'd be amazing.

Also, Richard Manoogian could not be a bigger supporter of the museum. It seems that he buys with the museum in mind, and he has a close relationship with the dept of American art. If historical precedents are any indication (and I'm thinking W. Hawkins Ferry's art purchases, seemingly bought with the museum in mind and then donated upon his death, as an example) perhaps Richard would donate his extensive art collection to the DIA at some point.

The DIA is blessed with many great supporters. It always bothers me a bit when I read statements of antipathy against anyone weathly in the Detroit area on this forum. Just because someone isn't spending their money the way *you* might spend it does not mean they are not spending it in a worthwhile manner. The DIA has no one to turn to for money except its patrons, so I do believe we should give credit where credit is due in that department.
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The_aram
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Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 4:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

On a similar note, I do hope that Richard Manoogian donates his entire art collection to the DIA. From what I understand, some of it is already on loan to the DIA, and some is at his Masco Corp. HQ in Taylor.



Quite a bit of it is housed at the Masco headquarters. it's quite impressive. i don't know how much he has loaned to the DIA right now, but in the past his collection has been featured in special exhibitions.

I thought I read somewhere a couple years ago that he had purchased a building on Woodward with hopes of having a contemporary art gallery. might be thinking of someone else, though.
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Everydayislikesunday
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Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 4:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's so nice to see people give our American art collection the praise it deserves. Im a huge fan of American art -- i hope to make it my specialization -- and I think it tends to be overlooked. We have a great collection and an even greater curatorial staff in the American Art department. Kudos all around.

I'm curious about the Freer collection -- Ive heard conflicting stories on why he didnt leave his art to the city. The first was that he was upset over the failure to fund the Detroit BiCentennial Project -- Freer figured that if Detroit couldnt fund and support a project as architecturally significant as that, then the city couldnt really appreciate his art. The second story that Ive heard showed that the DIA was in heavy talks with Freer, but he insisted that whoever received his collection exhibit it as whole. The DIA wouldnt promise that, so he took his collection to DC. Ive heard both stories, one even from the curatorial staff, but the conflicting stories always made me wonder. Who knows -- it could be both!
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Mauser765
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Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 7:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aside from a few key pieces - a portrait of Edsel and a small landscape both by Diego Rivera, all the paintings at the Gaukler Point Ford mansion are copies. (denoted by special plaques). The originals are always cared for by the DIA conservators.

The Ford family (at least Edsel Fords family) have always supported the arts in Detroit. Edsel and Eleanor personally bankrolled the DIA staff during the Great Depression to keep the institution open. Their home at Gaukler Point is a testament to their devotion to the arts, and to one another. Its a wonderful place to visit.

Side note: Edsel was a damn great designer in his own right.
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Gdub
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Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 11:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aram--it's true there was some talk about Manoogian opening a contemporary museum. It would be great if we just had something small, with a decent permanent collection. The Silvermans have the largest Fluxus collection in the world, and maybe someday it will have a public home (aside from appearing at Cranbrook every 5-10 years), but aside from that there really aren't any bigtime collectors in the area who could donate to a permanent museum. Unless there's some local millionaire quietly assembling a collection. I remember flipping through one of those glossy high-end local real estate listing magazines and seeing the interior pictures of a million $ house with a big Basquiat on the living room wall--a painting that's worth more than the house.
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Gistok
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Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 3:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mauser765, you are correct. Probably the most valuable painting still at the Ford House is Cezanne's "Mt. Victoire", which is still in its' original location in the green Drawing Room.

Yes W. Hawkins Ferry was a wonderful benefactor to the DIA's collections.

But there is one benefactor that really stands out at the DIA. That would be Robert Hudson Tannahill, first cousin to Eleanor Ford (they were both related to J.L. Hudson). It is hard to find a gallery in the DIA where Tannahill didn't contribute some artwork. When he died (circa 1970?) he left an enormous (numbering into the thousands) and important collection to the DIA.

Also, speaking of American Art..... Lowell and I both have the same favorite painting at the DIA, the enormous canvas by 19th century painter Frederick Church (of the Hudson River School). That painting, a picture of a smouldering 19,500 foot tall South American volcano (in Ecuador)..... COTOPAXI. I could stare at that picture for hours.

But the DIA's most important painting by far (not counting the Rivera Murals) is WEDDING DANCE by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, who lived in the 16th century (old Dutch master). IIRC there are only about 3 dozen Brueghel's extant in the world, all but 3 are locked up in European museums (with half of those in Vienna's Kunstgallerie museum).

But I don't know where the other 2 (non-European) Brueghels are located. Brueghel did landscapes and peasant scenes. We are very lucky because WEDDING DANCE is probably his finest peasant scene painting.

For the sake of modesty, many many years ago someone painted over the phallic "cod pieces" of the men in WEDDING DANCE. But in recent decades the DIA restored them to all their bulging glory! :-)

(Message edited by Gistok on February 17, 2006)
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Mauser765
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Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 5:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

But the DIA's most important painting by far (not counting the Rivera Murals) is WEDDING DANCE by Pieter Brueghel the Elder




I one million percent agree. It is also the best.
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Jsmyers
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Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 8:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Last time I was at the DIA, I spent a lot of time looking at the Wedding Dance. I liked it too, and then I noticed...

...That a bunch of the men in the scene are pitching a tent.

I'm curious if any of the art experts have any ideas on the purpose or significance of that.

I was thinking that he was trying to show joy, excitement and virility of the peasents, to contrast with subdued and almost sad paintings of the upper class.
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Gdub
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Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 4:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's Rebecca Mazzei's Metro Times article from last week on this painting, if you didn't catch that issue: http://www.metrotimes.com/edit orial/story.asp?id=8854
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Jsmyers
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Post Number: 1435
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Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 4:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks,

I didn't catch it...

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