You CAN See the DIA All in One Day
Among Detroit museums, there is no greater art collection in size, diversity, or historic scope than that of the Detroit Institute of Arts. And of the many things to do in Detroit, it’s near the top of the list. So how do you see it all in one visit? You don’t. But you can totally play the highlights reel. Read on for Groupon’s guide to a superior Saturday at the DIA.
10 a.m.: Sightseeing requires energy, and maybe a pastry. After heading in the main entrance, continue straight down the main hallway and follow signs for Kresge Court. Pick up a Starbucks coffee, and then delve into the immediately adjacent Photography, Drawings, and Prints exhibits. Highlights: Michelangelo’s Studies for the Sistine Chapel, Charles Sheeler’s photograph Wheels.
11 a.m.: The first floor also features collections from Africa, Egypt, Native American cultures, and Oceania. The museum is particularly known for its African arts, a nearly unparalleled diversity of works from more than one hundred African cultures. One highlight: the Asante royal gold soul-washer’s badge, recovered from the burial chamber of a 19th-century king.
Noon: Sit down in CafeDIA to refuel with a sandwich or burger.
1 p.m.: One final stop on the first floor: Asia and the Middle East. The Islamic collection has many diverse highlights, but a particular favorite is the Qur’an written on colored Chinese papers in the 15th century.
2 p.m.: Head back to Kresge Court and take the stairs up to the Grand Gallery. To your left, you’ll find one of the most extensive collections of American paintings around. Check out Frederic Edwin Church’s Cotopaxi, an iconic landscape that exemplifies the style and skill of the Hudson Valley Painters.
3 p.m.: Across the Grand Hall lies the European and Renaissance Gallery, and within, visitors will find many familiar names: Rembrandt, Bellini, Titian, and more. Ever wanted to see Rodin’s The Thinker? Here’s your chance. How about Van Gogh’s self portrait? Also within these walls.
4 p.m.: Time to take in the Museum’s most famous exhibit. Head to the Rivera Court to see Mexican muralist Diego Rivera’s 27-piece series, Detroit Industry. Commissioned specifically for display in the museum, the murals reflect Detroit’s history and culture, while showcasing artistry that Rivera himself considered the finest of his career. At any point, stop by the nearby Azul Taco Bar for a bite to eat.
5 p.m.: It’s time to make some decisions. Extensive Modern and Contemporary galleries contain sculpture, expressionist paintings, and multimedia art. For something less abstract, head up to the third floor to check out the furniture collection, featuring decor from Europe, America, and beyond.
6 p.m.: It’s time to let your heart be your guide. Dig back into an exhibit you really enjoyed, or take in one of the galleries not mentioned in this guide; there are a few.
7 p.m.: Go home, or at least back to the hotel. It’s been a long day.
Zach writes, draws, and develops web applications with pretty much all of his professional and free time. He enjoys spending time with his wife, his two cats, and at his favorite gym, EKF Martial Arts.