In This Issue
Director's Letter
Special Event: Bal
Chess Champs
News and Notes

Director's LetterDirector's Letter

Graham W.J. Beale, Director 

Yes, it was quite a surprise to learn that the City of Detroit's emergency financial manager (EFM) was going to leave the DIA's collection, in his parlance "on the table," as part of the restructuring of the city's finances. Despite the obvious temptation to jump to thoughts of selling the art, we are a long way from there. The EFM himself has been quoted in the media as "not want[ing] to go there" and, although the city nominally owns the art, it's not that straightforward.

We believe strongly that the city and the museum hold the art collection in trust for the public, and that it is not, therefore, subject to sale to settle debts. The value of the DIA as an asset of the people of this city and this state lies not in its financial worth but as an irreplaceable cultural and educational resource. If the ultimate goal of the painful process of restructuring is to create a more healthy and attractive Detroit, dismantling the DIA can only work against that end. We hope that the EFM and the governor will come to the same conclusion very soon.              

 As was the case with the millage, there's a lot of talk about "all that stuff in the basement that the museum never puts on view." Well, there's a reason-or rather several reasons-that a large proportion of our collection is out of sight for much of the time. One, despite periodic reviews and deaccessioning (getting rid) of certain kinds of art, as a 127 year-old institution, the DIA has many objects that we would not bring into the collection today, ranging from early benefactor Frederick Stearn's souvenir bottle of colored sands from India to hundreds of shards of ancient Greek vases that were acquired "for teaching purposes" in 1927. Two, the DIA is fortunate in holding B+/A- pieces that we can use as substitutes when more important works on view in the galleries go out on loan. Three, we have many works of art that are light sensitive, notably works on paper and textiles. For each one of these objects that you see on view, we need to have four to six more in reserve that can rotate in and out of the galleries to prevent them from fading (being "fried," in collector's jargon!). The 6,000 works of art that you see in our galleries comprise, I would guess, about 95 percent of our most significant pieces. As dollar values in art invariably reflect deeper cultural values, it's the galleries where the ten-figure sums cited in the press will be found-definitely not the basement.  


It has also been suggested that the DIA has somehow been remiss in not doing more to preclude this perilous-seeming situation, and I want to assure you that we have made every effort to do what can be done to secure this great institution. The millage has given us a measure of financial security and, even as we worked on that, we were trying to work with the mayor's office and city council to recast our operating agreement with the city to reflect the changed circumstances of the past decade and a half. That said, we did not for one moment realistically expect the city to divest itself of ownership of the art collection and, to those who ask why not, I would simply point to the recent fracas over Belle Isle as a possible state park.


The DIA now finds itself in an unprecedented situation in uncharted waters, and I assure you that we will spare no effort to secure for future generations the integrity of the incredible collection that is at the core of our social, educational, and cultural value.                

Graham Beal Signature
Graham W. J. Beal

Back to top


Shirin NeshatShirin Neshat

Through July 7
Special Exhibition Galleries: South

Shirin Neshat's strikingly complex images delve into the issues related to Iranian politics and history, including images of Muslim women and references to Iranian literature. Her art explores the spaces between her personal aspirations, extraordinary life story, and the sociopolitical situation in Iran, and, by extension, the Muslim world. Though deeply rooted in her Iranian background, Neshat's work also incorporates universal themes of empowerment, loss, sacrifice, and the human desire for expression.

Blogger Tyler Green, writing in the Los Angeles Times, said Neshat's work revolves around issues of displacement through the creation of "characters trapped between systems: Iran and the West, male-dominated society and womanhood, beauty and horror."

Neshat herself put it more forcefully: "I have an obsession with my relationship with Iran and how that's been taken away from me....Art is the only thing where I can completely be free and create this other world that allows me to become complete."

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, available in the museum shop, or online. Click to access the museum's first exhibition app for iPad and Android devices.

This exhibition is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Generous support has been provided by the MetLife Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and the Marjorie and Maxwell Jospey Foundation. Additional support has been provided by the City of Detroit.

National Endowment for the Arts

Above: Shirin Neshat, American, b. Iran; Roja from The Book of Kings series, 2012, ink on LE silver gelatin print. © Shirin Neshat, Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Back to top

Ellsworth Kelly PrintsEllsworth Kelly Prints

Through September 8
Schwartz Galleries of Prints and Drawings and Special Exhibition Galleries: Central


Ellsworth Kelly, American; Sunflower I, 2004; lithograph. Edition of 50.© Ellsworth Kelly and Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles


Nearly fifty years of art are featured in this two-part retrospective of prints by Ellsworth Kelly. His iconic color, abstract prints, created from the mid-1960s through to the present, are on view in the first-floor Schwartz Galleries of Prints and Drawings. Upstairs, in the Special Exhibition Galleries: Central, off Rivera Court, are his black-and-white prints that continue the same explorations of highly refined geometric shapes but also reveal his broader interest in botanical subjects.

Almost all the botanically themed images are large, black outline lithographic drawings of fruits, flowers, and leaves, including pears, lemons, camellias, sunflowers, and grape and oak leaves. Kelly created these simplified yet recognizable forms continuously from the same moment in his career that he worked on his color abstractions. Most belong to six distinct series and clearly reflect the manner in which observations in the real world fuel his imagination.

A neighboring room is filled with personal hybrid geometric forms, much like those on view downstairs but printed only in black ink. Kelly often begins his prints in black, shape being paramount among his concerns and central to the composition.

Related books are available in the museum shop or online.

Ellsworth Kelly Prints is drawn entirely from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation in Portland, Oregon. Support for this exhibition is provided by Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, Portland, Oregon, with additional support in Detroit provided by Dede and Oscar Feldman, Marjorie and Maxwell Jospey Foundation, Lisa and Robert Katzman, Marianne and Alan Schwartz, Marc Schwartz, Lori and J. Patrick Stillwagon, Ileane and Bruce Thal, and the City of Detroit. The exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Back to top

Motor City MuseMotor City Muse
Detroit Photographs, Then and Now

Through June 16
Albert and Peggy de Salle Gallery of Photography


Karen Jobst, German; Detroit for John, Mary Lou, and Mr. Duke, 2011 (printed 2012); pigment print. Museum Purchase, Albert and Peggy de Salle Charitable Trust © Karin Jobst, 2012.


Only a few weeks remain to see this exhibition examining the complex and disparate nature of Detroit's history, diverse population, and culture as interpreted by photographers foreign and domestic, working now and in years past.

The images by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and Swiss-born Robert Frank represent outsiders' views of the city in the 1940s and '50s, while Detroiter Bill Rauhauser captured the city he knew intimately beginning in the 1950s and continuing to 1980. Russ Marshall went into factories, including the massive Ford Rouge complex, in the 1980s and '90, providing an updated look at the Detroit industries that had captivated Cartier-Bresson and Frank in earlier decades.

Dave Jordano encapsulates the then and now with Detroit scenes from the 1970s juxtaposed with the same sites today. Nicola Kuperus adds a modern twist to classic commercial photographs with her disconcerting images of women and cars. Karin Jobst's impressionist studies of familiar Detroit places rounds out the contemporary visions of the city.

An exhibition catalogue is available in the museum shop and online. Catch several of the photographers and curator Nancy Barr on Saturday, June 15, at a book signing in the Detroit Shoppe, Somerset Collection, Troy.

This exhibition has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Support has been provided by the Chrysler brand and Rock Ventures. Additional support has been provided by the City of Detroit.

Chrysler brandChrysler Brand

Back to top

Detroit Film TheatreDetroit Film Theatre

The summer season kicks off with a special weekend of films from the Ann Arbor-based Cinetopia festival of more than forty new and classic films. Nine new films are at the DFT over the weekend of June 7, 8, and 9. This is the first time Cinetopia has gone beyond its home base.


Among the films playing here are Our Nixon, featuring footage not seen publicly since the FBI seized it during the Watergate investigation; The Painting (left), a French animated film in which painted characters go in search of their true colors; Pieta, the South Korean thriller that won the Grand Prize at last year's Venice Film Festival; and a closing night tribute to guitarist Ron Ashton, showcasing a live 2011 performance by Iggy and the Stooges, filmed in Ann Arbor. Films run Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday.

The regular summer season begins the following weekend with War Witch (Rebelle), the gripping and ultimately deeply moving tale of two children forcibly conscripted into a rebel army in an unnamed African country. Also on the schedule are Becoming Traviata, a perfect marriage of theater and opera that reveals the relationship between the director and diva, and a new cinematic portrait of the great impressionist painter Renoir.


New this summer is the Saturday Animation Club, featuring matinees each week, starting June 15 with the Japanese film From Up on Poppy Hill (left). Check the Animation Club site later this month for information on how kids can join.

For a complete schedule or to purchase tickets, click here.


The DFT is presented by Buddy's Pizza.

Back to top





Time is limited to see the Inside|Out images currently on view in thirteen area municipalities before the reproductions are moved to their summer venues. Between June 15 and June 23 the images will be taken down. They will be installed in twelve other communities by July 3, in time for the celebrations on the fourth.

If you're headed to Mackinac Island this summer, keep an eye out for nine Inside|Out images, including Monet's Gladioli and Van Gogh's Portrait of Postman Roulin, situated within walking or bike-riding distance of the grounds of the Grand Hotel and Marquette Park near the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum. The reproductions will be on view through September.

For more information about Inside|Out locations and activities, click here or visit its Facebook page.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is sponsoring the program.

Back to top

Special Event48th Annual Bal Africain®

Special Event
Sat., June 15, 6-11 p.m.


Actor and philanthropist Danny Glover is this year's guest of honor at Bal Africain®,which raises funds for the Friends of African and African America Art while celebrating the cultural heritage of the African diaspora. The theme of this year's Bal, which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Friends, is "The Whole World Is a Stage...Performance Art," which makes Glover the perfect honoree.

Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage, and television for more than twenty-five years. His film credits range from the blockbuster Lethal Weapon franchise to smaller independent features, some of which Glover also produced. He has gained respect for his wide-reaching community activism and philanthropic efforts, with a particular emphasis on advocacy for economic justice and access to health care and education programs.

Proceeds from the Bal support acquisitions for the museum's collection of African and African American art, as well as lectures and programs sponsored by the Friends. Click here for more information or here to purchase tickets.

Back to top

Chess ChampsChess Champs


All City Scholastic Chess Dream Team
Front row: Paris Coleman, University Prep Math & Science; Brandy Copeland, Washington-Parks Academy; Bryan Wilson Jr., Spain; Lamar Price, Chrysler
Back row: Malik Hall, King High; Dimitrius Brown, Cass Tech; Michaela White, Detroit International Academy; Marcus Badgett, Spain


Congratulations to the Detroit City Chess Club, which makes the DIA their practice home on Friday nights, for victories at the Western Kentucky University Mastermind Tournament in Bowling Green. The tournament, held last month, drew top scholastic chess players from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Michigan. Sixteen members of the Detroit club participated, taking first place in the Primary, Elementary, and Junior High team divisions. Paris Coleman, Maxwell Motley, Kamauri Washington, Darian Williams, and Christian Yanish won individual awards during the competition.

Chess players and their coaches can usually be found in Prentis Court on Fridays. Kevin Fite, who founded the club in 2003, says the game teaches "children to think critically and make good judgments." People interested in learning how to play or brush up their skills are invited to join the Friday night practices. Lessons are offered between 4 and 6 p.m. There will be no teaching between 6 and 8 p.m., but visitors can play chess.

Back to top

News and NotesNews and Notes

Revitalized Kresge Court Debuts
As of Saturday, June 14, a revitalized Kresge Court is available for visitors to enjoy, featuring new seating, lighting, and easy WiFi access. A sophisticated menu of light fare, coffee, and cocktails will be available during museum hours, and a "cultural concierge" will be on hand to provide information on the DIA and other Midtown happenings. A number of discrete areas have been designed for different but overlapping activities, such as reading, studying, dining, meeting, and conversation.

June in the Shop
In honor of Father's Day, June 16, the Museum Shop has put together a selection of thoughtful gifts, from clocks and iPhone cases to ties and wallets. Also available are Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired items that ship free during June in honor of the architect's birthday. And we've got you covered for those other June celebrations--graduations and weddings--as well. Shop now at or visit us during regular museum hours.

Summer Camps
Space is still available in the DIA's summer camps--Camp Art in Action and Camp Art Exploration--for kids ages five to twelve, but they're filling up fast. Both camps run from 9 a.m. to noon the weeks of July 15 and July 29. Campers participate in five art-making sessions exploring the infinite possibilities of working with clay, paint, ink on paper, wood, and other media and also visit the galleries. For more information or to register, click here.

Military Families Free
The DIA is again participating in the Blue Star Museums program that provides free general admission to active military personnel and their families through Labor Day, September 3. The holder of a military ID and five immediate family members may take advantage of the program.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across the United States. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect, and empower military families.

Back to top

Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202

Comments or questions about the newsletter? Please contact us: 

$8 adults, $6 seniors, $4 children
The museum is free for members and residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties
Contact the Membership HelpLine at
313.833.7971 or 

For group sales (15 or more) contact 313.833.1292 or 

Call 313.833.1925 or 

Tue, Wed, Thur 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fri 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sat, Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Valet parking is available at the Farnsworth entrance on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, during regular museum hours. Valet parking is available all open hours. The price per car is $10.

Lighted, secure self-parking is available in the Cultural Center parking lot, between John R and Brush, behind the museum.

Ford Second Sundays are generously supported by the Ford Motor Company Fund. Next Ford Second Sunday, June 9.

Tue, Wed, Thur 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-9 p.m.
Sat, Sun 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Kresge Court Coffee Stop
Tue, Wed, Thur 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Fri-Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Museum Shop
313.833.7944 or
Open during museum hours or online at 

Connect with us!

Keep up-to-date with text messages about upcoming DIA events! Sign-up here.

Facebook   YouTube   Flickr Twitter   Proud to be located in Midtown Detroit
Become a MemberDonate