Tuesday, November 27, 2007

DIA reopens after $158 million renovation

While I had a wonderful time traveling to two separate weddings this month and visiting my in laws in New York for Thanksgiving, I have to admit that it's always great to be home. Especially when major things, like the re-opening of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), are going on around town.

DIA Interior, Image by Scotter

Closed since May 28, 2007, the DIA reopened its doors on Friday, November 23 after a six-and-a-half year, $158 million building renovation and expansion to present its world-class collection in a totally new light.

The result is the new DIA: 60,000 works. 5,000 objects. And one grand experience.

Aside from adding another 58,000 square feet to the museum and the new granite facade on the North and South Wings, the massive overhaul also brings infrastructure upgrades, increased gallery space, expanded visitor amenities, an improved museum traffic pattern, and a more visitor-friendly experience. For example, now, instead of grouping objects strictly by time period or style, many galleries are arranged according to the stories the objects have to tell. Galleries also explore themes that resonate with each visitor’s personal experiences, such as spirituality, travel, and the cycles of life.

Visitors will now find more ways to personally connect with the art, since the DIA’s renowned collection is presented in historical, social, political or spiritual contexts. Improved labels, new tours, hands-on activities, and high-tech interpretive devices add to this. When checking out the new DIA, visitors will also find an expansive new CafĂ© DIA, more seating in the galleries, a larger museum shop, and improved way-finding and visitor information.

I've only been back in town for a few days, so I haven't made it over to the museum yet. But thanks to some great local posting (check here, here, here and here) by fellow bloggers-Scotter and -Mollika* at Metroblogging Detroit, I am tided over until I can make it to the new DIA for myself.

The Detroit Institute of Arts was founded in 1885 and is recognized as one of the country’s premier art museums. The museum’s approximately 60,000 works of art comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from prehistory through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera’s world-renowned Detroit Industry murals, the DIA’s collection reveals the scope and depth of human experience, imagination, and emotion. For more information, please click here.

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