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Detroit Institute of Arts, Midtown’s Culture Hub

One of the World’s Great Art Museums

Every city has its icons – those places and personalities that stand out as superstars in the community. The Detroit Institute of Arts is just that. In fact, the DIA has been ranked one of the top six art museums in the United States. It’s a grand building, with an immense and diverse collection that has earned rave reviews from around the world. Their vast permanent collection features everything from mummies to Monet, medieval metalwork to modern art. An all-new Asian wing showcases a broad range of traditional and contemporary creativity from throughout the Far East.

Opened in 1927, the museum was designed in the Beaux Arts style by Paul Philippe Cret, whose credits include major libraries, memorials and university buildings across the country. Gunnar Birkerts designed new wings in the modernist style in the 1960s. And Michael Graves completed a massive renovation and addition in 2007. Today there are more than 650,000 square feet with a collection comprising more than 66,000 objects; 100 galleries; an 1,100 seat theater designed by C. Howard Crane; a recital and lecture hall; reference library; restaurant and a museum store.

Among the most popular works in the museum are those by Diego Valazquez, Rembrandt, John Singleton Copley, Edgar Degas, Cezanne, Matisse, Auguste Rodin, van Gogh, Picasso, Diego Rivera, Frank Stella, Francis Bacon and others. There are galleries devoted to African art, indigenous American art, ancient western antiquities, sculpture and decorative arts, prints and photographs, and many others. But whatever your jam, a visit to the DIA is a visit to a Motor City icon with a view of the world.

Hot Spots in Midtown Detroit

Midtown Detroit is home to some of the State’s major institutions including the Detroit Historical Museum, a renowned art school, a sprawling medical campus, a major university, plus highly regarded performing arts venues and restaurants. Directly across Woodward from the museum is the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Here you’ll discover the Burton Historical Collection, a treasure trove of historical records and photos. Their collection includes the National Automotive History Collection, one of nation's premier public automotive archives; the Ernie Harwell Sports Collection; numerous resources for those interested in genealogical research; plus many other records and archives for those interested in Detroit and Michigan’s place in U.S. and world events. For more on the automotive archive and other records, visit the Burton Collection online.

Take a Virtual Tour of Woodward Ave.

Download BlippAR and scan the historical point of origin marker below to discover Woodward through an interactive augmented reality experience.

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