The museum that I decided to visit was the Detroit Institute of Arts. It is a well-known museum in the field of arts and architecture. Apart from that, it is also renowned because of its vast art collections. Actually, it is ranked as the second largest municipal museum in the U.S in terms of the number of art collections. Currently, it boasts of over more than 100 galleries with an area that covers approximately 658,000 sq. ft.
Detroit Institute of Arts is located at 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit Michigan in the United States. The place was visited at the second week of February at around 14:00 in the afternoon. DIA was chosen because of the significance of the artworks in its collection such as the “Ishtar Gate of Babylon”, “The Wedding Dance” and other classical and contemporary artworks gathered from all over the world, from different eras. It also features some historical Egyptian figures that could not be seen in other museums. DIA also boasts of a uniquely-styled architecture. It’s current architectural appearance is actually a product of several expansions and renovations that were all geared up to increase the capacity of the museum to handle more artwork collections and to provide comfort and convenience to people, especially students and elderlies, who visit the place (DIA, 2012).
The bread and butter of a great and fully-functional museum are its collection (Moore, 2011). According to records, DIA holds the second largest and most significant artwork collections in the U.S. It currently houses more than 60,000 artworks—works that were over 200 years old. The artwork collections in the museum could be categorized in to several clusters. Here are some artwork classifications that could be found in DIA (DIA, 2012):
1. Africa, Oceania and the Indigenous Americas
2. American Art
3. European Art
4. Asian and Islamic Art
5. Prints, Photographs and Drawings
6. General Motors Center for African American Art
7. The James Pearson Duffy department of Contemporary Art
8. Performing Arts
The DIA consistently and regularly updates its art collections because its goal is to bring the world’s culture and creativity right into Detroit’s doorstep. In terms of age, the artworks here could be classified from classic up to modern artworks. Nevertheless, they all exhibit a fresh outlook, thanks to the maintenance staff who never fails to unleash the beauty of these artworks.
The visit was spectacular. One would already be amazed how the museum was decorated and presented outside. It will definitely occupy a person’s attention the moment he sees it in his periphery. Furthermore, the artwork collections were also fascinating. However, the most significant thing about the museum that left a mark in my head was the vastness of the collections. No wonder it ranked 2nd in the whole U.S in terms of the number of artwork collections alone. However, there was one thing that I didn’t actually like about the museum and it was neither the artwork nor the people visiting the place. It was the staff. Perhaps they could use a little smile in greeting guests. But generally, the place could really be great stress relieving location. It is certainly one of the hotspots in town.
Some Remarkable Artworks
One of the newly-acquired and special collections in DIA was the “Courtly Amber Casket”. It was basically an amber casket with surfaces made from ivory. Theoretically, it was crafted for a court in Northern Europe—most likely for decoration purposes. The sculpture was skillfully crafter by Gottfried Wolfram, a famous sculptor known for his amber and ivory works in Germany and Denmark somewhere between the 17th and 18th century. According to stories and myths, the “Courtly Amber Casket” possesses magical powers and that’s one of the reasons why DIA acquired such casket (DIA, 2012). These are basically the main reasons why this has been such as significant art piece for DIA.
Another remarkable artwork from DIA that could be compared to the “Courtly Amber Casket” was the “Winter Landscape” by Mortimer Smith. This artwork was created on 1878 using oil on canvas as the medium. In terms of size, the artwork is not so large with a dimension of 30 x 50.25 inches (DIA, 2012). People who would want to see the artwork should easily locate it somewhere on the American Arts Department. One thing that could be easily noticed in this figure was the choice of colors. The colors exhibit a relaxing sensation that could be felt the moment you begin to look at it. It is as if you are really looking into a forest covered with snow, with all the deer and other animals present and also looking back at you. Mortimer Smith was played an important role in Detroit’s arts community. He exhibited his talent in different organizational events such as the Detroit Art Loan Exhibition, several Detroit Institute of Arts and Detroit Art Association competitions (Gerdts, 1999).
Overall, the visit to the museum was great. I and my classmates learned a lot of things about the arts and culture of Americans and other nationalities—thanks to the Detroit Institute of Arts. We were definitely amazed by how big and organized the place is and by how vast its museum collections were. Nevertheless, it was an enjoying and fruitful trip and I would definitely recommend going to the place.
Detroit Institute of Arts. (2012). Courtly Amber Casket. New Acquisitions. Accessed February
2012. Available at http://www.dia.org/art/new-acquisitions.aspx.
Detroit Institute of Arts. (2012). Winter Landscape. Art at the DIA. Accessed February 2012.
Available at http://www.dia.org/object-info/449e9dc9-dc8d-4851-b58d-785c149f53e1.aspx?position=2#.
Moore, R. (2011). Museum of Liverpool Review. Accessed February 2012. Available at
Gerdts, W. (1999). Two centuries of regional painting. New York: Abbeville Press.