Exhibitions & EventsCalendar Item

Cotopaxi Frederic Edwin Church
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Cotopaxi (76.89) — Frederic Edwin Church

Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate

Sunday, November 20, 2016 – Sunday, March 05, 2017

From social revolutions that changed the way we drink our morning blends, to design revolutions that changed the objects that we drink from, step back in time to when gathering over a cup of your favorite hot beverage caused a stir that upended the world.

Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate is the first exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts to engage all five senses. In addition to seeing art, you can touch, hear, smell and even taste coffee- and tea-related beverages.

Bitter|Sweet Community Programs

For a complete listing of community programs related to Bitter|Sweet, please visit www.culturesource.org/bittersweet


Photography is permitted and encouraged – use #SipTheStory on Instagram to share your ritual for drinking coffee, tea or chocolate

#SipTheStory on Instagram


Purchase Tickets

Members – Reserve your tickets here.

Tickets for this special exhibition are timed and limited. Advance purchase is strongly recommended, especially on weekends when most tickets sell out well in advance. If you purchase tickets online, avoid waiting in line by printing your tickets from home and bringing them with you.

  • Adults: $14 / $10 for Tri-County Residents
  • Youth (Ages 6-17): $9 / $5 for Tri-County Residents
  • Groups (15+): $12 / $8 for Tri-County Residents

DIA Members receive free exhibition tickets, shop and café discounts, and more. Advanced reservations are also recommended for members. Call 313.833.7971 for membership information.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is located in midtown Detroit near Woodward & Warren at:

5200 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48202

Museum Hours

  • Tuesday – Thursday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Getting to the DIA: Road Construction Information

Due to the M-1 rail construction, various exits/freeways/streets near the DIA will be temporarily closed until the project is completed. Click here for the latest construction updates and directions on how to get to the museum.


Map of the DIA surrounding area in downtown Detroit

Museum Parking Lot: secured self-parking, enter off John R Street, just south of Kirby, daily, $7
Valet parking: Due to construction of the M-1 Rail, the DIA is no longer available to provide valet parking. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Street parking is available around the museum using the Park Detroit app, or at nearby parking kiosks.

WSU Self-Parking Locations:

Rackham: enter off Warren (north side) just east of Woodward, daily, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., $7
Welcome Center: enter off Putnam St. (south side) just west of Woodward, Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. - midnight, $2 - $10; Saturday, 7 a.m. - 11 p.m., $7.50

Coffee, tea and chocolate were strongly associated with 18th-century Europe as the fashionable beverages of the day, yet none of the plants required for their preparation were native to the continent. Coffee arrived from Africa and the Middle East, tea from Asia, and chocolate from the Americas.

Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate retraces the story of how these “new hot drinks” appeared on European tables beginning the in late 16th century, causing a near revolution in drinking habits, social customs and tastes, as well as an insatiable demand for specialized vessels, such as coffeepots, tea canisters and chocolate pots. The works of art assembled draw heavily from the DIA’s world-class encyclopedic collection and range from rare examples of porcelain and metalwork to paintings, prints and sculptures. In a departure from traditional art exhibitions, their presentation will be complemented by multi-sensory interpretive elements that engage all five senses—the museum’s first-ever exhibit to do so. As visitors to the show will learn, such beverages not only stimulated the body and mind, but also the desire for colonial expansion.

Located on the second level next to the entrance of Bitter|Sweet, the DIA Museum Shop has a selection of goods inspired by the exhibition, including great gifts for the holidays.

A scholarly catalogue titled Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate: Consuming the World by exhibition curator Yao-Fen You, with essays by Mimi Hellman and Hope Saska has been published by the Detroit Institute of Arts and Yale University Press.

The Bitter|Sweet Shop is open during museum hours, or shop online 24/7 at DIAShop.org

Student Groups in grades 5-12 receive free admission to see Bitter|Sweet! For more booking and reservations, please call 313.833.1292.

To download a self-guide resource to support your student visit to Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea and Chocolate, click here.


The exhibition is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Image: Pineapple Coffeepot, c. 1750, creamware with colored glazes, Staffordshire, England. Detroit Institute of Arts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand F. Stetekluh

Add to Calendar 11/20/2016 3/5/2017 America/New_York Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate Detroit Institute of Arts DIA tickets@dia.org false MM/DD/YYYY