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Museum Mystery Tours, Alloy Orchestra part of October Fun at Detroit Institute of Arts: Faberge: The Rise and Fall, The Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts opens Oct. 14

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

(Detroit)—October at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) features the popular Museum Mystery Tours, the acclaimed Alloy Orchestra playing live to a silent film, artist demonstrations and puppet shows. Faberge: The Rise and Fall, The Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts opens Oct. 14 and Picasso and Matisse: The DIA’s Prints and Drawings is currently on view.


Programs are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted. For more information, call (313) 833-7900 or visit


Guided Tours: Wednesdays–Thursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1 p.m.; Saturdays–Sundays, 1 & 3 p.m.


Detroit City Chess Club: Fridays, 4–8 p.m.

The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members have won state, regional and national competitions. People wanting to learn how to play chess should show up between 4 and 6 p.m. There will be no teaching between 6 and 8 p.m., but visitors can play chess.


Drawing in the Galleries (for all ages): Fridays, 69 p.m. Sundays, noon4 p.m.


Drop-In Workshops (for all ages)

Fridays in October, 6–9 p.m. – Altered Books: Cut, tear, fold and paste to turn a small DIA re-purposed booklet into a work of art.

Saturdays in October, noon–4 p.m. – Sugar Skulls: Decorate sugar skulls and learn how they are used for Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexican and Mexican American communities.

Sundays in October, noon–4 p.m. – The Artable Egg: Transform a variety of “egg” shaped materials—wood, plastic, and paper—into miniature works of art using beads, baubles, and bling. In conjunction with Faberge: The Rise and Fall.


Friday Night Live, October 5

Music: Detroit Film Theatre: The Alloy Orchestra Live in Concert with The Overcoat: 7:30 pm

Nikolai Gogol’s 1842 story The Overcoat is the basis for this rarely seen silent-screen adaptation, presented with a new musical score performed live by Boston’s Alloy Orchestra. The film is sponsored by Buddy’s Pizza. Music performance presented by DTE Energy Foundation with additional support from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan


Family Sunday, October 7

Artist Demonstration: Letterpress: noon–4 p.m.

Bryan Baker, artistic director of Detroit’s Stukenborg Press, demonstrates the intricacies of letter press, illustrating the ins-and-outs of printing techniques while going through some of his recent print works.


Sunday Music Bar: Denis Bouriakov and the Southeast Michigan Flute Association: 1 & 3 pm

The 1 p.m. performance features the finest flutists from southeastern Michigan and the 3 p.m. performance features a recital by the principal flutist from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.


Thursday, October 11

Lecture: Picasso and Matisse: The DIA’s Prints and Drawings: 6:30 p.m.

Who, what, why, where, when—a small number of Detroit collectors shaped the DIA’s holding of Picasso and Matisse works. Learn about the personalities and patterns of acquisition that were so influential in defining the museum’s collection to this day from Nancy Sojka, curator and department head of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs,. Sponsored by Forum for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs


Detroit Film Theatre: Twilight of the Tsars: Russian Cinema from 1910 to 1919 presents Adaptions of Alexander Pushkin’s The Queen of Spades and The House in Kolomna: 7 p.m.

The early output of Russian cinema included a number of adaptations of works by Alexander Pushkin. Among the most important is this pair of films directed by Petr Chardynin. The Queen of Spades (1910) is a cautionary fable about love and gambling. The near-scandalous adaptation of Pushkin’s The House in Kolomna (1913) stars the extraordinary Ivan Mozzhukhin, who soon went on to a film career in France as well as a brief stint in Hollywood at the end of the silent era.


Friday Night Live, October 12

Class: Clay: Jack-O-Lanterns (ages 5 and up with an adult): 6–8 p.m.

Find a simple way to turn bowl-like shapes into jack-o-lanterns with your own designs. Don’t forget to enjoy the Halloween week programs at the museum when you pick up your projects at a later date. Class size limited to 16. Cost: Members $24; Nonmembers $32. To register, call 313-833-4005.


Music: Trio Voronezh: 7 & 8:30 pm

Trio Voronezh plays traditional Russian folk instruments: a double-bass balalaika (a three-stringed instrument), a domra (a three-stringed ancestor of the mandolin) and a bajan (a chromatic-button accordion). Presented by DTE Energy Foundation with additional support from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan


Ford Free Sunday, October 14

Sunday Music Bar: Trio Voronezh: 1 & 3 pm

(See Oct. 12 Music for details)


Class: Clay: Potter’s Wheel Workshop (adults only): 1–4 p.m.

Enjoy an introductory potter’s wheel experience in this hands-on class that includes individual guidance, demonstrations and a tour of ceramics in the galleries. Projects will be fired for pick-up at a later date. Class size limited to 12. Cost: Members $36; Nonmembers $48. To register, call 313-833-4005.


Puppet Performance: Paul Mesner Puppets presents Rapunzel: 2 p.m.

Paul Mesner Puppets presents a “veggie” wonderful love story about two avid gardeners, Okra and Romaine, who meet, marry and have a beautiful daughter named Rapunzel. An evil witch, who forced Romaine to promise that he would give up his first-born child many years before, returns to claim the lovely child for her own. Rapunzel is taken to live in a tower and her future looks bleak until the prince arrives and Rapunzel hatches a plan to escape the evil captor and “leaf” happily ever “alfalfa.”


Lecture: Fabergé: From Imperial Culture to Pop Culture: 2 p.m.

The name Fabergé has many connotations: imperial jeweler to the doomed Russian royal family; dime-store deodorants and cheap aftershave; fabulous one-of-a-kind bejeweled eggs. Exhibition curator Yao-Fen You invites you to explore Fabergé’s legacy, from its illustrious imperial past to its descent into kitsch and prominence in popular culture.


Lecture: Searching for the “African” in “African Art Studies”: 2 p.m.

Like “postmodernism” and “deconstructionism,” global studies have generated many theories in which indigenous African perspectives have been glaringly absent. This illustrated lecture by Rowland Abiodun, John C. Newton Professor of Art and the History of Art, and of Black Studies, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, critically examines the premise of some of these prevailing theories, reflecting on their relevance to African art scholarship. Sponsored by Friends of African and African American Art


Wednesday, October 17

Lecture: Late Mamluk Carpets: Some New Observations: 6:30 p.m.

A small group of knotted-pile carpets were produced for the Mamluk elite in the late 15th century and for export. There is a belief that they appeared “out of nowhere” because there seemed to be no precedent for the abrupt appearance of their well-developed technique and mature decorative style. Jon Thompson, a noted scholar in the field, discusses how the sudden flowering of carpet-weaving at this time was part of the cultural renaissance that took place during Qaytbay’s reign (r. 1468-1496) and can be accounted for by the recruitment of weavers from Turkmen-ruled Iran and Asia Minor where carpet-weaving was flourishing. Sponsored by Asian & Islamic Art Forum


Thursday, October 18

Detroit Film Theatre: Twilight of the Tsars: Russian Cinema from 1910 to 1919 presents Class Distinctions’ The Peasants’ Lot (1912) and Silent Witness (1914): 7 p.m.

The Peasants’ Lot was an immensely popular film that was meant to provide a “balanced” view of rural life as seen from an urban point of view; a rich city family is contrasted with an impoverished rural world. Silent Witness is a drama about a servant class and an entire society unwittingly hovering on the brink of extinction.


Friday Night Live, October 19

Music: TBA: 7 & 8:30 pm

Presented by DTE Energy Foundation with additional support from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan


Family Sunday, October 21

Artist Demonstration: Mt. Clemens Gem and Lapidary Society Geode-Cracking: Noon–4 p.m.

This event has been CANCELED. Alternative programming is TBD


Sunday Music Bar: Los Gatos: 1 & 3 p.m.

The late, great Latin jazz vibraphonist Cal Tjader influenced the music of this quintet that is renowned for its Cuban and Afro-Cuban rhythms. The band features Pete Siers (percussion), Cary Kocher (vibes), Kurt Krahnke (bass), Brian Di Blassio (piano) and Al Di Blassio (percussion).


Thursday, October 25

Lecture: Photographer Alec Soth: 7 p.m.

Minneapolis-based Alec Soth is known for his photographs of people and places found in everyday America, particularly throughout the Midwest and the South. Soth will discuss his work, exhibitions and publications from the past 15 years. This program is presented by the Forum for Prints, Drawings and Photographs and sponsored by Amerisure.


Friday Night Live, October 26

Museum Mystery Tours (ages 5 and up with adult): 6–9 p.m.

Museum Mystery Tours return in time for Halloween, with opportunities to explore the artists whose works haunt the American, European and contemporary art galleries. Follow the trail in the printed map to spaces featuring eerie lighting, sounds in the dark and secret-spilling guides. It’s fun and family friendly, so bring the kids, ages five and older. Costumes are strongly encouraged.


Class: Clay: Masks (ages 5 and older with adults): 6–8 p.m.

Take a brief tour of the Native American galleries and look at the variety of masks on display. Then explore mask making using terra-cotta clay in the art studio. Projects will be fired and ready for pick-up at a later date. Class size limited to 16 people. Cost: Members $24; Nonmembers $32. To register, call 313-833-4005.


Lecture: Art, Nature and Symbolism: A New Spanish Still-life Painting at the DIA: 6:30 p.m.

For its quality and significance, Spanish Golden Age still-life painting has gained a place in world culture as one of the most compelling, sophisticated and spiritual art realizations. The DIA has recently acquired a rare still life by Juan de Espinosa, one of the leading Spanish masters of his time in this genre. Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA head of European art and curator of European paintings, will place the painting within the history of Spanish art and explain its importance to the DIA collection. Sponsored by European Paintings Council


Music: Aerial Angels Ghost Circus: 7 p.m.

The high-flying Aerial Angels conjure up their dark side for a special Halloween Creepfest, featuring feats on the aerial hoop and aerial silk, including acrobatics, fire eating and crack bullwhip target taking.

Presented by DTE Energy Foundation with additional support from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan


Saturday, October 27

Museum Mystery Tours: 1–4:30 p.m.

(See Oc. 26 for details)


Family Sunday, October 28

Sunday Music Bar: TBA


Museum Mystery Tours: 1–4:30 p.m.

(See Oct. 26 for details)


Hours and Admission

Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and DIA members. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.




The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.


Programs are made possible with support from the City of Detroit and residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Contact:     Pamela Marcil      (313) 833-7899