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DIA exterior at night
DIA exterior at night

Detroit Institute of Arts Collection of early American Silver on Display after 10 Years in Storage: Important collection on view beginning January 17 includes works by Paul Revere

Thursday, January 03, 2013

(Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will display its important collection of early American silver, which has not been on view for 10 years. The collection, which features work by the famed Boston silversmith and patriot Paul Revere, has been a must-see for generations of Detroit school children. The collection will be on view beginning Jan. 17.


The collection was relegated to storage in 2002 when the renovation of the museum’s historic 1927 building led to the closing of the American colonial galleries. Lack of funding for new exhibition cases meant the silver collection had to remain in storage when the museum reopened in 2007. In 2011, the Americana Foundation, based in Novi, Michigan, awarded the DIA a substantial grant for new research on the silver collection and to support construction of new state-of-the-art exhibition cases to house it. The Americana Foundation was established by Adolph H. Meyer and Ginger Meyer. It supports educational and advocacy programs that address the preservation of American agriculture; the conservation of natural resources; and the protection and presentation of material expressions of America’s heritage, with a particular focus on decorative arts from the colonial and early Federal periods.


The new installation will include 59 of the most important examples of early American silver at the DIA and two important late18th-century Chinese export bowls. Highlights of the new installation include:


  • Tankard (about 1695). A rare drinking vessel made in Boston by Edward Winslow
  • Sugar Bowl with Cover (about 1755). Made in New York by Myer Myers. Myers was the most important Jewish silversmith active in colonial America. This sugar bowl was donated to the DIA in 1955 by “Members of the Jewish Community of Detroit in honor of the American Jewish Tercentenary 1654–1954.”
  • Sugar Basket (about 1780). Made in Boston by the master silversmith and patriot Paul Revere
  • Teapot (early 1790s). Made in Boston by the master silversmith and patriot Paul Revere
  • Punch Bowl (about 1790). Chinese export porcelain, made for the American market, with Masonic markings

On Wednesday, Jan. 16, the DIA auxiliary Associates of the American Wing will celebrate the reinstallation of the silver collection and thank the Americana Foundation for its support by hosting a talk by Gerry Ward, Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator Emeritus of American Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Ward will speak on “A Handsome Cupboard of Plate: The Role of Silver in American Art Life.” The talk is at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The talk will be followed by a dinner open to members of the Associates of the American Wing. To reserve a place at the dinner or for information about joining the Associates of the American Wing, contact Rachael Goodwin at 313-833-4025 or


Hours and Admission

Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for DIA members and residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.




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