Museum InfoMedia Room

DIA exterior at night
DIA exterior at night

May brings Flowers, Puppets, and More to Detroit Institute of Arts - Four exhibitions free with museum admission on view in May; Ellsworth Kelly Prints opens May 24

Friday, February 22, 2013

(Detroit)—May at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) features a talk and demonstration on floral arrangements, a lecture on a stunning recent acquisition called Black Moorish Woman, puppet shows and more. Free with museum admission are the exhibitions Motor City Muse: Detroit Photographs, Then and Now; Shirin Neshat; Detroit Public Schools Student Exhibition; and Ellsworth Kelly Prints, which opens May 24. Vincent van Gogh’s Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles, on loan from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, is on view through May 28.

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

Guided Tours: Tuesdays–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, 6–9 p.m. Sundays, noon–4 p.m.

Drop-In Workshops (for all ages)
Fridays, 6–9 p.m., Musical Instruments: Wrist/Ankle Rattles: Use leather, beads, wire and markers to create a whimsical percussion instrument.
Saturdays, Noon–4 p.m., Papel Picado: Have fun as you try this Mexican art of cutting paper.
Sundays, Noon–4 p.m., Puppets: Tongue Depressor: Bring characters from your imagination to life as you learn to make a simple puppet using tongue depressors and a variety of art making materials.

Wednesday, May 1
Elizabeth Sites Kuhlman Lecture/Demonstration: Floral Art, Flowering the World: 10:30 a.m.
Jim Johnson, director and Benz Endowed Chair, Benz School of Floral Design, teaches floral design and has lectured nationally and internationally. His book Flowers: Creative Design is widely considered the floral designer’s bible. Johnson will create floral arrangements in response to works of art in the DIA. A luncheon follows the program. Tickets: $25 for lecture only, $50 for lecture and luncheon. For tickets, visit or call 313.833.4005. Sponsored by Friends of Art and Flowers

Friday Night Live, May 3
Music: Bonjour: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Bonjour crosses the boundaries of pop, minimalist and classical music and features the eccentric talents of Florent Ghys (bass), Eleonore Oppenheim (bass), Ashley Bathgate (cello), James Moore (guitar) and Own Weaver (percussion).

Family Sunday, May 5
Sunday Music Bar: TBA: 1 & 3 p.m.

Puppet Performance: Puppet ART presents The Crane Maiden: 2 p.m.
The Crane Maiden is based on the ancient Japanese folktale of a poor but honest young man who saves the life of a wounded crane. This exquisite puppet show for all ages includes the spiritual mystery of Japanese music, the delicate and touching lyricism of Haiku poetry and symbolic visual elements by Puppet Art Detroit.

Friday Night Live, May 10
Music: Bridget Kibbey Music Box: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Music Box is a multi-media performance of eight newly commissioned works for solo harp. Bridget Kibbey commissioned music by eight composers from other countries that now call the United States home. The inspiration for these compositions is based on folk music from each composer's country of origin.

Saturday, May 11
Lecture: It’s All About Beauty, People, and Color: 2 p.m.
Focusing on the DIA’s recently acquired Mauresque Noire (Black Moorish Woman), Laure de Margerie, head, Census of French Sculpture in American Public Collections, University of Texas, Dallas will discuss Charles Cordier’s masterful approach to the beauty and identity of the non-European subjects he sculpted. His bold move away from white marble to incorporate colorful materials diversified his repertoire and influenced his contemporaries in the19th century. Sponsored by Visiting Committee for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Ford Second Sunday, May 12 – free general museum admission
Artist Demonstration: Great Lakes Lace Society: Noon-4 p.m.
Come see a demonstration of the varieties of lace making techniques by the Great Lakes Lace group, as they walk us through bobbin lace, tatted, knitted, crocheted, and needle lace production methods.

Sunday Music Bar: Bridget Kibbey Music Box: 1 & 3 p.m.
(See May 10 for details)

Lecture: “China”=Porcelain: The Importance of Chinese Ceramics on Global Traditions: 2 p.m.
Chinese ceramics tell many stories. Some are technological; others are cultural and illustrate historic trends, such as the rise of maritime trade. Denise Patry Leidy, curator of Chinese Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, explores the impact of Chinese ceramics on global history from the eighth through the 18th century, focusing largely on works in the DIA’s collection. Sponsored by Asian and Islamic Art Forum

Friday Night Live, May 17
Music: Two Man Gentleman Band: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
A hot swing duo in the tradition of Slim & Slam, The Two Man Gentleman Band has developed a reputation as a must-see live act. They have a long-standing affair with the song styles of the 1920s and 30s, but a decidedly contemporary approach to lyric writing.

Saturday, May 18
Meet Me at the DIA: A Program for People with Early-Stage Dementia and Their Caregivers: 10:30 a.m.–noon
People with early-stage dementia (including Alzheimer’s) and their caregivers can participate in gallery discussions about art led by DIA staff and volunteers with expertise in this area. Participants are made to feel welcome and comfortable, and discussions are based on the observations and connections made by the group. The program provides opportunities for social engagement and intellectual stimulation in a safe, inspiring environment. Participants are given small prints of DIA artworks to take home so conversations can be continued. The program is free with museum admission, but registration is required. To register, go to Sponsored by HealthPlus of Michigan

Family Sunday, May 19
Storyteller Performance: Corinne Stavish: 2 p.m. 
Join us as storyteller Corinne Stavish explores characters from fairy tales, popular culture and history. 

Sunday Music Bar: Wendell Harrison’s Swing Band: 1 & 3 p.m.
Wendell Harrison’s new project is the Detroit Swing Ensemble, a collaboration with rhythm guitarist Niko Pittman and lead guitarist Vaughn Klugh. The dual guitars provide a dance foundation to their 1920’s swing covers, and Harrison's clarinet and charisma exemplify the classic bands of the era.

Lecture: The Invention of African Art: Colonial Fantasies and the Formation of an Art Historical Canon: 2 p.m.
Christopher Steiner, Lucy C. McDannel ’22 professor of Art History and Anthropology and director of Museum Studies Connecticut College, discusses the history of early 20th-century European collecting of African art. He explores how the recirculation of the so-called masterworks through museum exhibitions has led to the reproduction of accepted styles in the form of tourist art or neotraditional copies. Sponsored by Friends of African and African American Art

Friday Night Live, May 24
Music: TBA: 7 & 8:30 p.m.

Lecture: The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly: 7 p.m.
Rick Axsom, curator at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, offers an overview of Ellsworth Kelly’s prints and suggests their pivotal role in the artist’s paintings, sculptures, and drawings. He gives special attention to the Rivers project, a series of three monumental prints and eight state editions. Sponsored by Forum for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Family Sunday, May 26
Puppet Performance: Puppet ART presents The Crane Maiden: 2 p.m.
Based on the ancient Japanese folktale of a poor but honest young man who saves the life of a wounded crane, this exquisite puppet show for all ages includes the spiritual mystery of Japanese music, the delicate and touching lyricism of Haiku poetry and symbolic visual elements as brought to life by Puppet Art Detroit.

Friday Night Live, May 31
Music: The Rayse Biggs Quartet: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Master trumpeter Rayse Biggs leads a group of the hottest jazz players in the Detroit area. A veteran of the Detroit jazz scene, Biggs performs his highly charged style of Motown jazz while exploring the music of past trumpet masters Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard.

Lecture: Devils and Demons at the DIA: 7 p.m.
Images of hell, the devil, and demons make for fascinating and compelling artworks. Robert Schindler, DIA Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow, will showcase some of these fantastic works from the DIA’s collection and place them within their religious and art historical context. Sponsored by European Paintings Council

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 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