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DIA exterior at night
DIA exterior at night

$54 Million Gives Great Art a New Start at Detroit Institute of Arts

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Gifts from Josephine F. Ford, Richard A. Manoogian, A. Alfred Taubman and other major donors underscore strong commitment to DIA’s mission

September 14, 2005 (Detroit)—Three prominent philanthropists—the late Josephine F. Ford, Richard A. Manoogian, and A. Alfred Taubman—are among the major donors who have contributed a total of $54 million to the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) new capital campaign “Great Art, New Start,” the museum announced today. These recent gifts from the late Mrs. Ford and Messrs. Manoogian and Taubman are in addition to previous generous commitments from these individuals. The DIA is raising funds to complete its building project, increase its endowment and finance annual museum operations.

“We are tremendously grateful for the continuing support of these extremely generous donors,” said Graham W. J. Beal, DIA director. “It is very heartening to have such a broad base of support for the DIA’s mission, and to realize that so many believe in our vision for the future. I would particularly like to express to the family of Josephine F. Ford how grateful we are for Mrs. Ford’s longtime commitment to the museum, and for the generous gift she gave us shortly after we initiated our new campaign. We have always considered Mrs. Ford a revered member of our museum family, and she will be greatly missed.”

The museum also extended a sincere thank-you to the following donors for joining the roster of major campaign supporters who are among those who have contributed gifts of $500,000 and above: the McGregor Fund, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, DTE Energy, and Comerica Incorporated.

The DIA is approximately mid-way through a renovation and expansion project designed by architect Michael Graves, highlighted by significant upgrades to the building infrastructure, an array of new visitor amenities, and 32,000 additional square feet of gallery space.

“The Master Plan project addresses critical infrastructure and space issues, and at the same time respects the signature architecture of the Cret building,” said A. Alfred Taubman, founder of the Taubman Company and chair of the museum’s Building Committee. “In 2007 we will reopen a building that is as exceptional as the collection it houses, a facility designed to provide a superior visitor experience. We are making excellent progress toward completion, and I am proud to be among those supporting this project.”

While the Master Plan project remains on schedule, the discovery of an unprecedented amount of asbestos in the museum’s North and South wings nearly a year ago prompted an intensive review of the project and the DIA’s long-term financial outlook. This discovery necessitated not only removing all of the asbestos, but also the demolition and subsequent reconstruction of the interiors of both wings.  This additional work added $40 million to the cost of the building project.

“We considered the added costs for abatement and reconstruction, the continued reductions in government funding, and the consequences of failing to win approval for a regional arts tax,” said Eugene A. Gargaro, Jr., vice president and secretary of Masco Corporation, chairman of the DIA board of directors and chairman of the DIA’s capital campaign. “Following a careful analysis of our revised financial forecast and unforeseen changes to the master plan project, we initiated our new “Great Art, New Start” campaign. A successful campaign and completion of the building project are critical steps in establishing a stable financial foundation for the DIA, and we are deeply grateful to all those who have so generously supported our fundraising efforts to date, particularly members of the DIA board.  The board has achieved nearly 100% campaign participation, and with that kind of leadership and commitment we will certainly succeed.”

The new “Great Art New Start” campaign will raise $180 million to complete the master plan project, increase endowment and support annual operations. The museum further states that the $54 million announced today was raised in just six months, and the Campaign Committee intends to work aggressively to achieve the entire campaign goal as quickly as possible. The previous campaign, “A New Day at Your DIA,” raised $231 million in just fiveyears.

“By seeking private and other new sources of funding, the DIA has recognized the changing financial landscape confronting cultural institutions across the country,” said Richard A. Manoogian, chairman and chief executive officer of Masco Corporation and chairman emeritus of the DIA board.  “Museums must carefully examine the ways in which they do business—from raising funds to presenting their collections. The DIA is creating a museum that speaks to its visitors’ needs, while addressing issues of fiscal stability, and I hope everyone will support the museum as it makes this critical transition.”

The DIA is committed to offering full programming during the building renovation and expansion. In addition to showcasing some of its “greatest hits” in the non-traditional “Remix” installation, two special exhibitions will be on view this fall. The Art of Screenprint, which opens Sept. 28, presents 80 works that illustrate how the screenprint has developed as an art form over the last 60-plus years. Opening October 9 is Camille Claudel and Rodin: Fateful Encounter, which tells the passionate story of Claudel and Rodin’s professional and personal relationships through their outstanding art. The DIA is the only U.S. venue for the exhibition.

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Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is a donation. We recommend $6 for adults and $3 for children. DIA members are admitted free. Programs are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.