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The Detroit Institute of Arts Honors Key Supporters for Lifetime Service

Friday, November 04, 2005

October 13, 2005 (Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) announced today the recipients of its prestigious Lifetime Service Awards, recognizing three outstanding arts supporters for their longtime dedication to the museum. The awardees are Jean W. and Joseph L. Hudson, Jr., Comerica Incorporated and the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan. The three will be honored at a reception at the DIA on Oct. 19 at 6 p.m.

“The Lifetime Service Awards gives us the opportunity to celebrate the individuals who are truly invested in the DIA,” said Graham W. J. Beal, DIA director.  “It is difficult to think of an area of museum activities that has not been strengthened by the commitment of these three honorees, from art acquisitions to capital campaigns and endowment support.  We are deeply thankful to them.”
Jean W. and Joseph L. Hudson, Jr

Jean and Joseph Hudson are pillars of the DIA, dedicating over half a century to the vitality of the museum.  Joseph Hudson was elected to the museum’s board of directors in 1962, appointed advisor to the City of Detroit Arts Commission 16 years later and became its president in 1979.  During his tenure as president he played a fundamental role in securing grants for new African, Pre-Columbian and Native American galleries and helped create the Michael Graves Master Plan. Joseph Hudson currently serves on the board development, building and finance committees.  Jean Hudson was elected to the board of directors in 1976 and served many years as the board’s secretary. 

Currently, Jean and Joseph Hudson are DIA emeritus directors and active members of seven museum auxiliaries including the Friends of African and African American Art, the Associates of the American Wing, Friends of Art and Flowers and the Visiting Committee for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. Their eclectic interest in the arts is also shown in their gifts to the museum, donating sculptures by American artist Mavara Ballecee and French sculptor Pierre-Jules Mene and contributing to the purchase of one of the prized works in the collection, the magnificent painting Flowers in a Glass Vase by Rachel Ruysch.

Comerica Incorporated and the Comerica Charitable Foundation

Comerica has traveled an exemplary path of corporate involvement at the DIA, increasing its commitment as it recognized new opportunities to achieve its philanthropic goals and engage with the museum.  Comerica began its contributions to the DIA in the mid-1950s with corporate partnership dues.  Through the years, as the corporation became increasingly involved with the museum, it supported many important special events and fundraisers, such as Under the Stars®, Bal Africain®, the Wassail Feast and Fash Bash®. In addition, Comerica has supported the DIA’s major fundraising initiatives with generous gifts to the Partnership for Renewal and the New Day at Your DIA campaigns. They have also made a substantial commitment to the new Great Art, New Start capital campaign.

Comerica’s extraordinary support has also afforded the DIA the opportunity to host some of region’s most outstanding exhibitions.  Their support was integral to the success of Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence in 2002, which featured the work of the prominent 20th-century African American artist.  In 2004, Comerica co-sponsored the celebrated exhibition American Attitude: Whistler and His Followers, a fascinating look at the influence of James McNeill Whistler that featured the iconic painting known as “Whistler’s Mother.”  

Comerica staff members have also dedicated personal time to the DIA. Vice Chairman John D. Lewis has served on the museum’s board of directors for many years and currently heads the board’s development committee. In addition, James Garavaglia, Comerica senior vice president and director of public affairs, is active with the DIA’s  Associates of the American Wing auxiliary support group.

Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan

The Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan (CFSEM) was founded in 1984 to support cultural, education, health and human service programs. It quickly established itself as a strong force in the community, and its board has always included Detroit’s major business and civic leaders.     The Community Foundation’s role in educating the public about the importance of endowment giving factored strongly in their recognition with this award. CFSEM, in collaboration with the Kresge Foundation, introduced the Richard Van Dusen Endowment Challenge in the early 1990’s.  It began the critical process of educating the public regarding the need for stronger endowments at many cultural institutions in southeastern Michigan. This campaign was a fundamental component in the contribution of approximately $4 million to the DIA’s successful Partnership for Renewal campaign.

A second endowment-building program was presented in 1999, when the Community Foundation again teamed with the Kresge Foundation for the Touch the Future grant program. This effort raised close to $7 million for the DIA.

In addition to the Community Foundation’s grant support, several of its board members have also served on the DIA board, including Walter B. Ford II, Alan E. Schwartz, Richard A. Manoogian and Joseph L. Hudson Jr.

Editor’s Note: This event is not open to the public, but media are invited to cover it.

Hours and Admissions

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. For membership information call 313-833-7971.

Programs are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.

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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 is currently undergoing a major renovation, scheduled for completion in late 2007. The museum remains open with a dynamic schedule of programs and activities for all ages. Visitors can enjoy some of the DIA’s “greatest hits” while the museum prepares for an entirely new installation when renovations are completed.