Museum InfoMedia Room

DIA interior
DIA interior

New Detroit Institute of Arts Opens to Grand Reception from Public

Monday, December 03, 2007

Nov. 26, 2007 (Detroit) – The Detroit Institute of Arts re-opened its doors this weekend to an astounding 57,554 visitors. They were all anxious to celebrate and see for themselves the results of the museum’s six-year, $158 million renovation.

An average of 1,438 visitors each hour packed themselves throughout the museum during the 40-hour span, Friday through Sunday.

Never before has the museum entertained that many visitors at one time. It was an exciting and rewarding time for DIA Director Graham Beal.

“I was so pleased to see how many people came out,” Beal said. “It went superbly well. We saw many people who had never visited the DIA before and heard many saying that they were coming back. It is very rewarding to know that all of the hard work our employees put into making this museum more appealing and relevant to our visitors is paying off. ”

Visitors with all levels of experience, from art experts to novice museum-goers enjoyed the newly installed galleries and new interpretive elements that place the art in the context of human experience. They were intrigued with new interactive elements including “Art of Dining” video, in the 18th-century European galleries, the “Mixing and Serving Wine” silhouette video in the ancient art gallery, as well as the  Detroit Industry murals Multi-Media Tour and digital books. Children in particular enjoyed new “Please Touch” labels, “Eye Spy” panels, self-guided “Yikes” tours, and audio tours written and recorded especially for them.

The weekend’s exciting line of entertainment kept crowds dancing and eating from sun up to sun up again during its free consecutive 32-hour grand opening Friday through Saturday, and again during its additional eight free hours on Sunday. Features included DJs, live music, poetry, choirs, dancers, crafts, and storytelling.

The museum’s CaféDIA was continuously filled with visitors as they took a break between viewing galleries in the 657,650-square-foot museum. This was also the case for the expanded Museum Shop, which is about double its previous size. The shop sold out of several items, including the museum’s theme “Let Yourself Go” T-shirts. Calendars, Christmas cards and children’s books were also hot sellers.

The Detroit Institute of Arts’ renovation includes a complete reinstallation of the galleries that provide visitors with a more comprehensive and engaging experience of the DIA’s exceptional collections. The project includes major infrastructure upgrades to the historic 1927 Beaux-Arts building designed by Paul Cret, as well renovations to the South and North Wings, which were added in 1966 and 1971.

Hours and admission:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens, and $4 for youth ages 6-17. DIA members are admitted free.

###

Located in the heart of Detroit’s Cultural Center, the Detroit Institute of Arts was founded in 1885 and is recognized as one of the country’s premier art museums. The museum’s approximately 60,000 works of art comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from prehistory through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera’s world-renowned Detroit Industry murals, the DIA’s collection reveals the scope and depth of human experience, imagination, and emotion.

Media Contacts  

Shekini Jennings 313-494-5242 sjennings@dia.org
Pamela Marcil  313-833-7899 pmarcil@dia.org