Museum InfoMedia Room

DIA docent tour
Docent tour

Detroit Institute of Arts Opens new Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing $2.6 million Webber gift includes education endowment fund

Monday, June 08, 2009


(Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) extensive program of art classes and educational activities has a brand new home thanks to a $2.6 million donation from Wayne and Joan Webber. The Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing provides spaces for drop-in workshops, art-making classes, seminars and art display. The Webbers have earmarked $1 million of their gift to establish the Wayne and Joan Webber Education Endowment, to provide funding for future educational programs and activities.

Building on the success of the recently reinstalled permanent galleries, the Education Wing allows the DIA to expand its strategies for engaging visitors in making personal connections with the art.

“The Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing provides an improved environment for quality art-making experiences and art education classes the DIA offers,” said Graham W. J. Beal, DIA director. “We are thrilled to have this wonderful new space, made possible through the Webbers’ generosity. Their gift will continue to serve the thousands of visitors who participate in the educational opportunities we offer to the public.”

The Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing includes:

  • Two studios for art classes an workshops for all ages
  • Office space for studio instructors
  • The Walter Gibbs Gallery,  which includes
    • The Walter Gibbs Gallery, a space of exhibiting art using innovative learning strategies
    • The Holly Room, a classroom for 50 people
    • A seminar room for 30 people
    •  

The Learning Center initially received funding from a bequest by Walter Gibbs, a retired Wayne County prosecutor who, through his volunteer work at the DIA, was inspired to fund the Walter Gibbs Learning Center and Walter Gibbs Endowment Fund.

In 2008, the Webbers became interested in the Learning Center, and provided additional significant financial support for the construction of the Education Wing. The Webbers also established their own endowment fund to support art education programs conducted in and through their Education Wing.

ED NOTE: Media is welcome to attend a dedication reception on Friday, June 12 at 11 a.m.

###

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.

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

Contact: Pamela Marcil 313-833-7899 pmarcil@dia.org