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DIA interior
DIA interior

Last Chance to Play Detective at Detroit Institute of Arts - Special exhibition Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries ends Sunday, April 10

Monday, March 28, 2011

(Detroit)—Just two weeks remain to see the popular exhibition Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). Sunday, April 10 is the last day to take a peek behind the scenes to see how art experts and scientists determine if a work of art is authentic, fake, a forgery, or if the verdict is still out.

Visitors will see how the DIA constantly re-assesses artwork through research, science and technology, revealing an aspect of the museum’s function rarely seen by the public. The exhibition has been organized by the DIA. Generous support has been provided by Chase.

The show includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, drawings and decorative arts that either are or claim to be from diverse cultures—European, African, American, Asian, Islamic, Coptic and Ancient Near Eastern. It begins with works that were once attributed to a certain artist or culture but have been re-evaluated based on new findings. The next section displays known forgeries, with explanations of how the museum came to that conclusion. The last section contains ongoing “mysteries.” Even after experts have researched files and analyzed brushstrokes, cleaned artworks to reveal clues beneath accumulated dirt, and tested paint and canvas threads, some objects remain puzzles that require further analysis. Each artwork in this section has a “next step” that explains how the museum will get closer to solving the mystery.

To help bring the connection between art and science to life, the exhibition features hands-on activities and opportunities for discovery. Kids will find clues and use magnifying glasses to try their hand at solving mysteries. Visitors can also conduct their own investigations using pigment analysis, dendrochronology (using tree rings to date wood), and x-ray images, giving them a real sense of what goes on behind the scenes.

$12 for adults, $6 for ages 6–17, and free for DIA members. Tickets are timed and include museum admission and a cell-phone tour featuring DIA Director Graham Beal. The cell phone tour is free, but users will be charged for minutes per their individual cell phone plan. Call 313-833-4005 or visit

Museum Hours and Admission
10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for 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. As the DIA celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2010, it does so with renewed commitment to its visitor-centered experience and to its mission of creating opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.
Programs are made possible in part with support from the City of Detroit.

Contact: Pamela Marcil 313-833-7899