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When the DIA's building project began, its purpose was to make essential improvements to the aging infrastructure of the museum and provide improved amenities for museum visitors. What occurred during the course of this effort was the realization that some 5000 objects would need to be reinstalled in 145,000 square feet of space. This created the singular opportunity to reflect upon the museum's purpose and relevance to the community, and resulted in exciting new plans for reinstalling the galleries.
Reinstallation planning was conducted by interdisciplinary teams of curators, educators, and other museum professionals who drew on the advice of experts from around the world as well as receiving input from visitor research. The goal was to help visitors make connections across cultures and eras, and to tell the great stories of art and human expression from around the world. The focus was always on the objects, with the installations providing context and other information to help explain why a particular work of art looks the way it does. As a result, galleries are arranged in a variety of ways-thematically, culturally or chronologically.
Through extensive visitor research, including focus groups, surveys, and gallery observations, it became clear that visitors want more social interaction and new opportunities to learn about and engage with the art. To accomplish this, a DIA team also developed new interactive activities, including touch-screens, flip labels, hand-held computers, and self-guided audio tours that supplement traditional labels.
We are excited to have combined the enormous task of the building project with the unprecedented opportunity to reshape the visitor experience and to keep the DIA vital and relevant to contemporary visitors.
At the new DIA...
Every picture tells a story. And so does each and every one of our objects. We have reorganized the great works in the DIA's collection so you can understand the power of each object, and see them in new historic and social contexts. Thoughtful gallery presentations and new learning tools help you trace connections across the art of all eras and cultures.
Your favorite things are back.
Van Gogh's Self-Portrait. Bruegel's The Wedding Dance. Romare Bearden's mosaic Quilting Time. All of these great masterworks are in new galleries, ensuring that the DIA's permanent collection provides a touchstone for every visit.
We're listening to you.
More seating in the galleries, more restrooms throughout the building, improved signage and a single corridor that provides a north-south path through the building: all of these things make for a more comfortable visit in the new DIA. What's more, we're building a new education center, where our education team will develop new programs and expand the boundary of museum education to ensure an enriching, interactive experience for all who visit.