Dec. 12, 2020 (DETROIT)—The Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) Founders Junior Council (FJC) has increased its giving to the museum this year as a show of its commitment during challenging economic times. The auxiliary, a group of young professionals dedicated to introducing young adults to the DIA and encouraging a lifelong involvement through a variety of fundraisers and social events organized around the museum’s world-class collection and special exhibitions, has made several pledges such as:

  • $500,000 to sponsor the exhibition Van Gogh in America. This exhibition is the first of its kind dedicated to the introduction and early reception of Vincent van Gogh’s art in the United States. On display will be 68 works by Van Gogh, illustrating the efforts made by early promoters of his art in America. The DIA was the first public museum in the United States to purchase a painting by Van Gogh—his Self-Portrait (1887), acquired in 1922. The DIA is the exclusive venue for this exhibition, which is scheduled to open in 2022.

  • $250,000 to support the DIA’s Operating Endowment. The goal of the Endowment Campaign is to support the long-term financial independence of the museum. The campaign goal is currently set at $600 million, which will allow the DIA to have financial independence and permanently secure the museum’s future.

  • $100,000 to support the museum’s Sustainability Fund, which was launched in the spring to support operations, exhibitions, programming, community outreach and staff, and to mitigate budget shortfalls caused by reduced attendance for the several months the museum was closed.

In addition, the FJC has designated $250,000 for the purchase of African American Art for the museum’s permanent collection.  This effort is being led by FJC’s Vice President, Nathaniel Wallace and DIA Curator of African American Art Valerie Mercer, who is also head of the DIA’s Center for African American Art. Mercer reached out to a number of local artists and is using this gift as an opportunity to educate young collectors who are members of the FJC about how a museum’s collection is built, and how they can think about their own collecting.

"The Founders Junior Council is one of our most enthusiastic auxiliaries,” said Nina Holden, DIA Chief Development Officer. “In addition to being key fund raising partners for the museum, this auxiliary builds an important pipeline for volunteer leaders for the DIA.  In fact, a number of members of our current Board of Directors began as members of the FJC.”

“The Founders Junior Council is honored to support the great work of the Detroit Institute of Arts through considerable gifts this past year,” said Angela Rogensues, FJC President.  “We are most proud of our gift of $250,000 to acquire African American artwork from local artists. It feels imperative and timely to be elevating the work and voices of African American artists in institutions like the DIA at this moment in our history.”

To date, the FJC has raised and contributed nearly $5 million to the DIA since its inception in the 1970s.

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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’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.