Have you ever visited or lived in Detroit? I know most of you have heard things about the city. Probably not good things. Heck our football team can’t even get us good press. So let me show you something beautiful that resides in the city; a gem of a place that we are lucky to have.
The DIA as we like to call it, is at risk because the city of Detroit is in bankruptcy and everyone is looking for assets to sell in order to pay off debt. Just this past election counties outside the city voted to increase property taxes so that funds could be sent to support the DIA, but even that is not enough to guaranty it is safe.
Let me show you a few of the treasures we found inside this past Sunday. When we first arrived we joined a short tour where the docent explained a few of her favorite pieces. It’s amazing what you can learn in a few moments listening to someone that understands the art.
Even if you think you don’t like this sort of art it’s worth going to your local art museum and taking a tour. You might be surprised by what you turn out to like once you know a bit about it.
One of the galleries had several paintings by Picasso. I was struck by the progression of his work over time.
And this one I like a lot, sort of reminded me of my library days.
There were 4 or 5 of his pieces hanging together. You could see them becoming more and more abstract. I never knew I liked Picasso until I saw his work all lined up.
Sunday my favorite painting in the museum was this one:
There was something about the joy, the distribution of color, the movement. Can you find the bride? We couldn’t. Turns out the bride is the only woman there without a headdress. And she’s wearing black, which was the custom back then. Do you see her now? She’s in the middle left, about 1/3 way up. See? You learn something new all the time!
The DIA has lots of classical art but lots of modern art too. Some of it was interesting, some of it was strange. Some made you think…
…some made you think “why is this art?”
But the other big thing we have at the DIA are huge famous frescoes depicting the auto industry done by Diego Rivera.
The art is beautiful; the two main panels show laborers working in the auto industry. Other panels show advancement in sciences and medicine.
I enjoyed watching the people as they walked into the huge room and began to notice the detail, the stories that were being told, the history, the beauty of the place.
This museum is less than an hour from my house. I’ve only been once before, and then only to see a special show. I’ve never wandered around, never stretched myself to stand in front of something I didn’t understand and ponder, never checked the back of corner rooms or explored around the next corner before.
I’m glad we went. Granted we went in part because there is a possibility that all or most of it will be gone, sold to raise funds for the strapped city. We might have procrastinated for more years if not for the fiscal crisis. Still, it opened my eyes to what is there. I know we will go back.
Look around your community. What has always been there that you take for granted? What have you not visited lately? Or at all? Maybe you aren’t sure you like whatever is stored inside. As a kid sometimes we’d say we didn’t like something. My dad would always respond – “How do you know if you haven’t tried it?” And that’s what I’m saying to you. How do you know you don’t like classical art…or modern art…or sculpture…or the symphony? How do you know if you haven’t tried it?
This new year make a decision to stretch outside your normal box. Visit some treasure in your community. See what’s there. See what you like.
I bet you’ll be surprised.