Detroit Institute of Arts

A looong time ago (read: 2 weeks ago) before my mom came to visit, Jesse had a fall break so we decided to get out of town and see some of Detroit! We spent most of our time and energy at the Art Museum but also got to check out some of the downtown sights. 

First up: the Detroit Institute of Arts!

You guys, this place was huuuge! We barely saw 75% of the main floor in the 2 hours we were there.  We'd have stayed longer but there is only so long that you can contain a toddler in a museum full of things he can't touch ;)   But all the same, we really enjoyed it!

This gorgeous front hall housed suits of armor from France and Germany from 1300-1600 or so. 

This is how Niko spent some of his time: 

And this is how he spent the rest!

Oh boy. I always forget just how much I love art until I'm at a museum and can just bask in it.  I LOVE it! 

Jesse and I both loved this room painted by Diego Rivera in 1932-33 (it took 11 months!).  The whole room was covered in beautiful stylized murals depicting industry in Michigan.  The main frescoes (obviously) depicted the auto industry, but others showed natural resources and scientific advancements. 

But I think my favorite part of the museum was the modern and contemporary sections because I got to see SO many famous paintings that I learned about in classes at BYU!

I think they had 4 or 5 original Van Goghs:

An original Cezanne:

Some Degas:

James McNeill Whistler:

And then there were some paintings I just loved because they were beautiful!

(Can you tell I'm very attracted to impressionism right now?!)

One of my favorite paintings was this one by Adolphe William Bouguereau:

Now look close up, and see how photo-realistic it is:

Stunning, right?

Ok, I've gotten to that point of the post where I start to just photo dump the rest of my favorite goes!

A window designed by Frank Lloyd Wright! This is for you, Aaron!

Ok, I also really like abstract art.

This piece had paint so thick it stood out several inches from the canvas. I loved the technique but especially the emotion of it! 

Finally, we had gotten to the point where Niko was doing this... 

as well as occasionally resting his head on Jesse's (so cute!) so we decided we should call the museum quits.

After the museum, we drove around downtown a little (so many Art Deco buildings! So great!) before finally heading to check out the Masonic temple. 

It was built in 1926 and now has several theaters and such on the lower levels that are open to the public.  We didn't go inside but we loved looking at the beautiful design!

And finally, an existential thought I found painted on the sidewalk:

We loved seeing some sights in Detroit and can't wait to go back to the museum :D


Maren said…
Wow, you guys are doing all sorts of stuff this month. I know exactly what you mean! I get so excited when I walk into a museum. DIA looks awesome. I also love impressionist art and especially architecture. I used to look at compilations of abandoned Detroit buildings online to study their architecture. Also love that picture you did the close up of.
ivrcti said…
I agree with you on the favorite painting. I'm bowled over how an artist can make a painting so realistic, yet still have that ethereal 'artistic' quality. I'm usually not into abstract art, but I love the oval piece with all the strings. There's something very mathematical about it. Thanks for sharing!
Michele said…
That's exactly how I felt about visiting the small museum here at Princeton! I loved being able to see the art in person that I learned about. And speaking of impressionist art, Princeton has a whole gallery of it. I think I spent almost an hour there. I love your blog. I'm doing many of the same things over in my corner in the world...but you're so much better about blogging about it. Cheers!
melissa said…
cool. i love whistler. and art deco. whenever we see any authentic art deco buildings/art/whatever we yell "Art Deco!" because it's fun.
Catherine said…
Melissa: yet another reason you should come visit! We will take you to more Art Deco buildings than you can stand :D
Catherine said…
Melissa: yet another reason you should come visit! We will take you to more Art Deco buildings than you can stand :D

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