Recognized as one of the top art museums in the nation, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) was established in 1885 and completed a major expansion and reinstallment of its galleries in 2007. The DIA is admired for important acquisitions including the first Van Gogh painting in a U.S. museum collection. You can travel from ancient to modern times in 100 galleries that feature accessible and sometimes interactive exhibits designed to engage visitors in the works of art. Don’t miss the massive Detroit Industry fresco cycle by Mexican artist Diego Rivera. The DIA offers guided tours, drawing in the galleries, demonstrations by artists, world music and storytelling and puppet performances on Family Sundays and Friday Night Live! events.
Also located in the city’s Cultural Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit presents changing exhibitions of new art and lectures, music, and other programs in a raw, former car dealership building.
Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt, and Thomas Hart Benton are some of the familiar names that hang around the Flint Institute of Arts. The collection includes 17th century French tapestries, European glass, and paintings of the Great Lakes region. Through August 7, 2011 you can enjoy Something Waits Beneath It-Early Work by Andrew Wyeth.
Museum admission is waived on Target Free Saturdays.
The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), newly opened in 2007, is noted for its collection of more than 3,500 prints, drawings and photographs as well as 19th and 20th century European and American painting and sculpture. GRAM regularly hosts special exhibitions, such as the Birds Of America Audubon Prints on loan from Vermont’s Shelburne Museum through August 14, 2011. Friday Nights at GRAM are geared to adults who enjoy art, music, libations, and Friday Night Conversations presentations. Families look forward to Saturdays and All Day With The Arts activities from 10am-3pm.
The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts welcomes visitors with an exquisite chandelier by Dale Chihuly in the entrance, and Calder’s The D and the Delta in the airy main floor space. See and images of faces by Andy Warhol, Jim Dine and others in Portrait and Presence through August 20, 2011. Families will want to check out the interactive gallery for kids.
You have to leave the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph to see its permanent collection, which consists of outdoor sculptures you can view on a self-guided SculpTour. The Krasl also hosts changing exhibits and an artlab showcase for area artists in its traditional indoor galleries.
Flippers and Flash: The Art of Pinball features a dozen examples of what may seem unlikely subjects for an exhibit at the Muskegon Museum of Art, through July 31, 2011. The permanent collection includes fine examples of works Dale Chihuly, Edward Hopper, and John Steuart Curry. Museum admission is waived on Meijer Free Thursdays.
Ancient Near East and Indonesian artifacts and ceramics, works by Dali and Chagall, and Civil War era sculptures are among the diverse pieces in the permanent collection of the Saginaw Art Museum, housed in a turn-of-last-century lumber baron’s mansion. The annual Art 4 All exhibition going on through January 22, 2012, features more than two dozen Michigan and Great Lakes Bay Region artists. Museum admission is waived on Macy’s Free Fridays