The Rivera murals occupied a whole court yard of the museum and are stunning to see. As it turned out I was equally impressed with the rest of the museum. When I arrived in Detroit I had low expectations given the press the city has gotten in recent years. However, I left the museum feeling that its collection is on equal footing with the best museums in the country and that the city will have better days ahead. The museum's $158 million expansion project (completed in 2007) is partly responsible for this feeling but the collection, the curatorial work, and the staffs helpfulness sealed the deal for me.
The Institute has a particular diverse and strong collection of contemporary art including a special emphasis on art made by African Americans. Below are three more samples from the Detroit Institute.
Jane Hammond, Mad Elga II, 1997
Kehinde Wiley, Officer of the Hussars, 2007
Beyond this excursion off the beaten path I spent most of the summer in a relatively rural spot in Northern Michigan not far from Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. Reflecting upon this veritable isolation from urban life I produced a (seen below)drawing titled Off the Grid.
Kip Deeds, Off The Grid, 2009