Named the number one thing to do in Detroit by TripAdvisor reviewers, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is home to one of the largest and most significant art collections in the US. The DIA features more than 100 galleries that showcase 65,000 works, from prehistory to modern day, including Diego Rivera’s 1930s Detroit Industry Murals.
The Detroit Institute of Arts is organized into galleries that survey African, Asian, Oceanic, Islamic, and ancient art, as well as significant American and European artists. Enjoy a Vincent van Gogh self-portrait and an African-American art section showcasing 400 pieces. The collection also includes work from Kehinde Wiley, who painted President Obama’s official portrait.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The DIA is a must for art lovers.
- Admission is discounted for seniors, college students, and children. Residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties get in free.
- Special exhibits require a separate ticket.
- There are two on-site dining options, Kresge Court and Cafe DIA.
- The museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users and visitors with disabilities. Wheelchairs, electric scooters, sensory, tours and other resources are available.
How to Get There
The DIA is located on Woodward Avenue in Midtown Detroit, a 25-minute drive east of Detroit Metro Airport. The museum is one of the stops on the QLine light rail from downtown, or you can take the 053 Bus, which runs on Woodward from the Rosa Parks Transit Center. Paid parking is available in the museum lot or on the street, and valet parking is also available.
When to Get There
The museum is open from 9am to 4pm Tuesday through Thursday, 9am to 10pm Friday, and 10am to 5pm on weekends. Check the online calendar for upcoming special exhibitions, lecture, drop-in workshops, guided tours, and other events. Weekends tend to be more crowded than weekdays.
Edsel Ford, the only son of Henry Ford, commissioned Mexican artist Diego Rivera to paint his Detroit Industry frescoes for the DIA in 1932. Rivera spent nearly a year completing the 27 panels, which depict the diversity of the city’s working class. Rivera considered the murals to be the best of his career, but the commission of the work and the art itself created controversy, with a local newspaper editorial even calling for its destruction.