One of Detroit’s proud favorites is the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA)
located in the Cultural Center in Midtown Detroit. With over 100
galleries, it covers 658,000 square feet and is the sixth-largest art
museum in the United States. It hosts special exhibits at any given
time and through January 4th, it is host to a famous Claude Monet
painting, Waterlily Pond, Green Harmony, on loan from Musee D’Orsay
in Paris, France.
Waterlily Pond is on display in a gallery adjacent to the Rivera Court
dramatically standing alone in this room. The painting is one of
hundreds Monet created of his beautiful flower garden and pond in
Giverney, France. For me, it is always such a thrill to see the Waterlily
paintings, as I have been to Giverney more than once and have stood
on this bridge. I have walked the path along the pond and through
the gardens and can absolutely say it is always one of the biggest
thrills for me.
Waterlily Pond, Green Harmony shows Monet’s personal view of his
garden. The Japanese Bridge appears in the center of the painting,
depicting above the bridge, trees and other lush greens, gray-blues and
pale yellows. In the lower part of the bridge, waterlilies are painted
in pale blues, greens and pinks. Monet’s passion was nature and
became his focus from 1893 until his death in 1926.
Another Claude Monet, Gladioli, 1876. This painting is proudly owned
by the DIA on permanent display. The women dressed in blue walking
through the garden with her parasol is Monet’s first wife, Camille, who
he often used as a model.
Helping Angel Window Panel, 1835-1910, John La Farge.
This stained class panel was formerly installed in the Unitarian Church
in Detroit in 1959 and given to the DIA as part of their collection.
I must say this is absolutely stunning. The colors are vibrant and strong,
and tell a story of the helping hands of the Angels. This beautiful
piece is an important part of this museum and a real treasure.
The Detroit Industry fresco cycle was created by Mexican muralist
Diego Rivera as a tribute to the city’s manufacturing base and labor
force of the 1930’s. Rivera completed the twenty-seven panel work
in eleven months, from April 1932 to March 1933. It is considered
the finest Mexican mural art in the United States, and the artist thought
it was his best work.
The DIA is such a treasure in the city of Detroit. It always amazes me
when I visit that this superb collection, this beauty, and the vastness of
the collection, is actually part of the many fine sites in this city. It is
considered one of the top 5 museums in the country and a visit here
will truly prove that. It has a vast collection of French furniture along
with Egyptian mummies and Babylonian sculpture to Andy Warhol,
Van Gogh, Rembrandt, decorative objects, Italian art, American, and
so much more. We happen to hit upon an exhibit called Ordinary
People by Extra Ordinary Artists, made up of works on paper by all the
greats, Degas, Renoir, Monet, Lautrec, and Friends. They would not
allow any pictures in this exhibit, so unfortunately, I was not able to
“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection”. Michelangelo