Mitten List: Detroit Institute of Arts

January 12, 2016


I’d been meaning to visit the Detroit Institute of Arts since I moved to Michigan over two years ago. But like most things I’ve been meaning to do since I moved to Michigan (i.e. buy waterproof boots, make friends, learn how to do any sport involving snow… or really any sport ever), it never exactly happened.

Until last week, when I finally made it there to check out the “30 Americans” exhibit, an exhibit of art by  contemporary African-American artists.


My plan was to check out the exhibit and then make my way around the rest of the museum. This plan shows exactly how little I know about myself and how little I know about the DIA.

First, I am purely a one-exhibit girl. As much as I love museums, I have an attention span roughly the size of a walnut. So, after about one exhibit, my focus wonders and I think about other important things… namely, lunch.

Secondly, the DIA is HUGE. I mean, imagine your typical art museum and then multiply it by, like, a billion, and that’s the DIA. There are three massive floors full of art — everything from Vincent van Gogh to Egyptian mummies to something called “Fashionable Living.”

Luckily, if I was going to visit only one exhibit in the DIA, it’s a good thing I decided to visit “30 Americans.” This exhibit had pretty much all the feels.


2016-01-08 12.11.10




And sparkles. (Totally a feel. Trust me on that.)

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I did attempt to poke around a few of the other exhibits in the museum after “30 Americans” despite my one-exhibit attention span. But I became quickly overwhelmed, and my mind drifted away from the art to the Vietnamese restaurant I had spotted on my way to the museum. While I really should have been contemplating van Gogh, my brain was too busy contemplating a big huge bowl of pho.

Alas, not having seen all the parts of the DIA as I had planned just gives me more reason to go back to Detroit.

Well, that, and the Vietnamese food.


What’s the most impressive art museum you’ve ever visited? 


I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On January 12, 2016 at 9:27 am JessieV said:

    I will go back with you at any time. I LOVE THIS PLACE.

  2. On January 12, 2016 at 12:55 pm RickMichigan said:

    Last year: the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia.

  3. On January 12, 2016 at 7:01 pm Pam said:

    I loved the 30 Americans exhibit! Now go back to the DIA again and again. Come when the attached film theater is doing the academy-nominated short films and make an amazing weekend of it. So glad you made it back to the D!

  4. On January 12, 2016 at 8:02 pm Rebecca said:

    omg, that KKK work is powerful. Breathtaking, if you look at it too long. Wow.

    My favorite museum is the Carnavalet in Paris. I can’t believe it doesn’t get more publicity, it has fabulous things and it’s FREE.

    I was sure I’d written a post about it, but when I went to look for it just now, it turned out to still be unfinished. So I quickly wrapped it, in case you want to see why I love it so.

    Or you can go straight to the official site, which I don’t think does it justice, to be quite honest.

    But I would highly recommend anyone go take a look at it, even if you aren’t a museum lover. It’s what I think of as a kind of lighthearted museum. Just all the good feels, with pretty and amusing things.

  5. On January 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm Kaori said:

    Oh wow. I had a layover in Detroit last month on my way to DC but didn’t have time to see the city. Next time, I’ll definitely be making time for this!

    • On January 24, 2016 at 10:30 am Sally said:

      Definitely suggest you check it out! I will say Detroit is a bit hard to get around if you don’t have a car (there are big spaces of urban nothingness between the spaces of urban awesomeness), so I’d suggest renting a car… or making friends with an Uber driver who can drive you around the city.


  1. Pho Lucky, Detroit

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