Detroit Institute of Arts

ART X Detroit 2015 April 9-12, 16-19, and 25-26

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Read the original Detroit Performs article.

Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts in Detroit (AXD) is a 10-day festival of dance, literary, musical & theatrical performances, film screenings, visual arts installations, workshops, panel discussions & interactive experiences. AXD will be hosted at multiple venues including Cass Cafe, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), N’Namdi Center For Contemporary Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Symphony Orchestra‘s Orchestra Hall Music Box, and more throughout Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center over a three-week period in April and is FREE and open to the public!

For complete information and schedules …

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NY Times Review: ‘Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit’

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Read the full NY Times review.

DETROIT — “Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit” is the story of two artists, two countries and one city. Filling several galleries at the Detroit Institute of Arts, it is also a serendipitous celebration of this exemplary museum’s hard-won independence …

… The Rivera-Kahlo exhibition revisits the creation of a masterpiece made in Detroit, for Detroit, that would have been hard to sell because it is an intrinsic part of the Detroit Institute’s building. “Detroit Industry” is an idealized ode to the city in 27 frescoes. These formed the project that brought Diego Rivera, best known of the Mexican muralists, to Detroit in April 1932, accompanied by his much younger wife, Frida Kahlo, also an artist. Over the next 11 months, Rivera researched, designed and painted the frescoes that cover the four vaulting walls of the museum’s courtyard, now known as the Rivera Court. It features heroic scenes of muscular workers and even more idealized earth mothers grasping sheaths of wheat or armloads of fruit. All told, the “Detroit Industry” frescoes are probably as close as this country gets to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts runs through July 12. For details and reservations …

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CBS Detroit: “Five Must-See Museums In Detroit”

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Motown Museum

Read the complete article with all of the details on each museum.

Sure, Paris, New York, and Berlin may all have more museums than many other major cities, but don’t let that fool you. Here in the Midwest, particularly in Detroit, there are a number of top-rated museums that anyone can visit. The Motor City has often been called the “Paris of the Midwest,” and for more than one reason. Detroit has some of the country’s most well-known and cherished museums, as well as some hidden gems that even most locals may not know about. Here, we’ll share a few of these with you to get you started on your trip through Detroit’s many museums.

Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.  (313) 833-7900
The crème de la crème of all Detroit museums is, of course the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Detroit Historical Museum
5401 Woodward Ave.  (313) 833-7935
Operated and maintained by the Detroit Historical Society, the Detroit Historical Museum is a local favorite for many residents and tourists alike and has been for nearly 100 yea

Motown Historical Museum
2648 West Grand Blvd.  (313) 875-2264
Anyone can come and tour the studios and rest of the building where some of the 20th century’s biggest and most influential music was made. A true Detroit landmark!

Michigan Science Center
5020 John R St.  (313) 577-8400
This 110,000 square-foot facility has its own IMAX theater, exhibits, and plenty of wonderful things for adults and children of all ages, as well.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 East Warren Ave.  (313) 494-5800
Located in the heart of Detroit’s Cultural Center, this 120,000 square-foot facility hosts a number of events and exclusive exhibitions that showcase not just Detroit’s, but the country’s longstanding ties with the African American community and the distinct history that lies there.

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The Inn on Ferry Street

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Smith Carriage House Inn on Ferry Street

The Inn on Ferry Street posted this great photo of the Smith Carriage House by Stephanie Chapman.

The Inn is located at 84 East Ferry Street in Midtown Detroit, just one block north of the Detroit Institute of Arts. For info visit

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The DIA’s Court – Before and After Diego Rivera

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DIA Court 1929

Read the full article on the Detroit Historical Society’s blog.

Detroiters, visitors and art lovers from around the world adore Diego Rivera’s frescoes at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA); Rivera Court is a treasure by any standard. Rivera created this masterpiece in 1932-33, so you’d have to be around 90 years of age today to remember how the court looked before he arrived.

That’s where this great [1929] postcard from the DHS collection comes into play…

… But Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo weren’t the only artists in town during the 1930s. Detroit has long been a hotbed of creativity, and artists of all kinds continue to flock here. The Detroit Historical Society is currently showcasing several artists from the 1930s in its exhibit “Detroiters Paint Detroit: 1930s,” a collection of urban landscapes, open now through October 2015.

For info on “Detroiters Paint Detroit” visit

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12 Detroit restaurants serve Rivera-Kahlo-inspired dishes, drinks

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Crain’s Detroit Business originally published this report.

Wondering what to eat or drink after viewing the Detroit Institute of Arts’ special Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo exhibition? The DIA invited Detroit restaurants and bars to offer menu items with the artists in mind; here’s what they came up with.

Antietam, 1428 Gratiot Ave.
El Poco Querido, a cocktail inspired by Kahlo’s masterpiece “The Wounded Dear,” made with Espolon tequila, shaken and served in a classic short-stemmed glass with an edible flower garnish. The drink was designed to pay tribute to the legendary pelea de gallos (fighting cocks) and Rivera and Kahlo’s sometimes heated relationship.
Cajeta flan, a goat milk caramel flan popular in Rivera’s home state of Guanajuato, Mexico

El Asador Steakhouse, 1312 Springwells St.
Traditional Oaxacan mole negro with three types of roasted chiles, sesame seeds, chocolate, raisins and almonds, peanuts and cloves served over turkey legs.

El Barzon, 3710 Junction Rd.
Traditional Oaxacan mole negro with three types of roasted chiles, sesame seeds, chocolate, raisins and almonds, peanuts and cloves served over turkey legs.

El Zocalo Mexican Restaurant, 3400 Bagley St.
Every Friday beginning this week a different entree taken from the cookbooks and notes of Frida Kahlo will be featured as part of its Frida Fridays.
Diego- and Kahlo-inspired specially crafted tequila varieties infused with flavors such as jamaica (hibiscus) flower, cucumber and habanero, to name a few.

Fourteen East, 15 E. Kirby St.
Mexican-spiced hot chocolate whisked with a molinillo
Lime pie

Gold Cash Gold Detroit, 2100 Michigan Ave.
Frida’s Blue House, a drink made from Lunazul Blanco tequila, fresh cucumber and lemon, and blue curaçao

Las Cazuelas Grill, 4000 Livernois Ave.
Diego’s Mole Poblano: chile ancho, roasted peanuts, chocolate, roasted pumpkin seeds, black pepper, garlic and salt.

La Feria Detroit, 4139 Cass Ave.
Corralejo Reposado, a sipping tequila
La Pasión De Frida, an invigorating mix of Corralejo Añejo tequila, tamarind, freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice, and a splash of Maraschino water
Papas Arrugadas con Mojo, a tapa made from red-skinned potatoes with a red bell pepper.

Our/Detroit, 2545 Bagley Ave.
Dreams of Coyacan: Our/Detroit vodka, jalapeño simple syrup, lime juice and coconut sparkling soda.

Rock City Eatery, 11411 Joseph Campau Ave., Hamtramck
Panzón + Friducha: pan-seared tongue, ash-baked beets, radish, avocado, pickled corn, dill and cilantro served with a shot of Cabresto tequila (choice of silver or gold).

Traffic Jam & Snug, 511 W. Canfield St.
Mixiotes, a dish that hails from Rivera’s birthplace of Guanajuato, Mexico: tender chicken marinated in guajillo chiles, garlic, onion, cinnamon, tequila, thyme and marjoram, steamed and served with potatoes and corn tortillas and garnished with traditional accompaniments including avocado, pineapple and house pickled onion and habanero peppers.

Union Street Detroit, 4145 Woodward Ave.
Ode to Detroit Industry, a drink made with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Chartreuse Green, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur and fresh lime in a martini glass
La Casa Azul: Mexican hot chocolate trifle made with layers of chipotle chili-spiked chocolate cake and cinnamon pastry cream topped with fresh whipped cream and candied jalapeño
Chiles En Nogada: poblano chiles stuffed with picadillo covered in walnut-sherry cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

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In Detroit’s Rivera And Kahlo Exhibit, A Portrait Of A Resilient City

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Read/listen to the full NPR report.

The exhibit, “Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit,”has special significance to the city — at its heart are Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals, painted on the walls of the DIA. Grand in scope and scale, they celebrate Detroit’s auto factories, and depict a kind of worker’s utopia — men of all races side by side on an assembly line. Commissioned by Henry Ford’s son Edsel, the murals offer incredible detail. One engineer at the time said the artist coherently fit 2 miles of assembly line onto two walls.

But the grand murals stand in stark contrast to Kahlo’s paintings, which are small and intensely personal. As the museum says in the exhibit description, Rivera romanticized Detroit; Kahlo rejected it.

Museum director Graham Beal tells NPR’s Don Gonyea that the exhibit has taken on a deeper meaning for the museum and for the city as a whole.

“Until recently when you looked at the Rivera murals … you saw a Detroit of the past,” he says. “Sort of somehow that it was elegiac. But things have shifted so much in the past few months … Now you can see the murals as something that is now looking to the future as well as looking to the past, and that all of the old engineering, all the know-how, all the entrepreneurial spirit is somehow in effect again.”

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