Travel

Michigan Museums and Galleries

Museum/Gallery city
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
Found in 1885 and with more than 600,000 square feet of space right across from the public library, the Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the city's most valuable treasures. The city famously considered selling off some of the collection during the bankruptcy in 2014, to great uproar; it was saved thanks to an $800 million-dollar campaign called "the grand bargain," which rescued many notable works by incorporating the museum under an independent charitable trust. The Beaux Arts building is a work of art in its own right, but you'll also find permanent exhibitions of American and European art, plus a GM-sponsored center for African American art, and rotating temporary exhibitions of photography and installations. Have lunch at Kresge Court, a cute little coffee shop in the middle that makes for a great resting point if you're hoping to cover a lot of ground.
Library Street Collective
1260 Library St., Downtown
Library Street Collective has taken a major role in bringing internationally known artists (particularly street artists) to the city, representing the likes of Shepard Fairey, Ryan McGinness, and How & Nosm. Recently, they've paired up with a local real estate firm, Bedrock, for public art projects like the Z, a parking garage filled with murals that create a museum best experienced from behind the wheel of a vehicle. They're also behind The BELT, a redeveloped alley in the former garment district where Library Street hosts rotating outdoor exhibitions.
Museum of Contemporary Art
4454 Woodward Ave., Midtown
Founded in 2006, MOCAD is firmly a product of a changing Detroit, bringing local and international artists to an audience that's younger and a bit more avant-garde than what you'll find at the city's older art institutions. The museum is housed in a cavernous old auto dealership that was redesigned for this purpose (to great acclaim—the design won a prestigious award from Architectural Review), giving them plenty of space and flexibility for performance art, major sculptures, and dramatic installations. Their most ambitious project to date, Detroit City, addresses the influence of art, both new and old, and in every medium, on the city's real and perceived identity. The cafe in the middle of the space, run by Dave Kwiatkowski and Marc Djozlija (the guys behind The Sugar House) serves great sushi and well-crafted cocktails, and entry is based on a suggested donation of $5.
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