The New York Times reports that the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts is no longer in danger of being sold as part of the Bankruptcy filed by the City of Detroit. This is very good news for not only the DIA, Detroit and Michigan, but for any art lover that enjoys access to masterpieces through public museums. Do yourself a favor and visit this collection if you can, there are some very fine pieces and you won't regret it.
Everyone knows about the financial and societal woes of Detroit. The once grand and prospering city has been in decline for decades now and an emergency manager was appointed in March which gave fiscal control to the state instead of the city. Last week the news came out that all city interests are being examined as possible revenue streams, up to and including, the city owned Detroit Institute of Arts. Now in all probability, the city would not be able to sell off assets given in trust or as gifts to the institution and the idea has already sparked a backlash in the museum community who would take it as a direct assault on museums in general. Even the suggestion of looting the collection really drives home how desperate situation is. The DIA owns some spectacular pieces, a Brueghel any museum would love to own, a beautiful Caravaggio, the painting by Whistler that sparked (pun intended) the legendary Whistler vs. Ruskin case, a sublime Bingham, and of course the Rivera Court, just to name a few. Perhaps all this publicity will remind people the depth and beauty of the collection and how a visit, over the course of the summer, to see it for themselves would do the DIA and the city good.