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The Detroit Institute of Arts is hosting an event to unveil a new website showcasing artworks owned by the federal government.

The Thursday event will showcase the U.S. General Services Administration's Fine Arts Collection website.

The GSA, which oversees federal buildings across the nation, owns more than 26,000 paintings, sculptures, prints and other works from the 1850s to the present. Many are displayed in federal buildings and courthouses.

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When the Detroit Institute of Arts reopened in 2007 after its sweeping renovation, the Ancient Middle East gallery wasn't ready for prime time. Running short of time and money, the museum defaulted to a cursory display that didn't do full justice to its strong holdings in Middle Eastern antiquities. Now the DIA is upping its game with a significantly revamped, nearly 3,000-square-foot gallery featuring 177 works, heavily reinterpreted and spanning more than 8,500 years (from 8000 BC to 650 AD).

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Thursday, 17 September 2015 11:14

The Detroit Institute of Arts Appoints a New Director

The Detroit Institute of Arts board of directors today named Salvador Salort-Pons, an internationally respected curator, scholar and the museum’s executive director of collection strategies and information, as its director, president and CEO, effective October 15, 2015.

Salort-Pons has served as director of the museum’s European Art Department since 2011, adding the role of director of collection strategies and information in 2013. He also serves as the Elizabeth and Allan Shelden Curator of European Paintings at the DIA and has played a key role in the museum’s strategic planning process, approaching his work with the visitor-centered approach that is a key tenet of the DIA’s vision. He succeeds Graham W. J. Beal, who retired as director of the DIA on June 30.

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Supporters of the Detroit Institute of Arts reacted with dismay Thursday to Sotheby’s announcement that it will auction A. Alfred Taubman’s legendary art collection, as that means it will not go to the museum.

Sotheby’s statement said the 500-plus works “valued in excess of $500 million” will be on the block in four auctions starting Nov. 4 in New York. The news release called it “the most valuable private collection ever offered at auction.”

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The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will give pay raises and bonuses to three of its top executives in recognition of their work securing the museum’s collection during the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy negotiations. Former Director and President Graham Beal (who left the DIA on June 30) will get a retroactive $20,000 raise for the fiscal years 2014 and 2015, plus a $30,000 performance bonus; Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Annmarie Erickson and Chief Financial Officer Robert Bowen will receive 3% raises for the fiscal years 2014 and 2015, plus bonuses of $65,000 and $40,000, respectively.

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The Denver Art Museum (DAM) has appointed Rebecca R. Hart as curator of Modern and contemporary art, the institution announced today. Hart will join DAM after ten years as a curator of contemporary art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where she also led the acquisition program.

“Rebecca is known for creating connections between artists and communities, and we are excited to see how she will engage existing and new audiences with exhibitions and programs that push the envelope for Denver,” Christoph Heinrich, director of DAM, said in a statement.

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The Detroit Institute of Arts, renowned for its Diego Rivera murals, is set to open a public exhibition of his works and those of his wife, Frida Kahlo, this month, the biggest since the museum's collection was threatened in the city's bankruptcy.

"Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit" will feature nearly 70 works by the Mexican artists and is the first to focus on the 11 months they spent in Detroit in 1932 and 1933, when Rivera worked mainly on the "Detroit Industry" murals.

Rivera's preparatory drawings for the 27-panel "Detroit Industry" frescoes, which have not been shown in nearly 30 years, will be part of the exhibit opening on Sunday.

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As an erudite, witty but reserved British-born art historian who favors bow ties, Graham Beal has neither the appearance nor the personality of a natural man of the people.

Yet Beal's 16-year tenure as director of the Detroit Institute of Arts — highlighted by a landmark $158-million renovation and reinstallation of the collection — has transformed the museum into a populist institution embraced by a larger and more diverse swath of Detroiters than at any other point in its 130-year history.

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Less than a year after the Detroit Institute of Arts promised to contribute $100 million to the grand bargain rescue fund at the core of the city's bankruptcy restructuring plan, the museum has crossed the finish line.

Museum board chair Gene Gargaro said Monday that he reported to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder at the end of December that the museum had reached the present-value equivalent of its pledge to raise $100 million over 20 years.

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The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House kept secret the 2013 sale of an oil painting by French post-impressionist Paul Cézanne to a private buyer for $100 million to help protect Detroit-owned artworks under threat due to the city’s bankruptcy.

The sale appeared on the nonprofit institution’s 2013 tax form and removes from the 1929 Grosse Pointe Shores mansion a painting that had been in the Ford family since the mid-20th century, the "Detroit Free Press" reported Friday.

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