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Displaying items by tag: detroit institute of arts

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are driving into Detroit’s bankruptcy reorganization by pledging $26 million to help support retiree pensions while keeping the city’s art treasures off the auction block, officials announced Monday.

The money will go toward city pensions and will be part of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ $100 million commitment to what’s being called the “grand bargain” to resolve the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history. It’s helping keep city-owned pieces in the museum off the auction block as some creditors demand they be sold to pay off some of Detroit’s billions in debt.

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Creditors in Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy have engineered a new appraisal aimed at putting the Detroit Institute of Arts' entire collection in play as a possible chip to maximize the amount the city will be obligated to ante up for debt repayment.

The Detroit News reports that, at some creditors’ behest, the city’s bankruptcy managers have begun trying to place a value on the museum’s entire 66,000-piece collection. That’s quite an escalation from a previous appraisal of only about 1,700 works that the DIA had bought with city funds.

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Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ruled Thursday that he won't allow some of Detroit's largest creditors to remove art from the walls at the Detroit Institute of Arts in order to inspect and appraise the art as part of the city's bankruptcy.

The creditors had argued that doing so would let their outside experts help determine the artworks' value.

Rhodes also denied the creditors' motion seeking access to up to a million additional pages of historic documents about the art housed at the city-owned museum. However, Rhodes said he would allow creditors to work with DIA officials to allow access to artwork in storage at the museum.

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The $816 million art-for-pensions deal that is designed to preserve the Detroit Institute of Arts collection is fascinating, imaginative and clever. But it’s almost certainly illegal. And I’ll show you why.

Were it legal, the deal would help solve two very big problems. The first is Detroit’s radically underfunded pensions, which are at least $3.5 billion in the hole, by the reckoning of Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. Simple economics says that Detroit needs to slash these obligations. But the pensions are not lavish, and thousands of retired Detroiters depend on the pensions for their daily bread.

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The Detroit Institute of Arts is planning an exhibition that focuses on the year the celebrated Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent in the city.

Between April 1932 and March 1933, Rivera created the famed Detroit Industry murals on the walls of a courtyard at the Detroit museum.

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The W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced that it will donate $40 million to a fund established to help save the Detroit Institute of Arts’ finest works from being sold at auction and avoid cuts to municipal pensions. The fund, which was created after the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy in July 2013, now totals $370 million. Detroit is currently over $18 billion in debt and creditors are seeking repayment.

Following the bankruptcy filing, Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, asked Christie’s to appraise the 2,781 city-owned works housed in the Detroit Institute of Arts. The auction house estimated the works to be worth anywhere from $452 million to $886 million. The Institute has opposed any sale, stating that its art is held in a charitable trust and cannot be part of any auction to help pay for Detroit’s substantial debts.

The Kellogg Foundation, which was founded in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg in Battle Creek, Michigan, provides funds for the promotion of the welfare, comfort, health, education, and safeguarding of children and youth, regardless of sex, race, creed or nationality.

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Supporters of the Detroit Institute of Arts have offered to donate $330 million to help pay a portion of the city’s bankruptcy debt and save the museum’s finest works from being sold at auction. The donors would like the funds to go to retirees, whose pensions may be cut by as much as $3.5 billion. In exchange, the Detroit Institute’s collection would be protected in any bankruptcy settlement. A statement e-mailed to the U.S. District Court in Detroit said, “All recognize that if these two goals can be accomplished, a third absolutely critical goal of facilitating the revitalization of the city in the aftermath of the bankruptcy will be greatly advanced.”

Detroit filed for bankruptcy in July 2013 and the city is currently over $18 billion in debt. Following the filing, Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, asked Christie’s to appraise the 2,781 city-owned works housed in the Detroit Institute of Arts. The auction house estimated the works to be worth anywhere from $452 million to $886 million.

The Institute has opposed any sale, stating that its art is held in a charitable trust and cannot be part of any auction to help pay Detroit’s substantial debts.

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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 18:00

Christie’s Appraises Detroit’s Art Collection

Christie’s announced that Detroit’s art collection, which is housed in the Detroit Institute of Arts, is worth between $452 million and $886 million. The auction house was hired by the city’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, to put a price tag on 2,781 works owned by the city after Detroit filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

The city’s artworks represent about 5% of the Detroit Institute’s holdings, but 11 of the pieces on display at the museum account for 75% of the appraised collection’s total value. Christie’s plans to propose five alternatives to selling the works, which include masterpieces by Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Pieter Bruegel, that would still allow the city to make a profit off of the treasures.

The city of Detroit is currently over $18 billion in debt.

 

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Graham Beal, the Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, published a letter in the New York Times addressing the rampant rumors that have dogged the institution recently. Media outlets ran countless stories speculating about the museum’s future and that of its artworks after Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr asked for an appraisal of the D.I.A.’s collection.

In his letter, Beal specifically responded to an article published in the New York Times comparing the Detroit Institute of Arts to the shuttered Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science in California. Beal said, “True, any successful effort to liquidate D.I.A. art would precipitate a series of events likely to lead to its closing, but we are a very long way from actions that would denude its prestigious collection of its most valuable art works. We believe that a healthy D.I.A. is, in fact, a crucial component in any recovery of the city of Detroit.”


Beal’s letter can be read in its entirety at the New York Times.

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Thanks to a grant from Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project, the Detroit Institute of Arts has embarked on a research endeavor focused on examining and digitally photographing 13 full-scale preparatory drawings by Diego Rivera for his Detroit Industry murals. The drawings have not been viewed since 1986 and have never been photographed. The project, which started on July 22, 2013, will last through August 2, 2013 and will include any necessary conservation work on the drawings.

Rivera gave the drawings, which are housed in a climate-controlled custom storage in the museum, to the DIA after he completed his monumental Detroit Industry murals in 1933. The series of frescoes, which features 27 panels surrounding the museum’s Rivera Court, depict the then state-of-the-art Ford Motor Company River Rouge Plant. The murals stirred up controversy following their completion and critics deemed the works blasphemous, vulgar, un-American and Marxist propaganda. While members of the Detroit community called for the destruction of the murals, commissioner Edsel Ford and DIA Director Wilhelm Valentiner defended the murals’ right to exist.

Following the research project, 5 of the 13 panels will be go on view at DIA as part of an exhibition of works by Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo created during their time in Detroit.

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