The Detroit Institute of Arts Just Opened Its Largest Addition in Over a Decade

Detroit Institute of Arts

Ceremonial Skirt (Tapis Inu),” late 1800s, Indonesia (South Sumatra), cotton warp ikat, silk embroidery. On display at the DIA’s new Robert and Katherine Jacobs Asian Wing.

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The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is significantly increasing their galleries focused on the Asian art world.

At 6,500-square-feet, the newly opened Robert and Katherine Jacobs Asian Wing is the most substantial addition to the museum’s permanent collection in the past five years. It is also the largest addition since 2007.

Featuring artwork from throughout the Asian continent both old and new, the recently opened gallery seeks to examine the international reach of Asian culture.

WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper speaks with DIA assistant curator of Arts of Asia and the Islamic World Katherine Kasdorf about the newest addition to the museum.  

Detroit Institute of Arts

Pillow with Lions,” 1100s–1200s, Korea, stoneware, slip, celadon glaze. On display at the DIA’s new Robert and Katherine Jacobs Asian Wing.

It was really important for us in developing these galleries to show that Asia and Asian art and Asian traditions are not only about the past and not only traditional but are also very much present and changing and part of today’s global world,” Kasdorf says. “In each of the new galleries, you’ll see at least one work of modern or contemporary art alongside the historical works of art that form the core of the collection at the DIA. At the same time, we’re presenting our historical works of art in ways that we hope will resonate with visitors and in ways that show their continued relevance today.”

Planning for the massive new Asian arts wing stretched over three years across two different museum administrations.

Salvador Salort-Pons is the current director of the DIA. He had to decide whether or not the museum should continue developing the new gallery.

We thought it was important to maintain (the new gallery) because we have a great collection of Asian art and we wanted to engage our Asian communities,” says Salort-Pons. “It is important for the DIA to diversify our audiences.”

Image credit: Detroit Institute of Arts

Aired on: CultureShift
About the Author

Ryan Patrick Hooper

Host & Producer, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper has worked as an arts and culture journalist in Detroit for over a decade.

hooper@wdet.org   Follow @hoopingtonpost

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