Season 6 – Episode 4: How the DIA Turned From a Private Art Collection Into a World-Renowned Museum

Season 6 – Episode 4: How the DIA Turned From a Private Art Collection Into a World-Renowned Museum

Here’s where Detroit was, art-wise, in 1917: A middling art museum on the east edge of downtown Detroit, with little to attract notice. We tell the story of the next 10 years, when the entire world began to pay attention. The magnificent Detroit Institute of Arts building on Woodward went up, with paintings by the yet-to-be-discovered Vincent Van Gogh.

How did this happen? We tell that story by looking at Ralph Booth, the publishing scion who had a passion for art; and William Valentiner, the esteemed German art historian who oversaw the acquisitions. Marsha Battle Philpot, an arts aficionado and DIA board member, tells us about Detroit’s vibrant 20s.


Interviews:
Jeffrey Abt, author, A Museum on the Verge: A Socioeconomic History of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

William Peck, author, The Detroit Institute of Arts, A Brief History.