Detroit Institute of Arts

Top 3 Museum Special Exhibitions

Enriching displays of art across eras and genres

Travelling and temporary special exhibitions add to the opportunities for enlightenment at Michigan museums. Check out this fall and winter’s showstoppers.

Van Gogh in America

Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh is generally considered one of the greatest Post-Impressionists and one of the most influential painters in Western art history. His paintings have captured the minds and hearts of millions of art lovers and made art lovers of those new to the world of art.

The bold colors, expressive brushwork and contoured forms of his work are a sight to behold and powerfully contributed to the foundations of modern art. His almost 900 oil paintings include stunning landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits.

Van Gogh Self-Portrait (1887)

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) was the first public museum in the U.S. to purchase a painting by Vincent Van Gogh. In 1922 the museum acquired Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait (1887). To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the acquisition, the DIA is putting on the special exhibition Van Gogh in America. Experience 72 authentic Van Gogh works from around the world and discover the captivating story of America’s introduction to this iconic artist at the DIA Sunday, October 2, 2022 through Sunday, January 22, 2023. You won’t be disappointed.

The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited

The creator of the Muppets television shows and movies, Jim Henson first achieved nationwide popularity in 1969 when the program Sesame Street debuted featuring the Muppets. Henson coined the word Muppets by combining “marionettes” and “puppets”. What an imagination he had. It was Henson’s imagination that brought joy to children and adults alike and continues to make memories for all ages today.

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Fozzie the Bear and Big Bird are just some of the many characters Henson created that are beloved by fans. His Muppets, made of sculpted foam, plastic and various fabrics, were either hand puppets or fully costumed people.

The Jim Henson Exhibition via Mig Gilbert from Brighton Wikimedia Commons

Now you can see and learn about the Muppets in person. The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) is hosting the travelling exhibition The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited, organized by the Museum of the Moving Image. The exhibition reveals how Henson and his team brought the characters to life and created their worlds.

With more than 170 historical objects related to Henson’s career, including puppets, costumes, character sketches, film and television clips and behind-the-scenes footage, this is a show you won’t want to miss. There are even interactive experiences to encourage guests to try their hand at puppeteering and designing puppets. Visit GRAM Saturday, October 1, 2022 through Saturday, January 14, 2023 and let your imagination grow.

Off Kilter

Admire works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Ray Johnson and more at a travelling exhibition of 1960s art, and learn why the decade is one of the most significant in 20th-century art and why the name of the exhibition is so fitting.

Andy Warhol display at Museum of Modern Art via Gorup de Besanez Wikimedia Commons

The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum is hosting Off Kilter which features 40 pieces by some of the decades most iconic artists. It is an engaging survey of Pop Art, Op Art, Minimalism, kinetic art, shaped canvases and more that exemplifies the disruptive and dynamic era with an eye-catching variety of colors, materials and works.

Plan a trip to the museum Saturday, January 14, 2023 through Saturday, May 27, 2023 to experience the era and its aura.

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Travel Tip
Shop for unique holiday, birthday and any day gifts at a museum gift shop where products are curated and sometimes developed exclusively by the museum. You’ll find one-of-a-kind treasures.

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