Detroit Institute of Arts Receives Help from the 'Big Three' - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

“Detroit Industry” by Diego M. Rivery (1933). Image courtesy of Detroit Institute of Arts.

After worries that the artwork in the Detroit Institute of Arts would be sold off to ease Detroit’s bankruptcy, the museum received a huge break today in their effort to help Detroit’s “Grand Bargain.” In a joint effort from Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, $26 million dollars will be donated to the DIA’s contribution of the Grand Bargain; the museum is committed to raise $100 million for the city of Detroit.

From the $26 million donated from the “Big Three,” WXYZ Detroit reported $10 million will come from Ford Motor Company, another $10 million will come from General Motors and the General Motors Foundation and the remaining $6 million will be donated by Chrysler. The CEO and Chairman of Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, said, “While it is our duty to focus on the revival of this city, it is equally crucial to cherish the treasure the city already offers – not just for ourselves, but for the generations that will follow … The Detroit Institute of Arts is a cultural treasure that enriches the human spirit, while offering us a chance to contemplate what humanity has achieved and what we aspire to create in the future.”

Near the end of 2013, the DIA was appraised by Christie’s, a fine arts auction house, to see what value the museum could be to the city if its art was sold off. The city was torn on the issue; pensioners argued that the sale of art was needed as it would fund Detroiters who relied on their pension. Art enthusiasts argued it was hasty to bring such a landmark decision to the table; selling off the city’s art could start a precedent for any city in dire straits with an art museum, not to mention that Detroit would lose iconic art. A Christie’s appraisal of the works in the DIA ranged from $454 million to $867 million, lower than expected.

At this moment though, selling the works of the DIA is not at the front of anyone’s mind. The massive donation from the “Big Three” for the DIA was applauded by many when it was announced at a press conference in Rivera Court on Monday, June 9. Governor Rick Snyder was present, and he said, “It is inspiring to see the notable organizations of Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Chrysler Group and the Detroit Institute of Arts, rallying together to aid city pensioners and help Detroit on its path to revitalization.”

The Detroit Institute of Arts is open every day except Monday, and offers free admission for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

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