Founded in 2000, the GM Center for African American Art represents one of the first departments concerned exclusively with African American art at any major art museum.The centre's collection currently numbers some 400 objects in various media, with a focus on modern graphic art. The Detroit Institute of Arts collection of American Art spans a wide range of media and objects, dating from the early Colonial period to the mid-20th century.More recent exhibits feature early religious artifacts, animal skin and bead-embroidered ceremonial attire, moccasins and shoulder bags, together with several historic pieces from the Chandler-Pohrt collection.
The Museum authorities also fastened onto German Expressionism at an early stage, securing numerous masterpieces for the Museum's Modern collection.Jerome in his Study by Jan van Eyck, and Madonna and Child by Giovanni Bellini.Other purchases included works by Peter Paul Rubens, Albrecht Durer and Rembrandt, as well as modern painters like Claude Monet, Odilon Redon, and Edgar Degas.By comparison, the richer J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles began collecting at a later stage and, as a result, has been able to acquire mostly lesser works. Glazed brick Dragon from the Ishtar Gate at Babylon (604-562 BCE) Illustrated Buddhist Manuscript of the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Verses Detroit Industry fresco series by Diego Rivera The Nut Gatherers by William-Adolphe Bouguereau The Wedding Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder St.Jerome in his Study by Jan van Eyck Madonna and Child by Giovanni Bellini Portrait of a Woman by Hans Holbein the Younger The Jewish Cemetery by Jacob Van Ruisdael Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley The Trappers Return by George Caleb Bingham Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket by Whistler The Window by Henri Matisse Mosquito Nets by John Singer Sargent Self-Portrait by Vincent van Gogh The Detroit Institute of Arts divides its permanent collection into the following departments: Africa, Oceania and Indigenous American Art; General Motors Center for African American Art; American Art; The Arts of Asia and the Islamic World; European Art; Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; The James Pearson Duffy Department of Contemporary Art; and Performing Arts (not covered). Africa, Oceania and Indigenous American Art African Art The DIA's assembly of African art is one of the finest in the United States.Today the collection covers a diverse range of genres, imagery, and media, illustrating some 3000 years of Egyptian civilization.