Detroit Institute of Arts Capital Campaign Off to $54 Million Start

The Detroit Institute of Arts has received a total of $54 million from three local philanthropists toward its recently announced $180 million capital campaign, Art Museum Network News reports.

The catalyst for the Great Art, New Start campaign was the discovery of asbestos in the museum's north and south wings during a renovation and expansion project. The ensuing demolition and reconstruction of the interiors of both wings added $40 million to the original estimate. The capital campaign will support the project's completion, resulting in significant infrastructure upgrades, new visitor amenities, and an additional 32,000 square feet of gallery space. In addition, campaign funds will be used to bolster DIA's endowment and finance its annual operations.

The three donors were the late Josephine F. Ford, granddaughter of the legendary automaker; shopping mall developer A. Alfred Taubman; and long-time board member Richard A. Manoogian. Ford, who died soon after making her gift, contributed numerous works of art to DIA over the years. Taubman has given to previous DIA campaigns and also donated important works to its collection. He is also the founding member of the Archives of American Art in Detroit and a trustee of the Michigan Foundation of the Arts.

"By seeking private and other new sources of funding, the DIA has recognized the changing financial landscape confronting cultural institutions across the country," said Manoogian. "Museums must carefully examine the ways in which they do business — from raising funds to presenting their collections. The DIA is creating a museum that speaks to its visitors' needs, while addressing issues of fiscal stability."