Slice of Life: Dance Exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts

slice of life

Recently I took a trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) to see their latest exhibit Dance! American Art 1830-1960. The art exhibit focuses on the various forms of dance, the celebration of music, and how dances brings people from different cultures together as one!


Rustic Dance After a Sleigh Ride, 1830/ Artist: William Sidney Mount

The exhibit includes ninety works from well-known American artists including John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, to more modern artists such as Isamu Noguchi, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol.


Carmencita, 1890/ Artist: William Merit Chase

Photography is actually permitted for this particular exhibit (with the exception of some items) , so I was happy to take some snapshots of the artwork that stood out to me the most. Visitors are encouraged to take part in the exhibit by using the hashtag #JoinTheDance to share pictures of their favorite artwork featured in the exhibit as well as their own interpretations of dance.


Dancing Lesson, 1926/ Artist: Raphael Soyer

It was really interesting to see dance presented in various art forms from different cultures. Each picture told its own story and was very reflective of the period. Not only was I exposed to new artists, but I also learned more about the symbolism of dances and what they meant.


Capri Girl On A Rooftop, 1878/ Artist: John Singer Sargent

Each part of the exhibit was separated by periods of time. In each section, there was a short and informative video that describes the dances of the era presented by the paintings in the room. The dancers were from various backgrounds and talked a bit about their personal experiences with dance and music while showing off their own dance moves.


Shore Leave, 1941/ Artist: Ellis Wilson

Though it was a nice exhibit, I didn’t enjoy it as much as other previous exhibits at the DIA. I felt that there could have been a bit more variety to the exhibit. I don’t want to discourage anyone from visiting this exhibit, because it truly does display such incredible artwork, but in the end I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I would have liked to have seen more art in different mediums other than paintings.


The Green Ballet, 1943/ Artist: Everett Shinn

Dance! American Art 1830-1960 is on display now till Sunday, June 20th. For more information about the exhibit and other corresponding dance events that are going on at the DIA visit the website.

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