Huffpost Arts

1970s Commercial For Detroit's Art Museum Is Cheesy Perfection

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Bad lip-syncing, cheesy poses and costumes, clumsily choreographed dancing and a silly jingle: this 1976 video for the Detroit Institute of Arts has all the makings of a terrible commercial.

But the video, shared on YouTube by user Keith Norman, has recirculated at a moment when the museum faces an uncertain future, and suddenly all the cheesiness feels warranted. As Detroit hammers out details of a plan to settle its debts to creditors after bankruptcy, some have discussed selling works owned by the city in the DIA's collection. Last week, Christie's auction house released their assessment of the 2,800 city-owned pieces, putting their collective value between $454 million and $867 million. A Van Gogh self-portrait alone was determined to be worth between $80 million and $150 million.

Though options exist beyond selling off work piece-by-piece, including "renting" it to other museums or raising funds from foundations and individuals to save it, many of the DIA's supporters are concerned about what could happen in the future.

WIth that in mind, we can't help but love this ode to the wonders of the DIA and the power of art to transform the ordinary. Here are our favoritest, cheesiest moments:

  • When this guy popped out of a suit of armor to start the song.
  • When 'The Thinker' got these people thinking about art.
  • When Van Gogh became a fashion inspiration.
  • When a Henry Moore sculpture inspired this classy pose.
  • When these ladies posed with an ancient artifact.
  • When these guys hung out with some mummies.
  • When this woman became one with a statue.
  • When people of all ages tipped their hat to the museum.

And anyone who wonders what's so important about a museum, just take a listen to the ad's sing-songy jingle:

You've gotta have art, all you really need is art. When those little things in life make you frown, come and down and get a start. First you gotta have art.

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