07/25/2013 08:21 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

10 Reasons You Should Care About The Endangered Detroit Art Museum


Art admirers from New York to Los Angeles are likely feeling the reverberations of last week's Detroit bankruptcy news. In the wake of the announcement, more than a few heads have turned to the Detroit Institute of Art as a piggy bank that could pull Motown from the depths of financial ruin. All it would need to do is sell a few of its iconic paintings -- the $100 million Tintoretto, for example -- and the necessary cash could be raised.

But is it really smart to sell off a hefty collection of masterpieces by Picasso, Warhol and Matisse to meet short-term needs? The Huffington Post's Mallika Rao reported, deaccessioning DIA works might not be the most economically wise decision. "Not only would flooding the art market potentially reduce the value of the works for sale," she wrote, "but offloading the art would deprive the city of a vital source of native revenue."

With a collection ranging from the pricey Tintoretto to a $150 million Matisse, you don't have to live in Detroit to understand the gravity of the situation. We've put together a list of 10 of the most impressive art pieces the DIA has to offer:

1. This Picasso gouache.

picasso detroit institute of art
The Bather by the Sea, Pablo Picasso, 1939, gouache. Detroit Institute of Arts.

2. This Matisse window.

The Window, Henri Matisse, 1916, oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts.

3. This work by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

The Wedding Dance, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c. 1566, oil on oak panel. Detroit Institute of Arts

4. This Rembrandt painting.

The Visitation, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1640, oil on oak panel. Detroit Institute of Arts.

5. This Caravaggio.

The Conversion of the Magdalen, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, c. 1598, oil and tempera on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts.

6. Henry Fuseli's 'Nightmare.'

The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli, 1781, oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts.

7. This Monet.

Gladioli, Claude Monet, ca. 1876, oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts.

8. This other van Gogh painting.

detroit institute of art
Portrait of Postman Roulin, Vincent van Gogh, 1888, oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts.

9. This Renoir.

detroit institute of art
Woman in an Armchair, Pierre August Renoir, 1874, oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts.

10. And this Vincent van Gogh portrait.

Self-Portrait, Vincent van Gogh, 1887, oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts.

For more on the situation, check out our full coverage of the potential art sale scare here.



Detroit Could Auction Off Priceless Art