I’ve never had a particularly high opinion of Detroit as a cultural center. Recently, my daughter took me to the Detroit Institute of Arts, and I must say that it gave me a much better opinion of the Motor City. The DIA is probably most famous for the Diego Rivera Detroit Industry murals, and the big event at the moment is the exhibit Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit (on until July 12, 2015). The exhibit focuses on the years that the couple was in Detroit while Rivera completed his monumental work and Kahlo developed her own style.
After the exhibit, my daughter showed me the highlights of the collection. There was plenty of great works: Rembrandt, Canaletto, Van Gogh among others. Of course, I wanted to see their French collection. The DIA has a fine group of French works spanning three centuries by artists such as Poussin, Gericault, Renoir, Degas, and even Duchamp. We finished our visit in the highly appealing café that looks like a medieval courtyard.
I must admit that I was taken by surprise by the DIA. The French expression is être pris au dépourvu (et-ruh pree oh day-poor-voo). If you are near Detroit, it’s worthwhile being pris au dépourvu by the DIA yourself.