The Detroit Institute of Arts is building a new collection driven by the city’s automotive innovations.
The new collection will feature works that highlight the technological, design, and functional endeavors of the automotive industry with an emphasis on Detroit’s contributions. It’s funded by a gift of $5 million from the Mort and Brigitte Harris Foundation, which the museum will use to fill a new curatorial position: the Mort Harris Curator of Automotive, Industrial, and Decorative Design.
So far, the museum has received a gift of 91 automotive drawings from Julie Hyde-Edwards that span decades of collecting by Julie and her late husband Robert Edwards.
“I am grateful to Mort’s son Stuart Harris and Brigitte’s daughter Michele Becker, and trustee Doreen Vitti, with support from Mort’s partner Sandy Morrison, for continuing the Harris Family’s longstanding and generous support of the museum,” said DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons said in a press release. “Mort’s leadership and generosity helped shape so many institutions in Detroit over his lifetime. Together with Brigitte, their interest in art and the DIA were a joy to witness. This gift is enhanced by the extraordinary collection of works donated by Julie-Hyde Edwards, who with Robert Edwards tirelessly worked to preserve and document these fragile artworks to make it possible for future generations to experience and fall in love with the work of these Detroit artists.”
The museum plans to add concept drawings, models, paintings, prints, photographs, posters, architectural renderings, and more to the exhibit, which explores facets of modern life shaped by car design, with the help of the new curator, who has yet to be named.