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Detroit Institute of Arts extends 'Detroit style' car exhibition until January 2022

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Haven't gotten a chance yet to check out the Detroit Institute of Arts' ode to car design that opened last fall? Good news: You'll have until early January to see it now.

“Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City, 1950–2020," featuring 12 coupes and sedans that highlight the artistry and influence of Detroit car designers working between 1950 and present day, has been extended six months and will now run until Jan. 9, 2022.

As capacity restrictions loosen and vaccination numbers increase, museum officials say the extension will allow more people to see the popular show. The exhibition was originally supposed to end in late June.

"This exhibition is a celebration of Detroit and its role in putting the world on wheels," said Christine Kloostra, the museum's executive director of marketing and communications, in an email. "Despite pandemic-related capacity restrictions, more than 56,000 people have already visited, and by extending it to January, we are able to share our city’s creativity with even more residents of southeast Michigan and beyond."

A 1951 LeSabre by General Motors at the "Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City, 1950-2020" show at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan  on November 10, 2020.

"Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City, 1950-2020" pays homage to the cars that define us, how they're designed and the genius behind car designers. Organized by decade, the exhibition includes vehicles from Detroit's Big Three, including a 1958 Firebird III prototype and a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda.

"It's remarkable the power these machines have," said DIA Associate Curator for American Art Benjamin W. Colman told The Detroit News in November. "They inspire stories that are so personal and meaningful."

The exhibition, which includes rarely seen design drawings and archival photos, marks the first time cars have been inside the DIA since 1983.

Designer Donald Hood's "'71 Barracuda Front End Facelift Concept," in "Detroit Style" at the DIA.

“The automotive industry and the city of Detroit are synonymous with one another, so it seems only fitting that the DIA be the museum to showcase the rich history of car design in the city,” said DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons in a press release last year. “This exhibition will showcase the similarities between the art of car design and the creative process sculptors of the past used to create their masterpieces. Just like sculptors, they start with drawings and preliminary sketches, then produce clay models and from there, “manufacture” the final product.”

"Detroit Style" is free with museum admission, which is free for residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. To learn more, go to