Four museum, gallery exhibitions to check out before they close in January

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

You have roughly 48 hours until the new year begins and time to burn (if you're lucky enough to have the time off from work). What should you do? Check out a local museum or gallery.

In a matter of days, at least two exhibitions will be closing at some of Metro Detroit's biggest cultural institutions — The Henry Ford and the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American history. A photography exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts, "Black is Beautiful," also will be closing.

If you've had their current exhibits on your to-do list, now is the time to check them out before they close this month. And if you know a gearhead or are a gearhead, one really embraces the car culture we pride ourselves on.

If cars aren't your thing, there are other options. But make sure you call before you go or at least check out each institution's website. Some require advance reservations.

Here are four exhibitions to check out before they close in January:

A Lincoln Continental stretch limousine used by Pope Paul VI for a visit to New York City in 1965 and by the Apollo 13 astronauts for a parade in Chicago in 1970, is part of a new exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum  "Collecting Mobility: New Objects, New Stories.", Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021.

"Collecting Mobility: New Objects, New Stories" at The Henry Ford: What's really interesting about The Henry Ford's "Collecting Mobility" exhibition in Dearborn is the wide range of objects that reflect mobility in some way. It includes everything from a 19th-century Columbus Surrey, a type of carriage popular before cars, to a 1989 Top Fuel dragster that can hit up to 300 miles an hour. The exhibit, which features more than 30 rarely seen artifacts, includes roughly 10 vehicles. Another interesting component of the exhibit is that delves into The Henry Ford's collection itself (which already has 26 million objects) and how and why it collects what it does. The exhibit even has a QR code at the end for visitors who may wonder about objects of their own and if they're museum-worthy. Now you can find out. "Collecting Mobility" runs through Jan. 2. Go to

Detroit native Mario Moore used silicone, plexi-glass, resident and other materials to create a hold mold of American business and investor Robert F. Smith for the "Men of Change" exhibit.

"Men of Change" at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History: This powerful exhibit, which has already traveled to venues across the country, challenges the narratives about Black men. It features more than two dozen pieces of art that pay tribute to transformative leaders in the Black community in politics, sports, entertainment, business, religion and other areas. The exhibit — which explores themes such as "Storytellers," "Fathering," "Myth-Breakers," "Catalysts," "Community" and more — pairs artists such Nina Chanel Abney, Derrick Adams, Robert Pruitt, and Mario Moore (a Detroit native) with various trailblazers in the Black community — Muhammad Ali, Kendrick Lamar, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ta-Nehishi Coates and more. The exhibit runs through Jan. 2. Go to

The Detroit Historical Museum is hosting a new exhibit, Hudson's Holidays, which runs through Jan. 30.

"Hudson's Holidays" at the Detroit Historical Museum: As a new skyscraper takes shape on the former Hudson's site in downtown Detroit, north of the construction site is an exhibit, "Hudson's Holidays," at the Detroit Historical Museum explores what set the beloved retailer apart. Founded in 1881 as a clothing store for men and boys, Hudson's was racking up 100,000 sales a day by the 1950s. And its 25-story building was the world's tallest department store until 1961. The exhibit includes toys and holiday decor, along with details about the store's history and architecture. It runs through Jan. 30. Go to

Kwame Brathwaite's 1968 photo of Sikolo Brathwaite shows  wearing a headpiece designed by Carolee Prince for the African Jazz-Art Society & Studios.

"Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite" at the Detroit Institute of Arts: Photographer Kwame Brathwaite helped redefine beauty with his Grandassa Models in the 1960s. The well-known photographer's images are featured in a large exhibition that closes Jan. 16 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. It features 42 of Brathwaite's black-and-white and color photos, along with some very cool clothing and jewelry (some which the Grandassa Models made themselves). Admission is free to the DIA for Macomb, Oakland and Wayne residents but reservations are required. Go to