University of Michigan - Museum of Art
The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) holds collections representing 150 years of art collecting, while its dynamic schedule of special exhibitions and interpretative programs connects visitors with the rich artistic legacy of the past and today's avant-garde. In 2009, UMMA underwent a major restoration of its historic Beaux-Arts home, the Alumni Memorial Hall and opened a landmark addition, named the Maxine and Stuart Frankel and the Frankel Family Wing after its lead benefactors. Thanks to this major transformation, UMMA not only more than doubled the space available for collections display, temporary exhibitions, programs, and educational exploration, but also fulfilled the Museum’s mission to bridge visual art and contemporary culture, scholarship and accessibility, tradition and innovation.
Backstory and Context
UMMA has about 19,000 objects in its collection, with an especially strong collection of Asian and Central African art. The Asian art collection is made up of over 4,500 items, making it the largest in the state of Michigan. The majority of the collection consists of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean paintings and ceramics although other cultures and artistic mediums are also well represented. The African art collection includes personal adornment, masks, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, and even architectural elements. American and European classical and contemporary art by Picasso, Monet, and Whistler are some of the UMMA’s most famous pieces.2 About 20 exhibits on contemporary art and from other institutions rotate throughout the year. Throughout the museum, there are opportunities for visitors to view into the collection storage facilities, with glass-fronted “open storage galleries.” The art continues outside with sculptures placed around the perimeter of the museum, including the painted steel “Orion” display on the front lawn. 3
UMMA offers guided and self-guided tours, particularly for students and teachers. In addition, themed guided tours are regularly scheduled for the public. The new building provides classrooms for professors to request up-close object study visits, and museum staff can assist in research at the Marvin and Phyllis Dolinko Curatorial Research Center.4 Programs and events that are regularly offered include art lectures, “Nights at the Museum” and “After Hours” evening programs, and music, dance, and poetry reading performances. Family-friendly activities are also a regular occurrence, with movie nights, story-time readings, and art studio workshops. 5