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Dayton Art Institute

456 Belmonte Park North
Dayton, Ohio

Phone: 937 223 5277 --

Statement of Purpose:

Founded in 1919 as the Dayton Museum of Fine Arts, the Dayton Art Institute also operated a traditional art school.  Its founding patrons included prominent leaders such as Orville Wright and the Patterson brothers, founders of NCR.  Originally occupying an impressive mansion in downtown Dayton, the museum was based upon the premise that art is for all people; the museum was quickly embraced by the entire community.

During its first decade, the museum outgrew the mansion.  Mrs. Julia Shaw Carnell, a promi-nent community leader, pledged to construct a new museum if the community would then endow and pay for its opera-tions.  Mrs. Carnell's generosity of nearly $2 million, a significant gift in the early days of the Great Depression, created a land-mark building.  Completed in 1930, the building was modeled after the Villa d'Este, near Rome, and the Villa Farnese at Caprarola in Italy, both examples of sixteenth century Italian Renaissance architecture.  The museum facility was designed by prominent museum archi-tect Edward B. Green of Buffalo.    More than 80 years later, this building still houses The Dayton Art Institute, and it is listed on the National Regis-ter of Historic Places.

Sitting atop a hill on the edge of the Great Miami River over-looking downtown Dayton, the museum was renamed The Dayton Art Insti-tute to reflect the growing importance of its school as well as its museum.  The striking building of nearly 60,000 square feet soon became known as "Dayton's Living Room."  People from all walks of life came to the Art Institute to visit the permanent collections and special exhibitions, to attend a variety of classes, or to stroll in the gardens on a Sunday afternoon.

During the past decade, the museum has reaffirmed its tradition of providing outstanding educational programs and special exhibitions.  Over the past several years, the museum's Collection has grown significantly through generous gifts of artwork by local donors, including important Oceanic art, Asian art and American fine and decorative art collections.  The Collection, now comprised of more than 12,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of art history, is rated as “superb in quality” by the American Associate of Museums.

In September of 1994, the museum announced its largest ever capital campaign, with a goal of $22 million, to fund a major renovation and expansion of the museum's infrastructure; increase and improve our educational and outreach programs; and fund an endowment for the new facility.  The Dayton Art Institute reopened in June 1997 with more than 35,000 square feet of additional exhibition space and completely renovated Permanent Collection galleries.

The Dayton Art Institute will continue to develop ways of better serving museum visitors and attracting targeted, underserved audiences, such as the African-American community, families with young children, and young professionals.  With innovative programming, increased technology and expanded services, The Dayton Art Institute is poised for the 21st century.

Highlights & Collections:

Patterson/Kettering Wing of Asian Art: Indian, 2nd century AD, Head of Maitreya - stucco; Indian, 12th century, The Great Goddess - bronze; Chinese, Han Dynasty, Watching Tower - earthenware with glaze; Kim Hongdo, Korean, Chosen Dynasty, Birds and Flowers - hanging scroll; Japanese, Edo period, Mount Fuji and Musashi Plain - six panel screens; Thai, Sukhothai period, Seated Buddha – bronze;  African, Hemba people, Standing Male Figure (Singiti).

Special Exhibition Wing: A range of temporary special loan exhibitions are presented annually.

Berry Wing of European Art: Claude Monet, Waterlilies; Peter Paul Rubens, Study Heads of an Old Man; Mattia Preti, The Roman Empress Faustina Visiting St. Catherine of Alexandria in Prison; Edgar Degas, The Bath; Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of Henry, 8th Lord of Arundell of Wardour; William Adolphe Bouguereau, The Song of the Nightingale; Georges Rouault, Madonna of the Fields;  Pier Francesco Bissolo, Holy Family with a Donor.

Dicke Wing of American Art: Edward Hopper, High Noon; Mary Cassatt, Portrait of a Woman; Georgia O'Keeffe, Purple Leaves; Peter Frederick Rothermel, King Lear; Tiffany Studios, Dragonfly Lamp; Charles Sheeler, Stacks in Celebration; Andy Warhol, Russell Means; Mark Rothko, Untitled; April Gornik, The Back of the Storm;  American, Chippendale Side Chair;  American, Chippendale Tall Case Clock;  American, Classical Pier Table




Daily: 10-5, plus Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. 365 days per year.

Admission & Directions:

General Admission is Free, supported by The Bank One Free Admission Endowment Fund (some special exhibitions and events carry an admission charge).

Heading North: Take I-75 to the First Street/Salem Avenue exit (53B). Go straight at the light toward the Dayton View Bridge. Go one block, turn left on Monument Street and cross the bridge. At the first light, go right on Riverview Avenue. Proceed one block and turn left, up the hill, onto Belmonte Park North. The Dayton Art Institute and parking are on the right.

Heading South: Take I-75 to Main Street exit (54B). Turn left at the light onto Main Street (Route 48). At the fourth light, turn right onto Riverview Avenue. Go four blocks to the T-intersection of Riverview and Forest, directly in front of the museum. Turn left to continue on Riverview and take the first right onto Belmonte Park North. The Dayton Art Institute and parking are on the right.


Key Personnel:

Alexander Lee Nyerges, Director and CEO
Susan Anable, Curator of Education
Susan Dyer, Director of Communications

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