Desiree Kelly. American, born 1990. Shields, 2018. Oil and spray paint on traffic sign 35 × 35 in. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment 2019.13

Made in Michigan

August 19, 2023 - July 21, 2024

Dow Gallery

The artworks in this exhibition were created by artists who were either born in Michigan or spent an extended period of time living and working in the state. It shows the depth of Michigan artists who have depicted landscapes, industrial scenes, and the human form through both realism and abstraction.

Michigan has had a long history of fostering creativity through its various teaching and cultural institutions. These efforts began in the late 19th century when Michigan’s cities became increasingly industrialized. Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, and other cities were becoming manufacturing centers, attracting thousands of immigrants from Europe, Canada, and surrounding states. In just a few years, fields gave way to factories, and many Michigan’s cities became sophisticated, urban centers. The powerful individuals who were shaping this new society, confident in its future, sought to extend their interests and influence into all aspects of life, including education, politics, and culture. In this climate of change the first signs of an emerging art community could be seen. Today, this tradition continues as contemporary artists emerge from or move to Michigan.

From the Exhibition

  • Zoltan Sepeshy. American, born Hungary, 1898 - 1974. Patterns, n.d. Oil and tempera on panel, 33 × 45 in. (83.8 × 114.3 cm) Framed: 37 5/8 × 49 1/2 in. (95.6 × 125.7 cm). Gift in memory of Michael A. Gorman 1959.2

  • Arthur R. Lehmann. American, 1913 - 1988. Delray District - Detroit, 1938. Oil on canvas 26 × 34 in. (66 × 86.4 cm). Gift of the Lehmann Family 2014.2

  • Robert Gniewek. American, born 1951. Rialto, 2001. Oil on linen, 14 × 20 in. (35.6 × 50.8 cm). Gift of James Pearson Duffy 2015.4