Visiting the Dayton Art Institute

In August,  I visited the Dayton Art Institute for the very first time. There was a general admission fee to the museum as well as a fee for the current exhibit –  The Antartic Sublime & Elements of Nature: Water.  

Unfortunately, I have sad news.  The Antartic Sublime exhibit was disorganized and underwhelming. My reasons for these criticisms are: first, there weren’t many pieces to the exhibit as compared to other exhibits I’ve seen recently (such as  30 Americans in Cincinnati or The Great War Experimentation and Change in Columbus); and second, there was a physical sense of disjointedness to the exhibit. Unlike normal exhibition spaces  -where the rooms sort of flow together cohesively in a loose maze as you walk through them- the Antartic Sublime was shown in three separate rooms on two different floors of the museum. The combination of these factors created a negative experience for me with this exhibit.

Even though their Antartic exhibit was disappointing,  the permanent collection at the Dayton Art Institute and the museum  itself was quite impressive. It’s a beautiful old building  with an extensive Asian Art and Oceanic collection, decorative arts collection and numerous other ambitious pieces. Shown below are some of the main features from the museum.

 

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Alison Saar’s Lost and Found (2003) [Painting on wall, behind Saar’s work, is by artist Janet Fish]

 

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Pat Steir’s Border Lord (1972)

 

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Dwindell Grant’s Red Circle (1938)

 

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Bodhisattva Guanyin – Chinese, 11th century

 

Amida Buddha – Japanese, 13th Century

 

Elephant Mask Costume – Bamileke people, 20th century