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.



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



Pat Steir’s Border Lord (1972)



Dwindell Grant’s Red Circle (1938)



Bodhisattva Guanyin – Chinese, 11th century


Amida Buddha – Japanese, 13th Century


Elephant Mask Costume – Bamileke people, 20th century