“Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City, 1950-2020” is a high-octane love letter to automotive design. The exhibition is as smooth and well-composed as the 12 vehicles the museum wheeled in to take center stage.
Housed in a much smaller gallery, the photo exhibition “Russ Marshall: Detroit Photographs, 1958-2008” trades shiny centerpieces for something with more emotional horsepower. It’s not about the designers but instead about the blue-collar autoworkers who made the assembly lines run on time through thick and thin.
The two exhibits are on display through next June. Viewing both in a single visit to the DIA will offer museumgoers plenty of food for thought. “Detroit Style” makes the argument that auto design can rise to the level of the fine art. Russ Marshall’s photos place him among the city’s best street photographers.
Both exhibits beg the question: Are metro Detroiters inherently connected to cars themselves or are we more fascinated with the stories of the people who make them?
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