Even though we just went one time during our visit, I decided to give the Flint Institute of the Arts its own post. I’m combining some photos from the past with photos from this year.
The only special exhibit while we were there (having arrived in town on the last day of an exhibit on French deco glass we’d have loved) was “French Twist: Masterworks of Photography from Atget to Man Ray”. Neither of us loved it although there were some interesting things in the notes posted by the works and it was fun to step into a particular era in photography.
It’s funny we’ve become such fans because we were not regular visitors nor supporters while we lived there. But I developed an interest in art after I left the area; at least enough to enjoy visiting art museums. Mom doesn’t usually enjoy art museums at all so she came the first time with reluctance.
But this is a very well put together little museum with an eclectic range, an eye for good acquisitions in their price range, and some particularly good examples of American art. She really enjoyed it and the annual visit has become a highlight of our trek to Flint.
This time I was particularly delighted to glance at a remainder table outside the gift shop and see something I’ve asked about and wished for over the years: a gorgeous book on the American Art at FIA. A $35 coffee table book on sale for $5! With color photos, including most of my favorite works. I’d have loved a book that covered everything, but given the size of the American collection and the many pieces I love in it, I’m thrilled!
You have to fill out a form to take pictures inside the museum (can’t even shoot the cafe without signing!) and then you’re not allowed to put them up on the web anywhere, so my photos are all outside. The museum is in a cultural center that has a really nice theater/auditorium, a planetarium, a school for the arts, a children’s museum, etc., so some photos are of nearby places.
Charles Stewart Mott, founder of the Mott Foundation, lived in Flint from 1907-1973 (his death)* and was a great supporter of FIA. The Foundation continues to provide generous funding for the museum, which I’m sure has much to do with the high quality of such a small museum.
We became members and look longingly at the newsletters full of the great array of events there. A meander through the museum, me pushing Mom in one of their wheelchairs, is a must for every visit to Flint!
*He lived there throughout my childhood and rumored to be a mean old curmudgeon but I have no personal knowledge of anything but his great philanthropy.