Museum brings its art outdoors around Detroit area

The Detroit Institute of Arts is putting up ornately framed reproductions of some of its most significant paintings on the streets of southeast Michigan as part of a celebration of its 125th anniversary.

The life-sized digital copies look as if they've been pulled from the museum's walls and will be on display through November.

“We hope people will be surprised and pleased when they see them,” museum Director Graham W.J. Beal said in a statement.

Some of the reproductions for “DIA: Inside/Out” are on walls outside shops and restaurants, while others are on freestanding posts at parks or other outdoor locations. Each is accompanied by an information plaque like one that would be seen at the museum.

All but two of the 40 reproductions are of paintings. One is of a tapestry and one is from a ceramic tile piece.

A number already are on display, including the Georges Seurat's “View of Le Crotoy from Upstream” along the Detroit RiverWalk near the Rivard Plaza carousel, and Henry Fuseli's “The Nightmare” outside Noir Leather in downtown Royal Oak.

In Grosse Pointe, Jean Marc Nattier's “The Marquise de Vintimille as Aurora” is on the wall outside a Borders bookstore.

Frederic Edwin Church's “Syria by the Sea” — which shows an expanse of old ruins — is to be put on display next week outside one of Detroit's most recognizable ruins: The 17-story Michigan Central Depot.

Vincent van Gogh's “Portrait of Postman Roulin” is expected to go up at The Wilson Barn, a historic site in Livonia. And Edgar Degas' “Dancers in the Green Room” is to greet visitors to Mercer Beach in Walled Lake.

An interactive map of the locations in Wayne, Macomb, Oakland and Washtenaw counties will be posted on the museum's website in mid-September, when the installation is complete.

The waterproof vinyl copies are produced by SM/ART Editions. The company, which specializes in making such reproductions for home and office decor, plans to sell copies of the “DIA: Inside/Out” works on its website.

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