Detroit Institute of Arts Brings American Paintings to the Dennos Museum Center

The Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College will present Visions of American Life: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection, 1850-1940, October 21, 2018 to January 20, 2019.

American artists have always found beauty in the people, landscapes, and distinctive cultures that surround them. The paintings included in this exhibit, made between 1850 and 1940, offer unique views of the world and the subjects that inspired their makers. Through these works, it is possible to see the evolution of the United States from a young republic to a modern nation with global ambitions in the twentieth century. Their subjects range from the iconic, such as majestic views of the natural world created by artists associated with the so-called Hudson River School in the mid-1800s, to the unexpected, as seen in the ticket stubs, newspapers, and peanuts meticulously rendered in realistic detail by trompe l’oeil painters at the turn of the twentieth century. This exhibit organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts is drawn from the Manoogian Collection. These works invite visitors to explore seemingly simple scenes of American life and uncover artists’ complex questions about American culture and identity. It explores these ideas through 40 works organized around three themes: American spectacle, home life, and public spaces.

The opening reception for this exhibition will take place from 2-4 PM on Sunday, October 21, 2018. Ben Colman, Associate Curator of American Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts will give a presentation on the exhibition at 3 PM in Milliken Auditorium of the Dennos Museum Center.  The public is invited to attend this program as part of their museum admission that day.

The Dennos Education Department has developed an extensive range of programming around this exhibition. For details contact Jason Dake, Curator of Exhibitions at 231-995-1029 or or visit

This exhibition has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts and made possible by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Collection. This exhibition and museum collaboration are made possible through the Art Bridges-Terra Foundation Initiative.  Generous support has been provided by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation. Additional support provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Robert T. and Ruth Haidt Hughes Memorial Endowment Fund.

The Dennos Museum Center is open Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM, Thursday until 8 PM and Sunday’s 1-5 PM. Admission charged. For more information on the Museum and its programs, go to or call 231-995-1055. The Dennos Museum Center is located at 1410 College Drive, Traverse City, MI 49686, at the entrance to the campus of Northwestern Michigan College.