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Programs and Tours


May 8

Guided Tour

Sunday, May 8, 2–3 p.m.

The announcement of the invention of photography in 1839 by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre
in Paris, and William Henry Fox Talbot in London, generated interest in the possibilities of this new technology as well as discussion of its merits, potential, and applications.  The first half-century of British photography charts the journey of a new medium with distinct expressive and artistic potentials. Photography served as an aid to science and exploration but also captured aspects of British society in ways that are poetic and artistic. Some photographers demonstrated an interest in social reform while others revealed sentimental notions of the island’s remote past. By the end of the century, advances in camera speeds and printing techniques facilitated landscape photography and other picturesque Victorian scenes. UMMA docents will introduce the trajectory of Victorian photography on display in this exhibition.

categories: Gallery Talks and Tours

Albert Kahn: Under Construction

Sunday, May 8, 3–4 p.m.

The Jan and David Brandon Family Bridge
This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please register to secure your place by emailing Please include date and title of program in the subject line of your email.

Join exhibition curator Claire Zimmerman for an exploration of Detroit's Albert Kahn Architects and Engineers, arguably the most important architectural firm of American industrialization before World War II. Albert Kahn: Under Construction (on view February 27–July 3, 2016) features striking documentary images of construction photography of industrial monuments such as River Rouge and the Willow Run Bomber Plant, and illustrate Kahn’s innovative solutions to the architectural challenges of his day.

Lead support for the exhibition Albert Kahn: Under Construction is provided by the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment.

categories: Artists and Curators, Exhibitions Related Program

May 13

Special Event

Friday, May 13, 5–8 p.m.

All Galleries

Stop in to UMMA to enjoy special exhibitions, music, and engaging activities at Fridays After 5! With all of UMMA's galleries remaining open until 8pm, this exciting series provides an interactive atmosphere for all audiences. While you're here, browse the UMMA Store for a wide variety of specialty items. The Museum is always free.

Also, be sure to save the date for our upcoming Fridays After 5:

June 10, 2016
July 22, 2016

UMMA Fridays After 5 are generously supported by Comerica Bank and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The media sponsor for Fridays After 5 is Michigan Radio.

Comerica Bank Logo

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan Loto

Michigan Radio Logo

categories: Special Events

May 15

Guided Tour

Sunday, May 15, 2–3 p.m.

UMMA docents will guide visitors through the galleries on tours as diverse as their interests and areas of expertise. Each docent plans a theme and includes a variety of styles and media to illuminate his or her ideas. Themes may be repeated but each docent's approach and choice of objects is unique. 


categories: Gallery Talks and Tours

Xu Weixin: Monumental Portraits

Sunday, May 15, 3–4 p.m.

A. Alfred Taubman Gallery I
This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please register to secure your place by emailing Please include date and title of program in the subject line of your email.

Natsu Oyobe, UMMA's Curator of Asian Art and the exhibition curator, will lead a discussion of the themes and artistic influences present in in Xu Weixin's portrait paintings. Trained in the Socialist Realism style that was developed in the Soviet Union and emphasized the depiction of Communist values, Xu Weixin experiments with and expands this approach to present a more nuanced view of China's modern history and social conditions today.

 Lead support for the exhibition Xu Weixin: Monumental Portraits is provided by the University of Michigan Health System, University of Michigan Office of the President, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Confucius Institute, Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, Beijing Fu Zhan Zhou Culture Art Development Co. Ltd, Boylescott Limited, and University of Michigan Ross School of Business China Initiatives.

categories: Artists and Curators, Exhibitions Related Program

May 22

Guided Tour

Sunday, May 22, 2–3 p.m.

Manuel Álvarez Bravo spent nearly his entire career photographing his native Mexico. His style drew upon numerous international influences including, among others, Modernism andSurrealism. Although not strictly Surrealist, many of Álvarez Bravo’s works manifest a similarly fantastical mood. One of the artist’s most arresting qualities is his ability to imbue scenes of everyday life with an otherworldly, metaphysical power. The photographs in the exhibition, from UMMA’s collections, show the artist using motifs drawn from Mexican religious and indigenous works as well as plant forms, in a Modernist approach to image making. UMMA docents will discuss these motifs and the artist’s use of light as a metaphor and revealer of life, animating even the emptiest and most silent of Álvarez Bravo’s scenes. 

categories: Gallery Talks and Tours

Sunday, May 22, 3–4:30 p.m.

Helmut Stern Auditorium
Free and open to the public.  Seating is first come, first serve. 

Settle in for an afternoon of creative audio stories and memorable radio documentary as part of Radio Campfire, a series of listening events curated by radio producers and audio artists in Detroit and Ann Arbor.  Think magical, relaxed and intimate like the campfire (minus the burnt marshmallows.)
This month's theme is Lost in the Woods: stories with big questions about entering and leaving the world. You’ll hear an episode of a brand new podcast called Pregnant Pause by Detroit based radio producer Zak Rosen and a sound-rich documentary tale by Stamps School of Art & Design professor Stephanie Rowden, among others.

Support for this afternoon is from the University of Michigan’s Stamps School of Art & Design, the Institute for the Humanities, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

categories: Special Events

May 29

Guided Tour

Sunday, May 29, 2–3 p.m.

This exhibition will focus on two of the accomplished Chinese painter, Xu Weixin’s,large-size portrait series: Miner Portraits—coal miners working in harsh conditions in contemporary China—and Chinese Historical Figures: 1966–1976—people who lived during the turbulent time of the Cultural Revolution. Reflecting the artist’s deep interest in the human condition, these single-person portraits challenge our expectations and compel us to see beyond official narratives of historical events and social conditions. Join UMMA docents as they explore these monumental and poignant portraits.

categories: Gallery Talks and Tours