The Detroit Institute of Arts


Sara: Hello, Creeps! Tonight we have a special post about one of my favorite places to visit, The Detroit Institute of Arts/the DIA. It's hard to imagine that Jeremy has been in Michigan for just over four years now, and I hadn't taken him to the DIA, especially since I used to go quite often in the past. I guess it took the pandemic, and the lack of safe activities to look into going. First and foremost, the DIA did a pretty decent job of creating a safe environment.  The hours are limited, and although the museum is free, you have to purchase tickets ahead of time in order to RSVP your place/so they can limit the amount of attendees. The museum itself wasn't crowded at all, although the cafe, as well as many water fountains were closed off. Masks we obviously required at all times, and there were arrows directing the foot traffic through each exhibit. To add to the confusion, there is currently a Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City exhibit happening, which caused certain art pieces to be moved into different areas. However, we had no fear, as all of the staff were quick to ask us if we needed help locating what we were looking for. 

We spent about two-three hours wandering the building, and as a heads up, this will be a photo heavy post! We tried to limit the amount of pictures taken, but it was hard because there are so many beautiful pieces. 

Jeremy: Like Sara said, first time at the DIA for me, and honestly one of the few, if only times i've visited an art museum. Several years of college, with the odd course in art appreciation didn't prepare me for the excellence that was actually being able to walk around in this environment and realize a lot of what I was seeing was centuries years old. As you can see from a lot of the photos, at least some of what I took, I tended to gravitate towards some of the more macabre pieces they had on display. Some of the pieces that particularly caught my interest included the forest spirit masks (the masks that look a bit like clowns), the armor two pictures above this, and the ominous picture of the lone windwill. If it seems like I didn't do any research into what we actually saw there, you're goddamn right, and believe me, i'm ashamed of myself too!

That being said, I absolutely will be returning to the DIA to gain a better understanding of what they have on display there, maybe even remember a couple names and facts next time. Each collection was separated into such a uniquely different area, it's difficult to show someone through pictures just how it feels to go from one representation of a culture to another. For the few people who are actually from here who somehow haven't had a chance to make it out to the DIA, I absolutely recommend it. Even if you're not big on art, because I know you'll find something to appreciate here. 

Sara: I want to take a moment to talk about my favorite piece at the DIA: The Nightmare, by Henry Fuseli. Several years ago, I began suffering from what I chalked up to nightmares, but there was a weird pattern to them: they repeated, and quite often. The first time it happened, I was actually taking a nap in my car on a lunch break from work. I was in the back seat sleeping, when suddenly, I could see everything around me, but I wasn't awake. I tried to wake myself up, I was frozen and unable to move. Then, I felt something heavy on my chest, and it was this old lady. She was pressing down on me, and I couldn't breath, and I tried to scream and nothing would come out. I am not sure how I woke up, but I did. After sharing this experience with a few friends at the time, I came to learn that what I had experienced wasn't a nightmare, but sleep paralysis. 

The Nightmare is famous for its dreamlike, haunting evocation of erotic infatuation. However, seeing the image of what appears to me a monster/man? Sitting on the woman's chest completely shocked me the first time I saw it. This painting felt like my nightmare, my reoccurring sleep paralysis that terrified the shit out of me. What struck me even more so, was the dark horse lurking to the left. Another sleep paralysis nightmare I had was of a dark beast in the corner of my room, taunting and terrorizing me as I again, was unable to move or wake up. 

Another shocking realization I had was that so many others had these same dreams, or something extremely close to it. Seeing The Nightmare confirmed this even more so, and I think I will always be in awe of this painting. And slightly creeped out. 

If you'd like to watch an interesting documentary on sleep paralysis, I highly recommend The Nightmare. I actually was so scared watching it the first time, I only made it about 15 minutes and had to turn it off. It was just too bizarre to me to see a bunch of strangers from all over the world talking about the same/similar nightmares that were haunting me. I was also drunk on wine, which probably didn't help matters. Either way, it looks like it is available on Prime, Tubi and YouTube if you'd like to check it out. 

Sara: Have you ever visited the DIA? Have a favorite museum in your city you would like to leave a blurb about? Go ahead and drop us a comment here, or hit us up on any of our social media @FoxyCatCoven. You can also find us lurking in our Facebook group, Coven Creeps! Tomorrow we are hosting our April Netflix Party at 9pm, EST. We will be watching Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020), which will be a first-watch for both of us! DM us/leave us a comment if you'd like to join, and we will send the link out about 15 minutes prior to showtime. Until then, keep it creepy, kids!