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Wayne State University Press

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Art in Detroit Public Places

Third Edition

Dennis Alan Nawrocki

Award Winner

Architecture, Detroit, By WSU Faculty, Art

Great Lakes Books Series

Published: August 2008
ISBN: 9780814333785
Pages: 256 Size: 5x8.75
Illustrations: 177 black and white images

It is believed to be the first such publication to provide a systematic and historically accurate explanation of Detroit's public treasures.

— Detroit Free Press

The Detroit area is home to numerous significant works of public art in its parks, libraries, schools, and hospitals. This new and updated edition of a classic guidebook considers over 150 pieces organized by section into six geographical districts of metropolitan Detroit. Each of these sections is accompanied by a comprehensive street map for easy planning of walking or driving tours, and the artworks in it are presented with individual descriptive histories and photographs. With our artistic and architectural heritage always under threat from new development and sprawl, Art in Detroit Public Places showcases the rich tradition of public art already in our community and also raises awareness of the need for its preservation.

The vast collection of public art in metropolitan Detroit includes works by such important national and international figures as Alexander Calder, Gutzon Borglum, Sam Gilliam, Robert Graham, Carl Milles, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, and Auguste Rodin, as well as fine pieces by many noteworthy area artists. City founders, corporations, commercial developers, and private citizens have all contributed to this rich legacy, and many of the newly built public spaces in the area have been enlivened with artwork in recent years. This new and updated version of Art in Detroit Public Places adds more than thirty works to those considered in the previous edition, including Babcock and Ernstberger’s Monroe and Woodward Monument Markers in the city’s Campus Martius Park and Barr and De Giusti’s Transcending in Hart Plaza.

As downtown Detroit and the surrounding areas continue to evolve and grow, Art in Detroit Public Places serves as a record of public art already in existence and a fitting justification for its protection. Art and architecture enthusiasts, along with anyone interested in the cityscape of Detroit, will enjoy this useful volume.

Dennis Alan Nawrocki is an adjunct professor of art history at the College for Creative Studies and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

David Clements is a professional producer and director of radio, television, and photography. His work also appears in Talking Shops (Wayne State University Press, 2005).

Will be of interest not only to students of art, but also to art-loving Michiganians and tourists who will be able to use it as a specialized guide to walking and/or driving tours of the Detroit area.

– The Michigan Academician

It is believed to be the first such publication to provide a systematic and historically accurate explanation of Detroit's public treasures.

– Detroit Free Press

This attractive guidebook to sculpture in public places in Detroit emphasizes the historical background of each piece. The reader not only will be better able to enjoy Detroit but also will gain a better understanding of the city's development.

– Michigan History Magazine

This newly revised, updated and expanded third edition is the first new edition in nine years and adds many solid landmarks, Art in Detroit Public Places is highly recommended for anyone plotting a trip to Detroit."

– Midwest Book Review

  • 2000 Michigan Notable Book Award - Result: Read Michigan Selection