Since 1856, University of Michigan students have had access to an art museum on campus, though it was only in 1910 that the University’s art collection found a permanent home in the newly built Alumni Hall. The 20th century saw the collection outgrew its modest home, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s that definitive action was taken.
In 2009, after being closed to the public for three years, the Museum reopened with the new 53,000 square foot Maxine and Stuart Frankel and the Frankel Family wing, plus extensive restoration of the original Alumni Hall. The expansion doubled the size of thel museum, and allowed three times the amount of art to be displayed, also adding classrooms, an auditorium, and a number of public gathering spaces.
The Museum’s collection itself is comprehensive, with several galleries representing the history of Western art from the Middle Ages through the present day, as well as African art and a number of galleries devoted to Asian art from China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India and more. Modern and contemporary art are also strongly represented in the collection. The UMMA rotates exhibitions regularly, and since reopening has instituted its UMMA Projects program, which brings to the Museum the work of significant contemporary artists from around the globe.
University of Michigan Museum of Art Information
- Public Transportation: Fair (6, 36 buses to E-S State St)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-5 pm; Sunday, noon-5 pm; Closed Mondays.
- Admission: Free admission, with a suggested donation of $5.
- Tours: Docent-led tours are provided regularly, with curator-led tours and artist talks offered intermittently as well. Groups of 10 or more may schedule a guided tour, with at least three weeks advance notice; a docent donation of $25 is asked for these tours.
- Membership: Individual membership is $50 (Students $15/Household $75). Benefits include museum magazine subscription, museum store discounts, exhibit previews and discounts at local merchants. Further benefits available with higher levels of contribution.