Frequently Asked Questions

The collection of the DIA is for everyone to enjoy. As you plan your visit to the museum, please review the guidelines below to get the most out of your time at the DIA.

How can I have the best experience?

Please be courteous and always stay at least 18 inches away from the artwork. All day parking is available in the John R lot, but if you plan to use street parking, we recommend downloading the Park Detroit app to add time to your stay remotely. No outside food and drinks are allowed in the building, but we have multiple options to help keep you hydrated throughout your visit.

COVID-19 Policies

Each of us plays a role in a safe museum visit, with social distancing and additional health and safety precautions in place. Masks are encouraged for ALL visitors regardless of vaccination status throughout the museum. 

Visitors are encouraged to find personal meaning in our vast collection, but please respect and adhere to these guidelines while doing so in order to keep the collection safe for generations to come:

  • Do not touch the artwork, frames, cases, mounts, or platforms
  • Do not sit, stand, lean or place any object on cases, sculptures, barriers, platforms, or walls
  • Remain at least 18 inches away from all artworks. Please do not gesture within 18 inches of any artwork.
  • Do not cross stanchions, barriers, or platforms

The museum uses different technologies to monitor and enforce these proximity policies. Some galleries have audible alerts that let visitors know when they have gotten too close. Repeated activation of these systems, and any failure to observe the above guidelines, may result in removal from the museum.

The DIA strives to provide a safe, family-friendly experience for all visitors. Therefore, overly revealing clothing or clothing with graphic depictions are prohibited on museum grounds, and all visitors must wear appropriate footwear while in the museum.

Visitors may not wear costumes, hoods, or full-face paint in the museum.

For the safety of all visitors and to protect the collection, all bags are subject to inspection at each entrance as well as anytime in the museum. We ask all visitors to review the prohibited items list before arriving to avoid delays.

No luggage or backpacks of any type or size or backpack-style child carriers are allowed in the museum.

Families with small children and those with medically necessary items will be provided with a clear plastic bag that may be used to transport medically necessary items into the museum.

For the protection of the art, nothing may be carried on the back, or over or atop the shoulders, in the museum.

 

Personal

Personal cameras and candid photography are allowed throughout the museum unless indicated on a specific piece of art or at the entrance to an exhibition. Please turn flashes off while in the galleries and leave any additional photography equipment at home, including tripods, monopods, selfie sticks and the like.

Professional

Professional photography inside the museum is only permitted for groups who have reserved the museum for an event. The Events & Food Services Office will help coordinate the times and locations when professional photography is allowed for each event. Professional posed photography is not permitted in the museum. This includes, but is not limited to, family photos, advertising photography, wedding photos, engagement photos, graduation photos, and fashion shoots. Professional photography is permitted on the grounds of the museum. Photography may not disrupt the operation or programming of the museum. For this reason, the marble staircase of the Detroit Film Theatre Auditorium is closed for professional photography during film screenings and events in the DFT. Please check the DFT schedule for film times. Drones may not be flown over the museum or its grounds at any time.

Commercial

Commercial photo shoots may be arranged through Events & Food Services Office and must take place outside of public hours. Rental fees and security costs will apply.

Editorial

Editorial photo shoots may be arranged through the Marketing & Communications Department by calling (313) 833-7963 or emailing marketing@dia.org. There may be a cost required based on the scope and if staff assistance is deemed necessary by the DIA.

For your safety and comfort, and to protect the collection, we ask that the following items be left at home or in your vehicle:

  • Outside food, beverages, and/or water bottles
  • Flashlights, laser pointers, and other things that emit light
  • External speakers or sound amplification devices
  • Anything designed for or capable of flight
  • Photography equipment other than a handheld camera. This includes tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, lighting, or cabling
  • Art supplies other than graphite pencils and kneaded erasers

The DIA reserves the right to prohibit additional items with or without advanced notice.

The principles of diversity, inclusion, and equal access apply to all aspects of the DIA’s operations and across all categories of individuals. Verbally abusive, harassing, discriminatory, or threatening language, statements, or behavior toward DIA staff, volunteers, or other visitors are prohibited.

Additionally, the following behavior is not permitted:

  • Do not touch art or introduce any harmful foreign substance to the museum.
  • Do not enter any restricted areas, such as stepping beyond barriers or entering non-public spaces.
  • No smoking or vaping inside the museum. Smoking and vaping must be done outside and at least 25 feet from any door.
  • Do not consume chewing tobacco inside the museum.
  • Do not engage in any activity that disrupts the experience for other visitors or the operation of the museum, including but not limited to:
  • Unauthorized performances or tours
  • Solicitation
  • Demonstration
  • Loud conversation, including in person or the use of speaker phone
  • Do not sit or stand on or lean over ledges or rails surrounding open-air balconies
  • Please be mindful of others by always keeping doorways and hallways accessible

Visitors are expected to always follow instruction of DIA staff. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in removal from DIA grounds.

Complimentary coat check is available at the Woodward and Farnsworth entrances.  Self-service lockers are available at the Loggia entrance.

Please note the following items may not be checked:

  • Flowers
  • Musical instruments
  • Food and beverage
  • Animals
  • Balloons
  • Scooters, skateboards, bikes
  • Prohibited items

If you forget to claim your checked items before the museum closes, please contact our Lost & Found desk to arrange pick-up.

The DIA reserves the right to refuse to check any item at coat check with or without advance notice.

Strollers and wagons are welcome in the museum and permanent galleries. Some special exhibitions may restrict the use of strollers or wagons. Please call (313) 833-7900 for more information.

Complimentary umbrella strollers are available at all public entrances on a first-come, first-serve basis. A complimentary stroller may be checked out with a valid, government-issued photo ID at the coat check desk at each entrance.

New mothers are welcome to breastfeed anywhere in the museum. A private nursing pod with a changing table and diaper disposal is located on the first floor at the Farnsworth Entrance if you would prefer privacy. Bottle feeding should be conducted outside of the galleries as bottled liquids are not allowed in the galleries. We invite you to enjoy Rivera Court, Great Hall, any entrance lobby, Kresge Court, or the Café DIA for bottle feeding.

Changing stations are available in all multi-stall public restrooms.

Child carriers are allowed but the child must be positioned on the front. Children may not be carried on the back or shoulders.

All children under the age of 16 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 21.

Walk, do not run, while inside the museum. Running, horseplay, and the use of wheeled shoes is permitted on the outside grounds, but not inside the DIA.

The DIA offers a wide range of food and beverage options in CaféDIA and Kresge Court. Unfortunately, no outside beverages are allowed in the museum. Personal water bottles may be brought into the museum so long as they are empty. Water stations are available in Café DIA and Kresge Court, but please do not consume beverages, food, gum, or candy outside of these spaces. Families with small children may bring in bottled milk and formula for consumption outside of the galleries.

For a quick sip of water, drinking fountains are available throughout the museum near the restrooms.

Food, beverages, chewing gum, and candy are not allowed in the galleries.

The DIA is a great place to spend a rainy day, but please tuck small umbrellas away in a purse or bag. Large umbrellas must be checked at a complimentary coat check desk.

Multi-stall restrooms are located on each floor of the museum. Pick up a visitor map or ask a staff member to find the nearest restroom.

An all-gender restroom is available on the first floor in the Learning Center near the John R entrance.

Skateboards and roller skates must stay in contact with the ground—no grinding, jumping, or disruptive behavior is allowed on DIA property.

Animals must always be on a leash and under the control of the handler. Leashes may not be tied or attached to anything on DIA property. All pet waste must be cleaned up by the handler.

Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of all doors and entrances. Please discard smoking waste in designated waste containers.

Please do not climb or play on tables, sculptures, walls, landscaping beds, fixtures, or the building.

Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the grounds of the museum any time of day. Please keep all activities on the grass and do not enter gravel areas or landscaping beds.

Please do not approach the exterior windows of the museum at any time. This includes animals.

Did you forget something? Not to worry, we may have it in our lost and found. Please call (313) 833-7905 to see if we picked up your item. We hang on to most items for six months.

The DIA is committed to keeping you safe during your visit. If you need help, locate the nearest employee or Museum Protection Services Officer.

Anyone can report suspicious or hazardous situations to the DIA’s Museum Operations Center by calling (313) 833-1454. Please do not call this number for information about an emergency.

Evacuations

While rare, there are circumstances under which the DIA may need to be evacuated. You may hear or see the fire alarm or receive instruction from the public address systems or any DIA staff. Please follow instructions and leave the building as quickly and safely as possible through marked exits. You will not be able to retrieve items from coat check before leaving the museum during an evacuation.

Shelter-In-Place and Lockdown

The DIA Department of Protection Services may issue a lockdown or shelter-in-place order when a threat exists outside of the museum. When this occurs, staff will move visitors away from exterior doors and windows. Please follow instructions from DIA staff or first responders.

Service dogs and service dogs-in-training are welcome to visit. The dog must always be under physical or voice control of the handler and all other policies of the museum apply.

Emotional support, comfort, therapy, and companionship are not qualified as service tasks for a person with a disability and therefore are not allowed in the museum.

Pets are allowed on the grounds of the museum so long as they are always leashed and under the control of the handler. Please help keep our grounds clean by picking up after your pets.

Please do not leave any pets in your vehicle during your visit to the DIA. For the protection of our four-legged friends, we may contact law enforcement if an animal is left in a vehicle and appears to be in distress.

To help ensure the best experience for our visitors, unsanctioned tours or activities must defer to DIA tours and activities and should not disrupt museum operations or activities. All museum guidelines apply.

Art Collection

The DIA has one of the largest, most significant art collections in the United States. If you are coming to see a specific piece, we encourage you to check out our online collections to be sure it is on view, as works of art rotate often.

The DIA cannot guarantee access to all or any gallery, space, or object during your visit.

You are welcome to sketch and draw in the galleries with graphite pencils and kneaded erasers. Pens, colored or lead pencils, paints, rubber erasers, and other art supplies are not permitted. Please bring all supplies with their original packaging.

If you are coming to sketch on your own, please bring a clipboard or lap board as floors, walls, or pedestals cannot be used for writing, sketching, or drawing. Oversized portfolios are not permitted.

For the safety of our collection, we do not permit works of art that are not coming on approved loan to enter the museum.

The staff at the DIA cannot provide appraisals of works of art. Please visit the following websites for referrals to appropriate resources. In providing this list, the DIA in no way makes any kind of recommendation or endorsement of the companies listed.

If you are considering a gift to the museum, please contact our Registration Department to start the conversation by calling (313) 833-7900.

Education and Learning

We can accommodate field trips comprised of student groups of 15 to 100, with one chaperone for every 15 students.

Please submit your application at least four weeks in advance for guided student field trips or two weeks in advance for a teacher-led visit.

Guided visits, when available, can be scheduled Tuesday–Friday for 9:30 a.m. or later. Teacher-led field trips can begin as soon as the museum opens.

You can request to see a specific gallery, however, the visit may be affected by the size of the student group and gallery traffic on the day of your visit.

Please note that the DIA Contemporary galleries will be closed for a reinstallation that will affect some tours for the next few school years.

There have been changes to the lunch options at the museum. We are only offering lunch in one location and can only accommodate 75 people. If your group is larger than that, we apologize, but we will not be able to accommodate them.

Lunch is booked on a first come first served basis and is limited to 4 times per day. If possible, we recommend planning lunch back at school before or after your visit. We understand that this is much more limited than it was before, and we appreciate your patience with us while we work through this. If you apply for a date that is already filled, we will be in contact to let you know.

Groups eating in the student lunchroom need to bring their own bagged lunches. Only students scheduled in Café DIA will have time to buy their lunch on-site. Food purchased from outside vendors is not allowed in either the student lunchroom or Café DIA.

We can accommodate homeschool groups for tours if they’re grouped by similar age. Our teaching strategies accommodate a range of 3 to 4 grade levels per guided group. Our Homeschool Open Houses, scheduled throughout the year, offer more flexibility in combining grade level.

Before your trip, and after your request is confirmed, we’ll provide field trip specific guidelines for how to make the most out of your visit. Until then, please review general guidelines on this page to get started.

Membership

DIA members get so much more than just admission. Here is what every member receives in addition to their tiered benefits:

  • Free admission to the museum
  • Free admission to ticketed exhibitions
  • Previews of special exhibitions prior to public openings
  • Monthly e-newsletter (email address required)
  • Ticket convenience fee waived
  • 10% discount at the Museum Shop as well as Café DIA and Kresge Court
  • 20% discount on DIA gift memberships
  • Member priority reservations
  • New member tour and reception
  • Discount on Detroit Film Theatre tickets
  • Special member discounts for lectures and studio classes
  • Opportunity to join special interest auxiliaries
  • Member Mornings to enjoy the museum