PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: Oct. 7, 2005
Modern Detroit and ancient Rome focus of class, exhibition
DEARBORN---Modern Detroit and ancient Rome may not appear to have much
in common, but student researchers at UM-Dearborn have created an exhibition
detailing how historic buildings in both cities have survived difficult
The exhibition, titled "Detroit and Rome: Building on the Past,"
will run from Oct. 31 through Dec. 2 at the campus's Alfred Berkowitz
Gallery, located inside UM-Dearborn's Mardigian Library.
The display, which will be free and open to the public, will feature
archival and recent photographs of buildings in Detroit and Rome that
have been adapted to new functions, such as the Pantheon in Rome, which
now houses a Roman Catholic church, and Detroit's 1903 Temple Beth-El,
which is now the Bonstelle Theatre on Woodward Avenue. Reproductions of
historic images and drawings, and more recent photographs, drawings and
watercolors of these and other buildings will be showcased as well.
The exhibition was researched and designed by UM-Dearborn students in
the museum practice seminars taught by Melanie Grunow Sobocinski, assistant
professor of art history.
"This exhibition compares the cities of Detroit and Rome, exploring
the classical heritage of Detroit and similarities between urban processes
in both cities," Sobocinski said. "In particular, it examines
the expansion and contraction of urban populations, and the resulting
effects on the architectural heritage of each city."
The exhibition also will feature a 15-minute video concerning the classical
elements in Augustus Woodward's plan for the city of Detroit. The film,
titled "Modern City, Ancient Past," is the work of Michele Valerie
Ronnick of the Department of Classics, Greek, and Latin at Wayne State
University; Kevin Piotrowski, WDET public relations director at Wayne
State University; and independent/PBS producer Dave Toorongian. The film
was supported by a grant from Detroit's Public Benefit Corporation.
The exhibition is a project of the Art History Museums Studies Program.
A free reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibition will be held
from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 4 in the Alfred Berkowitz Gallery.
Copies of the exhibition catalog may be purchased at the gallery, which
is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Funding for the exhibition
and accompanying catalog was provided by the Provost's Office. For more
information, call (313) 593-5058.