The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) has been a downtown Dayton landmark for more than 90 years. Founded in 1919, it is one of the region’s premier fine arts museums. The Dayton Art Institute sits atop a hill on the edge of the Great Miami River, overlooking downtown Dayton. The museum’s landmark building, designed by prominent architect Edward B. Green and completed in 1930, was modeled after the Villa d’Este near Rome and the Villa Farnese at Caprarola in Italy, both examples of sixteenth century Italian Renaissance architecture.
Museum facilities include a 478-seat auditorium known for its superb acoustics, a spectacular Great Hall used for many events and weddings throughout the year, and two cloisters, one that is open-air and one that is enclosed for year-round events and programs. The DAI’s permanent collection galleries highlight 1,000 works of art, spanning 5,000 years of art history. The What Is a Masterpiece? interactive tour uses QR codes and mobile technology to provide guests with in-depth information about select works from the collection. The Dayton Art Institute is also known for a diverse selection of special exhibitions. Education has been a cornerstone of the museum since its early years. The museum offers a variety of workshops and classes for adults and children. The Experiencenter family gallery provides hands-on learning activities for children and families, and encourages visitors to engage in active participation. The DAI offers many programs and events throughout the year, ranging from artist lectures to concerts and social events. The museum’s signature events are its Art Ball and Oktoberfest. Held the second Saturday in June, the Art Ball gala is one of Dayton’s premier black tie galas. Oktoberfest, held in September, has been one of Dayton’s favorite festivals for more than 40 years.
The DAI Museum Store offers unique gifts for art lovers of all ages and is open during regular museum hours. The Leo Bistro restaurant offers lunch, Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., as well as brunch on Saturday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon until 5:00 p.m. The Dayton Art Institute is located at 456 Belmonte Park North in downtown Dayton, minutes off Interstate 75. Free parking is available and the facility is fully accessible to physically challenged visitors. For more information, call 937-223-4ART (4278) or visit www.daytonartinstitute.org. This Dayton Original is committed to changing lives with art!