Shopping Cart | Newsletter | Share | Contact | Login/Register

News Stories

Construction & Renovation Projects Announced

Facility upgrades & improvements will begin countdown to museum’s
2019 centennial; m
useum hours to change in February
Posted February 2, 2016

The Dayton Art Institute

As 2016 begins, The Dayton Art Institute will begin the countdown to its 2019 centennial with a number of facility upgrades and improvements.

“We’re excited to begin our centennial countdown with the first of a series of construction projects that are part of the museum’s Centennial Master Plan,” says Dayton Art Institute Director and CEO Michael R. Roediger. “The Master Plan has been developed from a series of space studies conducted over the past year and will address both facility upgrades and museum accessibility.”

In the spring of 2014, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a State Capital Appropriations Bill that included nearly $2.2 million to fund renovation projects at The DAI. To determine how best to utilize that money, The DAI began a process of space studies, with the goal of creating a Centennial Master Plan for renovations, to coincide with the centennial. LWC Incorporated of Dayton was chosen, through an independent process, as the architectural firm to create the Centennial Master Plan.

Projects either already underway or slated to take place in 2016 include: replacement of the floor in the Shaw Gothic Cloister (pictured above & in the video below); modernization of four original museum restrooms; replacement of many windows with high efficiency units; updating numerous exterior and interior doors;  improvements to the building’s HVAC and technology infrastructure.

The new floor in our Shaw Gothic Cloister is now finished! Here's an "accelerated" look at the process and the final product. Watch for updates as we begin more renovation projects here at the museum this year.

Posted by The Dayton Art Institute on Thursday, February 11, 2016

In addition, a new path on the museum grounds is planned that will create an ADA-accessible pedestrian connection from Riverview Avenue to the museum entrance.

Construction schedules for these projects will necessitate an adjustment to the museum’s hours of operation. Beginning February 23, The DAI will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Regular museum hours the remainder of the week will remain unchanged: Wednesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m., with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

Leo Bistro and The Museum Store will also be closed on Tuesdays when the new hours take effect. The Museum Store will be open during regular museum hours, and Leo Bistro will be open Wednesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Thursday evenings, 4:30 – 8 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Sunday, noon – 3 p.m.

“In order to maximize work time and minimize disruption for our guests, we felt it was necessary to reduce our hours during these projects,” says Roediger. “We have a fantastic slate of special exhibitions and programs in store for 2016, and these upgrades will further enhance guest experiences here at the museum.”

The DAI recently announced its special exhibition schedule for 2016. The “Year of the Elements” features an innovative suite of exhibitions of contemporary art, all organized by the museum, and themed around the classical elements—fire, air, earth, water and ether. These originally conceived exhibitions explore the elements through the concept of the sublime, creating engaging visual experiences that will illuminate the primal, yet shifting, relationships we have with the elements via nature. From light installations and interactive video works, to large-scale photography, viewers will be presented with immersive and unique experiences that will ignite the imagination and encourage participation.

The DAI Announces 2016 Special Exhibitions

Innovative exhibitions explore the classical elements
Posted January 11, 2016

The Year of the Elements

The Dayton Art Institute has announced its special exhibition schedule for 2016. The “Year of the Elements” features an innovative suite of exhibitions of contemporary art, all organized by The Dayton Art Institute, and themed around the classical elements—fire, air, earth, water and ether.

These originally conceived exhibitions explore the elements through the concept of the sublime, creating engaging visual experiences that will illuminate the primal, yet shifting, relationships we have with the elements via nature. From light installations and interactive video works, to large-scale photography, viewers will be presented with immersive and unique experiences that will ignite the imagination and encourage participation. [  Read More ]

Parking Tips and Suggestions During the Week Leading Up to Oktoberfest

Posted September 21, 2015

Oktoberfest 2015

It’s almost time for Dayton’s favorite fall festival, Oktoberfest, taking place September 25 – 27!

This annual Dayton tradition typically draws more than 25,000 people to the museum grounds during the weekend. Setup for the event, as well as its large size, means parking and access to the museum are limited in the days leading up to and during the festival, so The Dayton Art Institute has some tips and advice for navigating Oktoberfest.

The museum galleries and the special exhibitions, Call to Duty: World War Posters, and Tears of Stone: World War I Remembered, Photographs by Jane Alden Stevens, will be open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., September 22-25. Please note that the museum will not have extended evening hours on Thursday that week, and Leo Bistro will be closed September 22-27.

As Oktoberfest setup begins, Belmonte Park North and the main museum parking lot will be closed beginning Monday, September 21. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of that week (September 22-24), limited parking will be available at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church next door to the museum, the driveway in front of The DAI, and on the streets surrounding the museum. Access to these lots and parking areas can be made via Grafton Avenue (off W. Riverview Avenue) and then turn right at the first block, or Stoddard Avenue (off Forest Avenue) and turn left at the first block.

On Friday, September 25, parking will only be available on the museum’s front drive and on the surrounding neighborhood streets. During the Lederhosen Lunch on September 25, RTA will provide free shuttles from downtown Dayton to The DAI from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Shuttle stops will be available along Monument Avenue, Wilkinson Street, Second Street, Main Street, and Fifth Street.

Patrons needing special assistance or access during this time may call the museum’s Guest Services Desk, at 937-223-4ART (4278).

During the Oktoberfest Preview Party, 7-11 p.m. on Friday, September 25, shuttle service will be offered from the University of Dayton parking lot behind the Marriott, just off Patterson Boulevard.

During the 44th Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27, the museum’s permanent collection and the special exhibitions Call to Duty: World War Posters and Tears of Stone: World War I Remembered, Photographs by Jane Alden Stevens will be open noon – 5 p.m. each day.

Special exhibition admission during Oktoberfest will be $11 adults, $6 youth (ages 7-17), and free for museum members and children (6 & under). Those visiting the exhibitions on September 26 and 27 must also pay Oktoberfest admission.

Please allow extra time for travel and parking if visiting the museum during Oktoberfest. Street parking around The Dayton Art Institute will be very limited on September 26 & 27. Limited handicap accessible parking will be available in the Masonic Temple and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church lots during Oktoberfest, strictly on a first-come, first-served basis.

The easiest way of getting to and from Oktoberfest is by using the expanded free shuttle services. Look for the Oktoberfest signs and park for free at the University of Dayton lot behind the Marriott, just off Patterson Boulevard, and take free shuttles directly to and from both the Preview Party and Oktoberfest. On Saturday and Sunday, you may also park downtown and take a free RTA Oktoberfest shuttle, with added stops along Monument Avenue, Wilkinson Street, Second Street, Main Street, and Fifth Street. Free RTA shuttles will also be available during the Lederhosen Lunch. Limited street parking is available in the neighborhood surrounding the museum. Bicycle racks will also be available near the main festival entrance at Belmonte Park and Riverview Avenue.

Click Here for more information about Parking and Shuttles during Oktoberfest

Click Here for more information about Oktoberfest

DAI Honors Servicemen & Women with Free
Admission to Call to Duty on Sept. 3, 10 & 17

Posted August 31, 2015

Call to Duty: World War Posters

The Dayton Art Institute will honor those who have served in the United States military with a special offer for the exhibitions Call to Duty: World War Posters and Tears of Stone: World War I Remembered, Photographs by Jane Alden Stevens.

On the first three Thursdays in September, all veterans, as well as active-duty, discharged and retired military personnel, will receive free admission to the exhibitions.

“The Dayton Art Institute is celebrating a ‘Year of American Art’ in 2015, and Call to Duty gives us the opportunity to recognize current and former military personnel who have given so much to protect our country,” says The Dayton Art Institute’s Director & CEO Michael R. Roediger.

Free admission to the special exhibitions will be offered on:  

  • Thursday, September 3, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 10, 2015, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 17, 2015, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Active, discharged and retired military personnel may show their military ID or DD-214 at the Guest Services Desk on those days to receive a free ticket for the exhibitions. This offer is good for one free adult admission per visit. Accompanying family members and friends may purchase exhibition tickets at the discounted rate of $11 adults and $9 seniors (age 60+). Exhibition admission is $6 youth (ages 7-17) and free for children 6 and under. Medically necessary caregivers will not be charged.

Call to Duty includes more than 80 original images from both World Wars that helped promote a variety of homefront efforts during the wars. The exhibition also includes related items on loan from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and the Dayton Chapter of the American Red Cross, as well as other original items, such as signed photographs of five-star generals and war bond books with local connections.

The companion exhibition, Tears of Stone, features haunting, large-format photos by Cincinnati photographer Jane Alden Stevens, depicting monuments, cemeteries and battlegrounds of World War I.

Both exhibitions are on view at The Dayton Art Institute through October 4.

Read more about the exhibitions

Bernstein's Fine Catering to Manage Leo Bistro

Posted July 21, 2015

Leo BistroThe Dayton Art Institute’s Leo Bistro will receive a new look this summer, when Bernstein’s Fine Catering takes over management of the restaurant on August 7.

“We’re excited to welcome Bernstein’s Fine Catering as our new manager for Leo Bistro,” says The Dayton Art Institute’s Director and CEO Michael R. Roediger. “They bring a wealth of experience and innovative culinary ideas to the Bistro. It’s been wonderful working with Elite Catering as Leo Bistro’s manager over the past two years. Renee McClure and her team have been an invaluable asset as we developed long-term plans for Leo Bistro. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Elite as a preferred caterer for events at the museum.” [  READ MORE ]

Discover Your DAI:
Figure Composition
by Alfredo Ramos Martinez

Posted May 5, 2015

Figure CompositionToday is Cinco de Mayo, commemorating the Mexican army's unlikely victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 (not Mexican independence, as is sometimes mistakenly believed). One of the "hidden treasures" of The DAI's collection is this painting by noted Mexican artist Alfredo Ramos Martinez. It was part of the 2009 exhibition  Hello World & was the featured artwork of the 2010 Art Ball.

A major influence on modern Mexican art, Martinez was born in Monterrey, Mexico. By the age of 10 he had received a scholarship to the Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City. While visiting that city, Phoebe A. Hearst saw some of his watercolors and sponsored his studies in Europe. After six years of her support, one of his paintings received first prize at the French Salon. Staying on in Paris for eight more years, he associated with some of the most important artists of the day. Martinez returned to Mexico City in 1910, and two years later accepted the directorship of the Academy of Fine Arts. His Figure Composition reflects the colorful and vibrant cultural traditions of his native Mexico, as well as the continental sophistication of his European training. This style, unique and individual, has been much copied over the years and has come to be identified with the country and culture of Mexico.

Image: Alfredo Ramos Martinez (Mexican, 1875–1946), Figure Composition, n.d., Oil on canvas. Gift of the Honorable Jefferson Patterson, 1959.3

New Museum Hours to Take Effect February 1, 2015

Posted January 21, 2015

The Dayton Art InstituteIn our continuing efforts to best meet the needs of the community, the museum will unveil new gallery hours in February.

Beginning February 1, museum hours will be: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m., with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings.  

The Museum Store will remain open during all regular museum hours. Leo Bistro will serve lunch Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. Beginning February 5, Leo Bistro will also be open 4 – 8 p.m. for dinner on Thursday evenings. Visit for more information.

“In 2013, we added additional weekday evening hours to gauge community response. Based on attendance patterns tracked over the past two years and recent visitor surveys, maintaining evening hours on one weeknight best meets the needs of both the community and the museum,” says Director and CEO Michael R. Roediger. “We are excited about our upcoming ‘Year of American Art,’ as well as many other programs, and look forward to welcoming the community to The Dayton Art Institute.”

The museum kicks off its “Year of American Art” with American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artists’ Colony, on view March 7 – May 31, followed by Call to Duty: World War Posters and Tears of Stone: Photographs by Jane Alden Stevens, July 4 – October 4, and concluding with American Sampler: Grandma Moses and the Handicraft Tradition, November 21 – February 21, 2016.

Click here to plan your visit

ReImagining Works

A Collaborative Art Project with Dayton Metro Library, the Dayton Art Institute and Regional Artists

An actor re-invents an author's character. A vocalist re-styles a composer's melody. Now artists will re-imagine a classic work of art from The DAI's collection, in newly created artwork for permanent display at each of the Dayton Metro Library's new libraries.

The first ReImagining Works project features the historic E.C. Doren Branch, which is currently under renovation. It is the first of 17 projects for the new libraries; original, commissioned interior and exterior artwork will be sought for these projects. Each commissioned piece will be conceived in response to artwork in The DAI's permanent collection and will be owned by the Dayton Metro Library.

Read more at the Dayton Metro Library website

DAI to Receive Nearly $2.2 Million from State Capital Budget for Improvements

Posted April 2, 2014

On April 2, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the State Capital Appropriations Bill which included nearly $2.2M for The Dayton Art Institute to help fund an extensive renovation project at the museum.

“The legislative delegation from the Miami Valley region is to be commended for their bipartisan support and advocacy for the funding,” said The DAI’s Director & CEO Michael R. Roediger. “The funding will help create efficiencies that will help make The DAI’s historic building more accessible, ecologically sound and financially sustainable.”

“The capital budget process is highly competitive. We are grateful to the governor and our legislators for making such a significant investment in one of the region’s great cultural assets,” said Bear Monita, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the DAI.

The iconic 1930 building, listed on the National Historical Register, is considered an architectural and artistic gem of the Dayton community.

The building requires work on its HVAC systems; ingress and egress points; and support systems for technology that will make it accessible and relevant to the next generation. Permanent capital improvements will address deferred maintenance, and energy efficiency measures will be completed. These changes will help the museum continue to draw audience that will support economic vitality and a high quality of life in the region.

Read more: Region's art projects to get $9.3 million

Leo Bistro Winter 2014 Hours Announced

Posted January 7, 2014

Leo BistroFrom November 22, 2013 through January 5, 2014, Leo Bistro welcomed guest purveyor Ghostlight Coffee of South Park on weekday evenings. “Ghostlight at Night” featured exceptional coffees, espresso drinks, locally sourced snacks and specialty cocktails from The Dayton Cocktail Co. Special events included a Repeal Party and a Belgian Ale tasting.

Beginning Wednesday, January 8, Leo Bistro will be open 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, unless special programming is scheduled in the museum. For the most up-to-date information, check, or call 937-223-4ART (4278). Leo Bistro will remain open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays.

Bottled drinks and a selection of favorite local snacks will be available for purchase at the Guest Services Desk during all hours the museum is open, and a seating area will be available for museum guests just outside The Museum Store or in the General Motors Entrance Rotunda.

Leo Bistro will be available to schedule private events from 4 – 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Please contact Kevin Tunstall (937-512-0162 or or Diane Haskell (937-512-0131 or to book your business meeting, reception, buffet or seated dinner.

The Dayton Art Institute enjoyed hosting Ghostlight Coffee during the 2013 holiday season and encourages everyone to visit Ghostlight’s location on Wayne Avenue. The museum looks forward to welcoming guests to its many exhibitions, social events and educational programs in 2014.

The first of these new events and programs takes place tomorrow, Wednesday, January 8. Warm up your Wednesday night at The DAI, with the debut of the museum’s new  Side By Side docent program at 6 p.m. Rick Hoffman and Janet Estep will join forces to compare two narrative paintings in the museum’s collection: the Master of Marradi’s Judith and Holofernes and Robert Brackman’s Life About Me. Which painting was likely stripped from another object? Which one speaks to a Ukrainian heritage? Learn the back story with this lively discussion in the museum galleries.

Side By Side gallery talks take place on select Wednesday evenings, and they are free to members and included in the price of general admission for non-members. Meet in the museum rotunda at 6 p.m.

Start the evening or continue the fun afterwards by joining Director of Engagement Jane Black in Leo Bistro for a related pairing. In homage to the Master of Marradi’s Judith and Holofernes – Italian wine and beer, or a fine espresso from our “Dada Java” machine. And as a nod to Robert Brackman’s New York City in the 1950s – an assortment of spiced cocktail nuts. This limited menu will be available from 4 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 8.

Dayton Artist Homer Hacker Passes Away

Posted December 21, 2013

Homer HackerEveryone at The Dayton Art Institute was saddened to learn of the passing of noted Dayton artist and DAI art school alumnus Homer Hacker on Friday, December 20. The museum extends its sympathies to his family.

Homer Hacker was a Dayton treasure. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1935, having concurrently spent six years on scholarship at The Dayton Art Institute studying with John King, Edward Burroughs and Martha Schauer. He went on to Ohio University, graduating cum laude in journalism, economics and English literature.

Hacker spent 22 years at the Dayton Daily News, much of that time working as Art Director and Chief Photographer. In 1961 he moved on to another Dayton Institution, Top Value Enterprises, where he worked as Director of Creative Services and Special Events.

During this time, Hacker began painting in watercolor and soon was teaching and exhibiting – a passion he pursued for another 40 years. He was a co-founder of Art Center Dayton in the 1940s; helped establish Kettering’s Rosewood Gallery in the 1970s; was a charter member of the Ohio Watercolor Society in the 1980s; and during this time had more than 30 one-man shows in museums and galleries across the nation. He received the Montgomery County Cultural District’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008; and was honored with the prestigious Elizabeth Callan medal in 2009 at the American Watercolor Society International Exhibition.

In 2012, The Dayton Art Institute and Dayton Visual Arts Center collaborated to present an exhibition of his work at the museum, held in conjunction with the Norman Rockwell exhibition, American Chronicles.

Image: Nova Scotia, Homer Hacker, transparent watercolor

The State of the Arts

Posted May 24, 2013

What do the arts contribute to our communities? A lot! Check out this geat infographic from Ohio Citizens for the Arts. Ohio's creative industries contributed $23.6 billion to Ohio's economy in 2012 - and much more!

Download graphic as a PDF

The State of the Arts

Former DAI Director Bruce Evans Passes Away

Posted May 17, 2013

Bruce EvansEveryone at The Dayton Art Institute was saddened to hear of the passing of former DAI Director Bruce Evans earlier this week.

Bruce (pictured here at Oktoberfest in the early 1980s) joined the museum as a curator in 1965. He was appointed Director in 1974 and served in that capacity until 1991, when he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to serve as Director of the Mint Museum of Art. During his career, he chaired numerous committees and was elected president of the Association of Art Museum Directors. Our condolences go out to his family.

Read Bruce Evans' Obituary

Aimee Marcereau DeGalan Named Curator

Posted September 16, 2012

Aimee Marcereau DeGalanThe Dayton Art Institute has announced the appointment of Aimee Marcereau DeGalan as the museum’s Curator of Collections and Exhibitions.

“After a year-long national search, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Marcereau DeGalan as The DAI’s new Curator of Collections and Exhibitions,” says Dayton Art Institute Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “Many exciting new things are happening at the museum this fall, and Aimee’s addition is a key component in shaping our vision of the DAI as a vibrant destination in Dayton.”

[ Read More ]

DAI Announces Plans for New Community Gathering Space

Posted June 12, 2012 DAI to create gathering space

WNKU interviews Executive Director Michael Roediger

Gathering Space RenderingThe Dayton Art Institute (DAI) has announced plans for a summer renovation project that will combine its Café and Museum Store into a new community gathering space.

“We will create a new community gathering place where visitors experience an open floor plan that unites The Café and The Museum Store, and offers extended and more consistent hours,” says DAI Executive Director Michael R. Roediger. “This new space will be all about serving visitors and making them feel welcome at DAI, by providing a fuller museum experience. Guests will enjoy coffee, wine, food, shopping and more, to inspire them to return on a regular basis.”

The plan calls for combining the existing Museum Store, Fifth Third Private Dining Room and Café spaces into a new open area, easily accessible from the museum’s General Motors Entrance Rotunda. This new space will allow The Café to remain open independent of the museum, with greater visibility and opportunities for wine tastings and food events. The new configuration will also mean greater visibility and increased traffic for The Museum Store.

The combined space will allow visitors to relax and recharge while dining and shopping. Wi-Fi, made possible by a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant the museum received in 2011, will be available in the new space, as well as throughout the museum galleries. Roediger sees the new space appealing not only to regular museum visitors, but also to young professionals, students, artists and downtown residents.

“Of the census tracts that make up the city of Dayton, the downtown tract grew by more than 17 percent in the last decade,” notes DAI Associate Director Jane A. Black. “People live downtown and want great entertainment close to home. That increase in downtown population is something we believe DAI must work to capitalize on, by being both an art museum and an entertainment center.”

The project, designed by Mitolo Studio, Inc. of Dayton, will cost an estimated $250,000. A private benefactor has agreed to fund $200,000 of the project.

Construction will begin when the current special exhibition Changing Landscapes closes on June 17, with the new space slated to open for the beginning of Oktoberfest on September 21. The Café and The Museum Store will be temporarily relocated downstairs, off the special exhibition galleries, during construction.

DAI Receives $45,000 Gift from The Dayton Foundation for Roof Repairs

Posted February 29, 2012

The Dayton Art InstituteThe Dayton Art Institute (DAI) will be able to make an important step in completing needed building repairs, thanks to the generosity of The Dayton Foundation. DAI announced today that The Dayton Foundation pledged a gift of $45,000 to the museum for critical roof repairs.

“We are very thankful to The Dayton Foundation for making this commitment to The Dayton Art Institute,” Executive Director Michael R. Roediger said. “This gift is a positive first step in getting the facilities in the condition required to safeguard our permanent collection and to move forward with new, innovative programs and exhibitions being planned for DAI.”

The Dayton Foundation requested that DAI consider its long-term strategic needs and prepare a letter of intent that would help the new leadership team of Roediger and Associate Director Jane A. Black begin with a solid foundation.

“DAI is planning to take action in a manner that is respectful of upcoming events, while moving forward quickly with repairs that protect our incredible collection and return items to the galleries that have been taken off view,” Black said.

Roediger noted that The Dayton Art Institute also has requests out to other benefactors for repairs to plaster damage that was done in some galleries due to roof leaks. The museum is also investigating what actions are necessary to rectify a leak in a lower gallery area due to drainage issues in the Italian Cloister.

“While this is an important step, there are many other needs still to be met,” Roediger added. “Like any historic structure, our museum facility has many ongoing maintenance needs, including repairs and upgrades to the parking lot, front steps and doors, just to name a few. We have also received a $75,000 challenge grant from the Berry Family Foundation to help with repairs, and the Rip and Denise Hale Family have made a gift that will help restore the Italian Cloister.”

Individuals and organizations interested in making a gift toward repair and maintenance needs at the museum may contact DAI’s Development Department, at 937-223-5277, ext. 239. Donations may also be made online, at


Join the Conversation on our Social Media Sites:


For past new stories, please visit our News Archive

WEDNESDAY 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
THURSDAY 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
FRIDAY 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
SATURDAY 11 a.m. - 5 p.m
SUNDAY Noon - 5 p.m.
Customize This