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Lost And Found Photos At The DIA

“Untitled (Young Couple),” around 1970, attributed to Arthur Stross, color transparency film.Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
“Untitled (Young Couple),” around 1970, attributed to Arthur Stross, color transparency film.
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

(DETROIT, MI) – Lost and Found: Photographs from the DIA’s Collection is a fascinating look at rediscovered photographs, referred to as “found” photography, rescued from attics, resale shops, online sources, and the Detroit Institute of Arts archives, on view at the DIA from August 26 to March 3. The exhibition is free with museum admission, which is free for Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county residents.

Lost and Found includes photographs from the 1860s to the 1970s by unknown and amateur photographers which provide a glimpse into the city of Detroit, themes associated with the automobile, and portraits that immortalize family members and everyday people from all walks of life. Included are images from carnival photo booths, family albums, snapshots, and commercial portrait studios.

Lost and Found continues the DIA’s research and exhibitions that broaden understanding of photography as a cultural practice as well as uncovering those unknown or little-known photographers who found Detroit and the car as inspiration for their work.

“This exhibition brings to life how photography reveals the relevance of our shared experiences through photographs of loved ones, friends, and family as well as the relationship of the camera to the car, the family road trip and the city of Detroit,” DIA director and CEO Salvador Salort-Pons noted.

Lost and Found includes a special section that looks at the city’s photographic practice of the past through recently re-discovered color images attributed to Allen Stross, who captured local haunts, people, and bygone landmarks from Detroit in the 1960s and 70s.

Black-and white snapshots of Detroit by James Pearson Duffy from 1974 to 1976 reveal the grittier side of the city, with storefronts, junk yards, mom and pop shops, handmade signs, and local businesses. Duffy likely made these photographs while driving around town, probably taking them from his car.

Found photography inadvertently defines histories, preserves memories, and reveals the presence of people, places, and historical eras. For DIA visitors, these photographs are a connection to the past which may reference or be relevant to their own or shared life experiences. The DIA helps make these connections through the photographs as well as a custom audio mix of “found” music provided by Third Man Records.

The exhibition will also include social media engagement. The DIA will ask the public to submit photographs from their personal archives through an #LostAndFoundatDIA Instagram campaign. Stay tuned for more information.

Museum Hours

  • 9am to 4pm Tuesdays–Thursdays
  • 9am to 10pm Fridays
  • 10am to 5pm Saturdays and Sundays


  • General admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county residents and DIA members
  • For all others, $14 for adults, $9 for seniors ages 62+, $8 for college students, $6 for ages 6–17
  • For membership information, call 313-833-7971

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