The Dayton Art Institute
The Dayton Art Institute is committed to enriching lives and serving the community by creating meaningful experiences with art.
Founded in 1919, The Dayton Art Institute is one of the region’s premier fine arts museums. In addition to exhibiting outstanding special exhibitions and impressive collections of art from throughout the world, the museum is renowned for education programming that includes an array of offerings for diverse audiences.
The Dayton Art Institute sits atop a hill on the edge of the Great Miami River overlooking downtown Dayton. The museum’s founding patrons included prominent community leaders such as Orville Wright and the Patterson Brothers, founders of NCR. The museum’s landmark building, designed by prominent museum architect Edward B. Green of Buffalo 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.
Over the past several years, the museum’s collection has grown significantly through generous gifts of artwork by local donors, including important Oceanic art, Asian art, and American fine and decorative art collections. The collection spans 5,000 years of art history.
The Dayton Art Institute also hosts concerts, family and youth programs, classes, social events and more. The museum’s signature events include the annual Art Ball and Oktoberfest. The Experiencenter, the museum’s interactive gallery for families and young people, offers thematically based exhibitions that stimulate curiosity and creativity. The Dayton Art Institute is one of the area’s premier settings for weddings, parties, corporate meetings and special events.
We had a great time at Oktoberfest! We will definitely be returning next year. I recommend heading there early if you will be taking children, or wait until evening if you're out for adult only fun. They had lots of activities for children and plenty of beverages for the adults!
Have loved this gorgeous old place since I was a small child. Magnificent and beautifully maintained. Wonderful art from every imaginable era and genre as well as special traveling exhibits from around the world all year round.
My mother-in-law and I had a great time visiting the Dayton Art Institute. The paintings and sculptures invoked a lot of emotions and we had fun discussing each and figuring out the artist's century and culture. A wedding was being set up in the center courtyard area, and it looked fabulous. I had never thought of the Art Institute as a wedding venue, but after seeing this one, it would be beautiful for a small wedding party. We only got around the top floor exhibits in the 2 hours we had available, so we will have to come back to go through the 1st floor.
I am a big fan of any museum and this place isn't an exception. It's clean and beautiful just like I expect. Also, there is good diversity in the art and exhibits. Definitely a great way to spend a couple hours!
This is one of our favorite places to visit in the winter when we want to do something indoors. It has a wide variety of art...something for everyone. The traveling exhibits are always very nice.