Coffee, Tea, Chocolate Exhibit Comes to DIA Starting Sunday


Bitter Sweet, a new exhibition featuring 68 pieces of art that focus on the introduction of coffee, tea, and chocolate to Europe, which began in the late 16th century, will be held at The Detroit Institute of Arts from Nov. 20 to March 5.

Pieces in the exhibition are mostly from the museum’s holdings in pre-1850 European silver and ceramics.

Highlights of Bitter Sweet include three decorated beverage services, Madame de Pompadour’s coffee grinder from Paris’ Musée du Louvre, a 1684 handwritten Spanish manuscript satirizing the vogue for chocolate from the Hispanic Society in New York, an 18th-century German breakfast set containing chocolate beakers from the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., and more.

DIA paintings, prints, and sculptures related to the arrival and impact of the beverages in Europe will also be displayed, and the exhibit will provide videos about the preparation of coffee, tea, and chocolate, as well as opportunities to try chocolate and smell different coffees.

“While European art will be at center stage, the exhibition examines global interconnections from centuries ago that we hope will resonate with all visitors today,” says Salvador Salort-Pons, director of the DIA. “Just about everyone, regardless of culture or background, has a personal relationship with one or more of these beverages.”

Tickets for Bitter Sweet are $14 for adults, $10 for Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county residents, $7 for ages 6–17, $5 for Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county residents ages 6–17, and free for members of the museum.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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