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Beauty Imported From Detroit: Art Glass, Fox Theater and the Fisher Building

Art Glass Chandelier at Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI
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Art Glass Chandelier at Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI

Ruth over at synch-ro-ni-zing wrote about the Imported From Detroit Superbowl ad.  I hadn’t seen it, and was moved by the acknowledgement of strength and beauty in the city of Detroit.  I’ve never had occasion to discover the glories of architecture of Detroit, and the identity of Motor City and Motown seemed all encompassing, so I was delighted to see the art glass at the Fox Theatre, where the ad finishes.  The restoration of the chandelier was done by Rocky Martina and his staff at  A World of Glass:  Detroit’s Premiere Art Glass Company.  Martina remembers practically living at the theater for 7 months while working this restoration. The devoted historians of Detroit’s buildings, Dan Austin and Sean Doerr, maintain a site, Buildings of Detroit, with more photos of the Fox Theatre.


Geza Maroti Mosaic, Fisher Building. Detroit.
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Geza Maroti Mosaic, Fisher Building. Detroit.

I always hope to see mosaics, and although the Fox doesn’t have any, I did find the Fisher Building, designed by Albert Kahn, and was awed by the work of Geza Maroti, a Hungarian artist brought to the US by architect Eliel Saarinen.  The roots of this building are deep in the auto industry, as it was built by the Fisher brothers who invented the enclosed auto, so that driving could happen year round. Check out the amazing series of photo essays on the Fisher Building on dETROITfUNK.

I never expected to take a detour into the beauty of Detroit thanks a television commercial aired among the weirdness of Superbowl ads.  I am heartened when art and the beauty of human creativity and spirit appears in a place I didn’t expect, and breathes into the constricted images we have of a place that is written off, as the narrator says, by people who have never even been to Detroit.   The etymology of advertise is from the Latin advertere, “to turn toward” with a connotation at first as a warning, but then as a public notice, bringing attention to goods for sale or rewards.  I haven’t been to Detroit, but this advertisement brought my attention to this city, and makes me want to go there.

Over at Stratoz’s Blog:

Jazz on Tuesdays–Jazz in Detroit


  1. Ruth says:

    Oh, such beauty in the Fox! I have never been in it, I am sorry to say, but I will try to remedy that soon. That light . . . oh my. And the mosaics.
    My daughter graduated from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, as I mentioned in the post you link too (thank you), and her graduation ceremony was in the Detroit Opera House, another glorious building.
    Saarinen is famous for much, and I was fortunate to spend a weekend writing workshop at Cranbrook, in Bloomfield Hills, one of Detroit’s suburbs, where he, his wife, and his son designed everything! The building, the furnishings, the fabrics and rugs. It was a privilege.
    I love your delightful ending, about advertere, and a turning toward something now. I felt the same after the ad. I believe love is attention, and I am going to continue to love Detroit!

  2. Thank you for sharing more of your love for Detroit, and I will look up the Detroit Opera House! I resonated with the idea of “love is attention”–I believe it’s an essential quality of love.

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