Exhibition: Russ Marshall: Detroit Photographs

Thursday, Dec 24, 2020 at 9:00am

Detroit Institute Of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202

Please call before attending any community events. It is likely that they will be postponed or canceled as a result of the coronavirus. You can find CDC coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP has additional resources at aarp.org/coronavirus.

Russ Marshall: Detroit Photographs, 1958-2008

The Detroit Institute of Arts presents a survey of over 90 photographs by Russ Marshall whose black-and-white imagery was inspired by the Motor City’s streets, architecture, music and factory workers for over 50 years. Marshall was born in 1940 in the thriving coal-mining town of South Fork, Pennsylvania to a family of coal miners, farmers and industrial factory workers. His family relocated to Detroit in 1943. By the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, Marshall had begun to photograph the city’s streets, its passersby, Thanksgiving Day parades, its Michigan Central Station (MCS) and even a rare “Love-In” staged on Belle Isle in the late 1960s.

From 1975 to 2005, Marshall worked freelance for local and national labor and trade magazines and created some of his most compelling work that pays homage to Detroit’s labor force with portraits and candid imagery of workers shot alongside the assembly lines and machinery in factories, shops and plants throughout the metro Detroit region as well as in Dearborn’s Ford River Rouge plant, southwest Detroit’s Zug Island, Flint’s General Motors’ plants and in other areas found nearby in the Midwest’s Rust Belt.

In post-1980 photographs, Marshall captured the city's monumental architecture, industrial environments and life on and off the assembly lines. Stopping in Eastern Market, he caught up with the city’s butchers and locals. And in 1987 he returns to the MCS to photograph it one last time before its final closure 1989. A music lover, Marshall documented nearly two decades of Detroit’s thriving music scene with photographs capturing musicians and performances known to jazz and blues scene at the city’s legendary music venues, including Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, the Detroit Press Club as well as at its legendary music festivals on the city’s riverfront and elsewhere in the city from 1977 to 1993.

In addition, the exhibition includes a special supplement featuring Marshall’s photographs taken of public life in England and eastern Europe as the Cold War was on the decline in from 1987-1990. Marshall interprets over five decades of blue-collar life, Detroit and its environs through photographs that capture the city’s heart and soul sometimes reading like a melancholy poem but most often as an empathetic narrative of resilient people, places and times now past.

Location: de Salle Gallery

Exhibition Date: Nov 15 - Jun 27, 2021

Cost: Free with general admission

Musuem Admission:

Residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties: Free
Adults: $14.00
Seniors: $9.00
College Students (w/ valid school ID): $8.00
Youth (6-17): $6.00
Children (5 and under): Free
Members: Free
Museum Parking Lot: $7.00

Admission tickets should be reserved in advance. Tickets

This event listing provided for the Detroit community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. If you have an event to share, let us know!

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster

More from AARP in Detroit

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »


You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today

JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Detroit
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner
JOIN NOW