Dayton Art Institute
Dayton Art Institute
4.5
11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
The Dayton Art Institute is committed to enriching lives and serving the community by creating meaningful experiences with art that are available to all. The DAI is open and current museum hours are Wednesday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon - 5 p.m. When planning a visit, we encourage you to check our website to confirm current museum hours & status. 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.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • battlelj
    17 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely museum for a peaceful afternoon.
    Over Christmas break, I took two of my children (11, 13) to the museum, specifically to see the Japanese Netsuke exhibit. We had a wonderful afternoon exploring the entire permanent collection and finishing up in the special exhibit room. The figures were delightful and well-labeled. We were only disappointed that the museum store did not have any products featuring the exhibit items; not even a postcard!
    Visited January 2023
    Written May 7, 2023
  • MidwestKathM
    Detroit, Michigan931 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Terrific mid-sized city art museum! Great permanent collection! Wonderful special exhibitions!!
    The Dayton Art Institute is a terrific mid-sized city art museum!! Their permanent collection is worth a visit! We live 3+ hours away so it is the special exhibits that draw us in for a return visit like we did for the "Monet and Impressionism" and the "National Academy of Design" exhibitions. On this visit, it was the "Toulouse-Lautrec: The Birth of Modern Paris" exhibition. A fascinating look at T-L's body of work! There were many of the posters that we know and love. Beyond them, there are drawings, some for magazine and book illustrations like the Cafe Concerts and a book by Clemenceau. Letters written by Henri to friends and family provide some insights to his relationships. Portrait drawings of Montmartre notables. We spent a couple hours enjoying this exhibition which is free with museum admission. We then checked out a couple of the smaller special exhibits as well as the glass gallery and made a stop to see Monet's Water Lilies. Free parking lot in front of the museum.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written December 30, 2023
  • Sophia
    Springfield, Ohio93 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Simply Amazing
    We went to the Dayton Art Institute on a cold January weekday afternoon, primarily to view the Toulouse-Lautrec traveling exhibit. We were surprised & pleased to see there were many, many other people there also. The traveling exhibit was wonderful - but keep in mind that it is well worth your time & money to go just to see the permanent collections of art throughout this large museum. The variety of collections are simply amazing: they are carefully & thoughtfully displayed; each piece is given ample room for viewers to stand back & take in the work, & plaques inform the viewer with the right amount of information to educate viewers about each work. There is much to see here, & it is very well done. Also, the gift shop has wonderful items (art, jewelry, books, etc.), & every employee/volunteer we encountered were kind & helpful. We plan to go back soon to see collections we missed, & re-visit the collections we liked the most.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 16, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles415 reviews
Excellent
286
Very good
98
Average
24
Poor
4
Terrible
3

Barry M
Memphis, TN283 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
If you’re in Dayton, do not miss this beautiful museum. First, the building is more than a hundred years old but it has been beautifully updated. It provides all the necessary amenities for people and art while showcasing all its historical architecture and niches. The cloister is not to be missed.
Instead of a variety of art, the focus is on quality collections. I especially enjoyed the Asian, American and Glass collections. But the best part was a large display of many pieces that have been restored. From pottery to the Old Masters, each included before and during photos, detailed descriptions of the issues and treatments — Several included videos. The restoration of a large Korean screen was fascinating.
On top of all that, the staff was very friendly and knowledgeable.
Don’t miss the DAI!
Written June 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

battlelj
New Orleans17 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
Over Christmas break, I took two of my children (11, 13) to the museum, specifically to see the Japanese Netsuke exhibit. We had a wonderful afternoon exploring the entire permanent collection and finishing up in the special exhibit room. The figures were delightful and well-labeled. We were only disappointed that the museum store did not have any products featuring the exhibit items; not even a postcard!
Written May 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathela
Mercer, PA122 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
We traveled four hours to Dayton see the two van Goghs on loan at the DAI: our first visit to Dayton. We did not have high expectations for the rest of the museum, but we were wrong. The museum has wonderful collections that are presented beautifully. We had limited time to spend and felt that we short-changed ourselves by not allowing ourselves more time. The museum is beautiful inside and out. Also worthy of mention: the museum staff were the friendliest of any that we've encountered. To a person, they were just the nicest people: professional but warm, as if we'd made their day by choosing to spend time there. The DAI and its people are gems!
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MidwestKathM
Detroit, MI931 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
The Dayton Art Institute is a terrific mid-sized city art museum!! Their permanent collection is worth a visit! We live 3+ hours away so it is the special exhibits that draw us in for a return visit like we did for the "Monet and Impressionism" and the "National Academy of Design" exhibitions. On this visit, it was the "Toulouse-Lautrec: The Birth of Modern Paris" exhibition. A fascinating look at T-L's body of work! There were many of the posters that we know and love. Beyond them, there are drawings, some for magazine and book illustrations like the Cafe Concerts and a book by Clemenceau. Letters written by Henri to friends and family provide some insights to his relationships. Portrait drawings of Montmartre notables. We spent a couple hours enjoying this exhibition which is free with museum admission. We then checked out a couple of the smaller special exhibits as well as the glass gallery and made a stop to see Monet's Water Lilies. Free parking lot in front of the museum.
Written December 30, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

travellintheusa
Lexington, KY145 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
What a gorgeous building !! Look all around all the rooms for great architectural details. Good variety of art spanning Ancient to Modern. Lots of names you'll recognize including Monet and Chihuly.
Written May 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Destination35927
Silver Spring, MD3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The Dayton Art Institute is a real treat: the collection is diverse, with a good slection among the Old Masters, Asian and Mesoamerican art, and works by American painters. A number of outstanding exhibitions have been hosted recently, including a display of treasures from the Silk Road and the Rau Collection, on its first tour of the US.

The facility is open every day of the year, there is ample parking close to the entrance, and admission is free. In addition, staff members are friendly and helpful. I strongly recommend putting this museum on your to-do list.
Written November 23, 2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ELS94
Dayton, OH18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2015 • Family
My kiddos (6,4, 2) are big fans of the DAI. The Expericenter is typically well done with many hands-on stations for the kids to play, create, and dream. We also make our rounds through the permanent collections. If you ask at the reception desk, they have a kids club program that includes 3 or 4 works from the permanent collection that the kids look for as they enjoy the museum. After completing four activities, they receive a small gift. Each time one of my kids has completed the activities (usually after 4 trips) the art bin they receive has had some different type of art supply or medium for us to enjoy. The bistro leaves a bit to be desired. The food is pretty good but the service is slow which doesn't work well with three busy kids in tow. We often take snacks and enjoy them at the tables off to the side of the bistro. In summary, one of our favorite places in Dayton to visit.
Written February 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mitchell E
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Family
I am a have been a member of DAI for the last three years. First off let me say I am a lover of the arts, and for a small town DAI has a nice collection, and a wonderful revolving exhibit. I am also an art educator and follow all the rules at any museum I have ever been at. The problem is one security guard called Richard Smith.

About one year ago I took my family to a special exhibit. Being an art educator I am well aware of the photography requirements in special exhibits. Traditionally no photography is allowed. Well in one section on the plaque it stated, "Feel free to take a picture" there was a holographic pot of gold. So my family and I took pictures, as the exhibit stated. Richard Smith walked over and argued that no pictures were allowed to be taken. When I tried to show him the wall sign he wouldn't listen. I just chalked this up to a bad day at the Art Institute and generally enjoyed the exhibits so I didn't say anything.

Two weeks ago we came back to the new special exhibit, which we do every time it changes. I had a small bag on my shoulder carrying a set of art supplies that my son and I use to sketch in the museum. We walked by the front desk and the first security guard without them saying anything. About 15 minutes into viewing the special exhibit, Mr. Richard Smith came over and told me that I wasn't allowed to have the backpack in the museum. I didn't argue with him and immediately took it to the security gate located outside of the exhibit. He told use we would have to take it to the bag check area after we left the exhibit. So we did and preceded to leave it in the bag check area getting out our art supplies to go back in and draw. Mr. Smith must have been following us through the museum as soon as I put the bag down, in the bag check area he came over.

He told us he would then need to search our bag. I said, "Fine there is nothing in it, go ahead." He made us go back in the bag check room and open it. Upon inspection I told him that I saw no sign stating bags weren't allowed. He made me walk over to the other side of the entrance to show me a bag sign. I suggest that this wasn't even the door we were allowed to walk through and they may need to move the sign to the main door, so people cold see it.

I then asked him, "What exactly is the process of checking a bag, so that when I come in here the next time, I don't have to deal with this?" He preceded to lecture me on how bags weren't allowed in museums... The history of security at DAI... How the United States has changed the rules on bags...

I tried to stop him, "That is not the question I am asking, I just want to know the process of how I am supposed to check a bag? So that next time I come in here I don't have to deal with this."

He interrupted me and said, "I am telling you about that" He then proceeded to tell me about.. The history of security at DAI... How the USA has changed the bag policy etc...

At this point I just decided to leave.
Written November 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brittany L
34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Couples
I've been coming to the Dayton Art Institute since the mid-80s, my mom is from Dayton so she began bringing us here when we were young. I remember going on a field trip to the museum in elementary school at night, when we were the only visitors--very exciting! My brother and his wife even got married here, and held their reception in the Gothic Cloister. The special exhibits are always interesting and well done, most recently I went last Thanksgiving to see the Mucha exhibit. They have a really nice permanent collection too, especially for a museum in a city the size of Dayton. Some of the city's best views are from the steps outside the DAI. I believe the museum itself is still free, and the Special Exhibits are the only thing you pay to see. This museum really is a gem and I think anyone would enjoy a visit.

The gift shop is nicely curated, I've bought multiple Christmas gifts there, including three last year (and I live in Florida!). Many of the items are made in the USA and some are even locally made, in the Dayton area.

I think it's funny that Trip Advisor wants me to pick "what sort of visit was this?"...I've literally gone there alone, as part of my family, on dates, and with groups of friends, dozens of times!
Written August 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Adam P
Dayton, OH28 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Friends
Thousands of people drive by this museum as they travel past it on Interstate 75, not knowing what waits for them if they only took the time to stop and visit. That brings me to the first point of my review -- this is certainly not one of the biggest art museums, so depending on your interests you could spend between 1/2 and 2 hours.

The collection itself is quite impressive. It was started in the early 1900's and added to since then. The museum's collection starts with Pre-Columbian art and other bronze age works, and goes from there to modern works. The museum also has an extensive oriental collection, glass, furniture, sculptures, and other items.

Famous artists in the collection include Rubin, Degas, Gilbert Stuart, Edward Hopper, Atwater Kent, Andy Warhol and others. These represent old European schools of art, Impressionism, and modern abstract works. Many of these were donated in the first half of the 20th Century, when Dayton was a major industrial city, and these works made their way from the personal collections of these industrial tycoons or with donations from their estates or trust funds.

Noteworthy works include "After the Barh" by Degas, an1 impressionist paintings, Edward Hopper's "High Noon", "Study Heads of an Old Man" by Rubin, "Water Lillies" by Monet, "American Indian Seried" by Andy Warhol, "Scene in Yosemite Valley" by Albert Bierstadt, "Washington on his Deathbed" by Junius Stearms (a picture often used in elementary school history text books), "Endless Energy for Limitless Living" by Rockwell Kent, and too many others to list here.

The museum and this collection of art would be a standout in any city, and is surprising to find in a smaller midwest market. Theere are two reasons why I did not give the museum five stars. First, is the fact that while promoted as a "kid friendly" or "family friendly" art museum, and while they do have some activities for the children, some people come long distances with their kids, then are upset when they discover that the collection has a normal collection of nudes and partly nude images and statures. The museum needs to supliment their litereature to point out that they don't have a seperate non-nude section specifically set up for children. The second reason I won't give this museum the fifth star is that a number of years ago, a local bank gave them money to set up an endowment so that there would never be a charge for general admission to the museum. The museum for years was fee free (except for special traveling exhibits). Then it one day anounced that it would again be charging daily admission fees. It turns out that the museum board kept "borrowing" money from the account or simply taking money from it for other things. Some of the losses from the collapse of the stock market in the early 2000's also contributed to the failure of this fund, since the museum heavily invested in high-risk investments in order to create funds for other uses. The "forever" that the bank intended turned out to not be all that long, and now they expect a hefty "donation" when you visit. It is not out of line with what other museums charge, but it is ashamed that poor management (which has been changed) took away this feature. At the time, it was one of the only a handful of art museums in the country who did not expect a contribution. Associated with this is the fact that many museums offer an admission "free" day once a week. They do offer some free admision times (reqired as part of some of their funding) but it is only a few obscure hours a month, and they almost hide the fact that these days exist in their litterature and even online.
Written March 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Dayton Art Institute - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Dayton Art Institute

Dayton Art Institute is open:
  • Sun - Sun 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Wed - Wed 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thu - Thu 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Fri - Sat 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM



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