The Detroit Artists Market (DAM) was founded in 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression. A group of local art patrons, led by Mrs. H. Lee Simpson, recognized that local artists needed a place to exhibit and sell their work.
Originally called Detroit Young Artists Market, the gallery was created to provide a source of income for artists under the age of 30. In 1936, the gallery’s name changed to Detroit Artists Market (DAM), which reflected the growth of the organization as it began to exhibit both emerging and established Detroit artists of all ages and stature. In addition to providing artists with the means of a livelihood, DAM’s founders had another goal: educating public taste through the exhibition and sale of work by the finest of Detroit’s local artists. DAM ran solely on the help of volunteers and board members, up until the first salaried manager in 1969.
Today, the gallery is rooted in the history of Detroit art and culture, and continues to be one of the finest nonprofit contemporary art galleries in the Midwest. DAM has a distinguished history of creating a lively culture characterized by experimentation and artistic creativity.