Community Gallery: 100 Years of Music, Magic and Community

The Robert and Mary Ann Bury Community Gallery is a changing exhibition space made available to local historical societies, museums, non-profit organizations and educational institutions, selected for their contributions to the metro Detroit community. Organizations are featured in order to share their stories and provide new perspectives on the issues, ideas and individuals that have shaped our region’s rich history.

It was officially renamed as a tribute to retiring long-time Executive Director Bob Bury and dedicated in a ceremony on November 1, 2018.


Our Community Gallery program recently received the 2020 Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History! Learn more

NOW OPEN in the Robert and Mary Ann Bury Community Gallery

100 Years of Music, Magic and Community

As it celebrates its centennial year, Orchestra Hall’s legacy goes beyond its legendary acoustics or the roster of bold-faced names that have graced its stage. Built as the home for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 1919, converted to the Paradise Theatre in the 1940s, threatened with demolition in the 1970s and later restored and expanded, the building’s dramatic history tells the complex economic and cultural story of Detroit in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Take a comprehensive look at the past with artifacts, images and audio that begin with the construction of Orchestra Hall and follow its history to modern day in this new exhibition. The story of Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the DSO music director for whom Orchestra Hall was built, is joined with the story of the Hall’s origins and first 20 years. Discover what happened in the years after the Detroit Symphony Orchestra left Orchestra Hall as new audiences adopted the structure for new purposes, breathing new life into the space. Learn about the rebirth of Orchestra Hall for a new age and how it serves the community today while looking ahead to tomorrow. Become immersed in history as you listen to music, watch videos and try your hand at conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at an interactive stage. Unique items on display include original seats from Orchestra Hall, a re-created 1920s coat room, a mold of Ossip Gabrilowitsch’s hand from the collection of the Detroit Public Library, hand-sculpted busts of all the DSO lead music directors and rarely seen art, architectural records and press clippings from the DSO’s archives. 

This exhibition was developed by the Detroit Historical Society in partnership with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Special thanks to guest writer Mark Stryker, creative consultant to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and author of Destiny: 100 Years of Music, Magic, and Community at Orchestra Hall in Detroit and Jazz from Detroit. This exhibition is generously underwritten by the DTE Energy Foundation and Ann and James B. Nicholson with additional support from the Ford Motor Company Fund. 


As part of the 100th anniversary celebration, you can also visit our on-site exhibition at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Ave.) through March 29,  2020. Find it on the second floor in the John and Marlene Boll Green Room during the building's public open hours.