Founded in 1927, DuMouchelles has been an integral part of the Detroit art scene for almost a century, curating premium fine art and antiques for generations. The family’s origins in Detroit date back to the mid-1800s, when J. Norman DuMouchelle and his wife Charlotte, both descendants of French-Canadian farmers, purchased and farmed land in the Windsor, Ontario area. Following World War I, DuMouchelle moved to Detroit, where he studied under the legendary Washington Boulevard fine art dealer, Emil Dittrich.
In 1927, J. Norman DuMouchelle opened his own business in a historic home on Jefferson and Riopelle, naming it “The Art Salon.” DuMouchelle conducted weekly auctions on-site, and as the business grew, he relocated to another historic home on Woodward near Forest. However, it was not long before the success of his auctions necessitated an auxiliary space on the first floor of the Albert Kahn-designed building at 409 East Jefferson.
The DuMouchelle family’s business continued to grow over the years, as did the family itself. J. Norman and Charlotte had five children, Lawrence, Norman, Rosemary, Joan, and Ernest. Like most family businesses at that time, the children spent much of their early years working in the gallery, each performing tasks appropriate for their age and interests.
DuMouchelle’s became a permanent fixture at its current location at 409 East Jefferson, and the family’s reputation as trusted advisors to families grew. They have handled some of the largest and grandest estates in Detroit, including William Fisher, David Whitney, William Seyburn, Coleman Young, and Matilda Dodge Wilson. However, the family is most proud of being a trusted advisor to families regardless of notoriety or wealth. Lawrence DuMouchelle, eldest son, and past president of the business said, prior to his passing in 2019, that the family always felt it was an honor and privilege to be entrusted to handle any family’s estate.
Today, DuMouchelles is one of the world’s largest and oldest family-owned auction houses. The gallery continues to offer sales consisting in most every specialist category of fine art and antiques, providing the expertise required to offer sales in fine art and antiques to a global audience. They continue to pay close attention to ever-changing tastes and markets, offering merchandise at market prices well into their second century.
DuMouchelles’ commitment to serving its local customers with the same care and consideration it gives to its international clients has been a key to its success. The company continues to uphold its tradition of having items in its auctions that appeal to all tastes and budgets.
J. Norman DuMouchelle founds “The Art Salon” after working for longtime art dealer, Emil Dittrich. He would conduct sales at private residences.
A Permanent Location
J. Norman DuMouchelle rents the first floor of 409 East Jefferson. It would later become our permanent gallery location.
A New Name
J. Norman DuMouchelle officially renames the company from “The Art Salon” to “DuMouchelle Art Galleries.”
David C. Whitney
The estate of David C. Whitney, son of prominent lumber baron, and developer of the iconic David Whitney Building in Detroit, is auctioned off at the Whitney Mansion in Grosse Pointe, MI.
A New President
J. DuMouchelle passes, and Lawrence DuMouchelle follows in his father’s footsteps, becoming the company’s second president at the tender age of 22.
One visit among many, celebrity pianist Liberace visits DuMouchelles, and heads home with a van load of fine art and antiques from DuMouchelles.
Meadow Brook Hall is Auctioned
DuMouchelles handles the estate of Matilda Dodge Wilson, former Lieutenant Governor of the state of Michigan and widow of John Francis Dodge, co-founder of the Dodge Motor Car Company. Amongst a great many rare and unique pieces, an original Winslow Homer was auctioned for $240,000 ($1.6M in 2023 USD).
DuMouchelles handles the estate of prominent Arab-American fashion designer and entrepreneur, Ruth Joyce. Clients included members of the Ford family, Dinah Shore, and Detroit’s Miss America, Pam Eldred. 475 lots of gowns and bolts of fabric would be auctioned.
John F. Gordon
The estate of late General Motors Corporation President, John F. Gordon, would be auctioned from his palatial estate in Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Stella Ford Schlotman
DuMouchelles hosts an auction of the estate of Stella Ford Schlotman, founder of the DSO and wife to the late Joseph B. Schlotman, a socially prominent industrialist, at Stonehurst, a 40-room, $2,000,000 mansion ($47,000,000 in 2023 USD) in Grosse Pointe.
An Original Remington
From the attic of a Lansing estate, an original Frederick Remington bronze, entitled “Cheyenne”, is auctioned off and sold to a New York collector for $605,000++.
Coleman A. Young
DuMouchelles auctions the estate of prominent former Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, including his 1996 Cadillac, fine jewelry, African tribal art, and other personal effects.
DuMouchelles handles the estate of Bob Schwiezer, proprietor of Schweizer’s Restaurant, a German restaurant that became a Detroit institution during its nearly 130-year existence.
A New President
Following a courageous battle with cancer, Lawrence DuMouchelle passes at the age of 84. Joan DuMouchelle Walker becomes the company’s third president.
DuMouchelles handles the estate of Former Michigan Senator and Founder of the Michigan Council for the Arts, Jack Faxon. Over 2,000 items would be auctioned from the estate.