The Dayton Art Institute's permanent collection contains more than 26,000 objects, spanning 5,000 years of art history. At any given time, the Dayton Art Institute's galleries display about 1,000 works from the permanent collection.
The museum is divided into three main wings that concentrate on European art, American art, and Asian art, respectively. The DAI also features outdoor sculpture and galleries devoted to African art, Oceanic art, Pre-Columbian art, Native American art, and Glass.
The DAI is housed in an architecturally and historically significant 1930 Italian Renaissance-style building -- modeled after the Villa d’Este near Rome and the Villa Farnese at Caprarola in Italy -- which today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.