Cleveland is blessed with a wealth of venerable cultural institutions. One of the most prestigious is the Cleveland Museum of Art, established in 1913. It is one of the United States’ most important art museums and the only major museum in the country to still offer free admission to its permanent collection.
What is the Cleveland Museum of Art?:
The Cleveland Museum of Art, located about 15 minutes east of downtown Cleveland in the University Circle area, which houses several other Cleveland museums and attractions, is known for its extensive collection of Pre-Columbian art, medieval European Art, and Asian and Indian art.
Of particular interest to visitors of all ages is the museum’s armor court, a light-filled enclosed courtyard, filled with a dozen suits of medieval armor. Other highlights of the permanent collection include a large French Impressionist collection, several good Art Nouveau pieces, including works by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Hector Guimard, and a significant exhibit of bronze and marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin.
A large cast of The Thinker sits in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art. This cast was partially destroyed by a protester in 1970 and was left unrestored, partly because of the close interaction that Rodin had in the casting process. Today, the statue is considered by many to be an apt commentary on the juxtaposition between the classical and the chaotic.
The Cleveland Museum of Art regularly hosts important temporary exhibitions. Recent shows have included "Barcelona and Modernity,"Impressionist works from the Corcoran Museum, The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America, and Pablo Picasso’s works from the 1930s. Most temporary exhibits carry an admission charge, but are well worth it. Popular exhibits require advance tickets to avoid waiting.
The Museum hosts a regular schedule of art films, lectures, and concerts. The facility includes an interesting gift shop and the Museum café, a delightful oasis that serves light meals and wine, and offers al fresco courtyard seating in the summer.
The Future of the Museum:
The Museum has expanded several times since its creation. Additions to the neo-classical main building were added in 1958, 1971, and 1983.
The Current Construction Project:
Construction of a new wing, designed by Rafael Vinoly, is currently underway and scheduled for completion in 2014. To facilitate this change, parts of the museum’s collection are currently closed. Works from the collection are viewable at other museums around Cleveland, such as The Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art and the Allen Museum in Oberlin.
Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
Hotels Near the Cleveland Museum of Art:
The Intercontinental Hotel (check rates), at the Cleveland Clinic, is less than a mile away from the museum and offers elegant accommodations as well as a full range of services. Smaller and more intimate is the Glidden House (check rates), just around the corner. It's a charming bed and breakfast inn, created out of an historic mansion.
- "Curating under Construction" - an interview with CMA's William Robinson and Jeffrey Strean
- Review of the new Ingalls Library
- Photo Gallery from the 2007 "Monet in Normandy" exhibit
- Photo Gallery of 2007 "Icons of America: Photography from the Cleveland Museum of Art" exhibit
- Photo Gallery of 2008 "Arms + Armor from Imperial Austria" exhibit
- "Cleveland's Medieval Masterpieces to Travel"
(last updated 10-3-13)