Cleveland Museum of Art

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The Cleveland Museum of Art
Springtime art museum.jpg
Established 1913 (Officially opened in 1916)
Location 11150 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Coordinates 41°30′32″N 81°36′42″W / 41.50889°N 81.61167°W / 41.50889; -81.61167
THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART Latitude and Longitude:

41°30′32″N 81°36′42″W / 41.50889°N 81.61167°W / 41.50889; -81.61167
Type Art museum
Visitors 705,000 annually (2016) [1]
Director William M. Griswold [2]

The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is an art museum located in the Wade Park District, in the University Circle neighborhood on Cleveland's east side. Internationally renowned for its substantial holdings of Asian and Egyptian art, the museum houses a diverse permanent collection of more than 45,000 works of art from around the world. [3] The museum has remained historically true to the vision of its founders, keeping general admission free to the public and with a $755 million endowment it is the fourth wealthiest in the nation. [4] With about 705,000 visitors annually (2016), it is one of the most visited art museums in the world. [1]


View of the museum from the steps of the Euclid Avenue entrance to Wade Park, overlooking the Lagoon. Seen in the foreground is Frank Jirouch's 1928 bronze sculpture, Night Passing the Earth to Day.


"For the benefit of all people, forever." [5]

The Cleveland Museum of Art was founded as a trust in 1913 with an endowment from prominent Cleveland industrialists Hinman Hurlbut, John Huntington and Horace Kelley. [6] The neoclassical, white Georgian Marble, Beaux-Arts building was constructed on the southern edge of Wade Park, at the cost of $1.25 million. [7] Wade Park and the museum were designed by the local architectural firm, Hubbell & Benes, with the museum planned as the park's centerpiece. [8] The 75-acre (300,000 m2) green space takes its name from philanthropist Jeptha H. Wade, who donated part of his wooded estate to the city in 1881. [9] The museum opened its doors to the public on June 6, 1916, with Wade's grandson, Jeptha H. Wade II, proclaiming it, 'for the benefit of all people, forever.' Wade, like his grandfather, had a great interest in art and served as the museum's first vice-president, and later as president in 1920. [10] Today, the park, with the museum still as its centerpiece, is on the National Register of Historic Places. [11]

Mid to late 20th century expansion

Northern entrance, showing the 1971 Marcel Breuer expansion.

In March 1958, the first addition to the building opened, doubling the museum's floorspace. This addition, which was on the north side of the original building, was designed by the Cleveland architectural firm of Hayes and Ruth and consisted of new gallery space and a new art library.

The museum again expanded in 1971 with the opening of the North Wing. With its stepped, two-toned granite facade, the addition designed by modernist architect Marcel Breuer provided angular lines in distinct contrast with the flourishes of the 1916 building's neoclassical facade. The museum's main entrance now shifted to the North Wing. The auditorium, classrooms, and lecture halls shifted into the North Wing, allowing this space in the Original Building to be turned into gallery space.

In 1983, a West Wing, designed by the Cleveland architectural firm of Dalton, van Dijk, Johnson, & Partners, was completed. This provided larger library space, as well as nine new galleries.

Between 2001 and 2012, the 1958 and 1983 additions were demolished and a new wrap-around building and east and west wings constructed. Designed by Rafael Viñoly, this $350 million project doubled the museum's size to 592,000 square feet (55,000 m2). To integrate the new east and west wings with the Breuer building to the north, a new structure ran along the south side of the 1971 addition, creating extensive new gallery space on two levels as well as a museum store and other amenities. Viñoly covered the space created by the demolition of the 1958 and 1983 structures with a glass-roofed atrium. The east wing opened in 2009, and the north wing and atrium in 2012. [12] The West Wing opened on January 2, 2014. [13]

Expansion in the 21st century

Inside the museum's atrium, which opened in 2012

The museum's building and renovation project, "Building for the Future", [5] began in 2005 and was originally targeted for completion in 2012 (though it was not completed until 2013) at projected costs of $258 million. [14] The museum celebrated the official completion of the renovation and expansion project with a grand opening celebration held on December 31, 2013, and additional activities that continued through the first week of 2014. [15] The $350 million project—two-thirds of which was earmarked for the complete renovation of the original 1916 structure—added two new wings, and was the largest cultural project in Ohio's history. [5] The new east and west wings, as well as the enclosing of the atrium courtyard under a soaring glass canopy, have brought the museum's total floor space to 592,000 square feet (55,000 m2) (an increase of approximately 65%).

While the first phase of the project cost saw $9.3 million in cost overruns and pushed back the initial reopening by 9 months, (then) museum director Timothy Rub assured the public that increase in quality would be worth both the wait and expense. [16] In June 2008, after being closed for nearly three years for the overhaul, the museum reopened 19 of its permanent galleries to the public in the renovated 1916 building main floor.

On June 27, 2009, the newly constructed East Wing (which contains the Impressionist, Contemporary, and Modern art collections) opened to the public.

Chester Beach's Fountain of the Waters adjacent the museum's main entrance in Wade Park.

On June 26, 2010, the ground level of the 1916 building reopened and now houses the collections of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Sub-Saharan African, Byzantine, and Medieval art. [17] The expanded museum includes enhanced visitor amenities consisting of new restrooms, an expanded store and café, a sit-down gourmet restaurant, parking capacity increased to 620 spaces, and a 34,000 square feet (3,200 m2) glass-covered courtyard.

Wade Park

Wade Park includes an outdoor gallery displaying part of the museum's holdings in the Wade Park Fine Arts Garden. The bulk of this collection is located between the original 1916 main entrance to the building and the lagoon. Highlights of the public sculpture include the large cast of Chester Beach's 1927 Fountain of the Waters; a monument to the Polish expatriate and American Revolutionary War-hero Tadeusz Kościuszko; and the 1928 bronze statuary sundial by Frank Jirouch, Night Passing the Earth to Day, which sits across Wade Lagoon from the museum, near the park's entrance on Euclid Avenue. Rodin's The Thinker sits atop of the museums main staircase, and has a unique but troubled history. Partially destroyed in a 1970 bombing (allegedly by The Weathermen), [18] the statue has been left in its unrestored condition. The reasoning for not repairing it stems from the involvement of Rodin in its original casting and the damage—which is notated on the plaque mounted at the base of the statue's pedestal— has come to define the casting as unique among the more than twenty original large castings.


Pablo Picasso's, Blue Period piece, La Vie (1903), is one of the highlights of the museum's Modern European Painting and Sculpture collection.

The Cleveland Museum of Art divides its collections into 16 departments including Chinese Art, Modern European Art, African Art, Drawings, Prints, European Art, Textiles & Islamic Art, American Painting & Sculpture, Greek & Roman Art, Contemporary Art, Medieval Art, Decorative Art & Design, Pre-Columbian and Native North American Art, Japanese & Korean Art, Indian & Southeast Asian Art, and Photography. Artists represented by significant works include Olivuccio di Ciccarello, Botticelli, Caravaggio, El Greco, Poussin, Rubens, Frans Hals, Gerard David, Goya, J.M.W. Turner, Dalí, Matisse, Renoir, Gauguin, Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, Corot, Thomas Eakins, Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, George Bellows. The Museum has been active recently in acquiring later 20th-century art, having added important works by Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Christo, Anselm Kiefer, Ronald Davis, Larry Poons, Leon Kossoff, Jack Whitten, Morris Louis, Jules Olitski, Chuck Close, Robert Mangold, Ching Ho Cheng, Mark Tansey and Sol LeWitt, among others.

The museum's African art collection consists of 300 traditional, sub-Saharan works from the Bini, Congo, Senufo, and Yoruba peoples, mostly donated by Cleveland collector Katherine C. White. [19]

Ingalls Library

In addition to its comprehensive collection of fine art, the Cleveland Museum of Art is also home to the Ingalls Library, one of the largest art libraries in the United States. [20] As part of the initial 1913 plan by the museum's founders, a library of 10,000 volumes was to be assembled, to include photographs and archival works. By the 1950s, the collection of books alone had surpassed 37,000 and the photographic collection neared 47,000. [21] Today, with more than 500,000 volumes (and 500,000 digitized slides), renovation of the library space was one of the focal points in the museum's $350 million expansion.

Selections from the permanent collection

In June 2004, the museum acquired an ancient bronze sculpture of Apollo Sauroktonos, believed to be an original work by Praxiteles of Athens. Because the work has a contested provenance, the museum continues to study the dating and attribution of the sculpture. In 2011, Michael Bennet, the Greek and Roman arts curator, announced that he had dated the piece to 350 B.C. to 250 B.C. [22] In 2003, the museum held a focus exhibition on the statue, and in conjunction with this announced its reattribution to Apollo the Python-Slayer, that the statue was almost certainly an original work by Praxiteles himself, and that laboratory investigations and expert testimony conclusively show the bronze was neither a recent discovery nor recovered from the sea. [23]

The museum is especially strong in the field of Asian art, possessing one of the best collections in the U.S. [24]

In 2008, the United States Postal Service selected the Cleveland Museum's famed Botticelli painting entitled Virgin and Child with the Young John the Baptist as the Christmas stamp for that year. [25]


The Cleveland Museum of Art also maintains a schedule of special exhibitions, lectures, films and musical programs. The department of performing arts, music and film hosts a film series [26] and the museum's Performing Arts Series, [27] which brings the creative energies of internationally renowned artists into Cleveland.

The department of education [28] at CMA creates programs for lifelong learning from lectures, talks and studio classes to outreach programs and community events, such as Parade the Circle", [29] Chalk Festival [30] and the "Winter Lights Lantern Festival". [31] Educational programs include distance learning, [32] "Art to Go", [33] and the "Educator's Academy". [34] The museum is also home to the Ingalls Library, one of the largest art museum libraries in the United States with over 500,000 volumes. [35]



The museum reported attendance of 597,715 during the period between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, the highest total in over a decade. [36]


In 1958, a $35-million bequest by industrialist Leonard C. Hanna Jr. vaulted the Cleveland Museum of Art into the ranks of the country's richest art museums. [37] Today, the museum receives operating support from the Ohio Arts Council through state tax dollars. It is funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. The museum derives around two thirds of its $36 million budget from interest on its endowment, which was reported as $750 million in 2014. [38] [39] From a fund of $277 million, the museum draws out about $13 million a year. [40]


The museum has also taken an active role in presenting music concerts and lectures. These include performances by Chanticleer (ensemble), Roomful of Teeth, and John Luther Adams among others.


  • William M. Griswold (2014-) [4]
  • Fred Bidwell (2013-2014, interim director) [4]
  • Dr. David Franklin (2010-2013) [42] [4]
  • Deborah Gribbon (2009-2010, interim director)
  • Timothy Rub (2006-2009) [14]
  • Katharine Lee Reid (2000-2006) [43]
  • Kate Sellars (1999-2000, interim director) [43]
  • Robert P. Bergman (1993-1999) [44]
  • Dr. Evan Hopkins Turner (1983-1993) [45]
  • Dr. Sherman E. Lee (1958-1982)
  • William M. Milliken (1930-1958)
  • Frederic Allen Whiting (1913-1930)


The ... Cleveland ... Museum ... Art ...



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