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Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art is home to a vast collection by many renowned works of art.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the University Circle Area of Cleveland. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
The Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the University Circle Area of Cleveland.

Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is one of the most prestigious art museums in the United States and the only museum in the country to offer free admission to its permanent collection. Destination360 rates the Cleveland Museum of Art as one of the most fulfilling museums in Ohio. Located 15 minutes east of downtown Cleveland in the University Circle neighborhhod, the museum houses more than 40,000 works of art including works by Renoir, Monet, van Gogh and Picasso as well as art by modern and contemporary artists.

One of the museum's most popular pieces sits outside the building -- a supervised cast of Auguste Rodins' The Thinker. The Cleveland Museum of Art acquired the cast in 1917, but in 1970 it was damaged by a protestor's bomb. The museum chose not to restore the statue, in part because Rodin had been so closely involved in its casting and also because visitors considered the damage interesting.

Restoration and Expansion Construction

To house its growing collection, the Cleveland Museum of Art underwent expansions several times since it opened in 1916. For example, additional space was added in 1958, an education wing with lecture halls was added in 1971 and a library was built in 1983. While these expansions provided the necessary space, they changed the shape of the original building and made it difficult for visitors to make their way through the entire museum.

In 2005, the Cleveland Museum of Art began an enormous restoration and expansion project. The goal of this project was to once again expand the museum, but this time its many additions would be restored to maintain the character of the original building. The board of trustees hired renowned architect Rafael Vinoly to oversee the restoration. His design included the addition of two wings on the east and west sides of the structure, larger educational facilities and a large courtyard with a glass roof. The new design also added new amenities for the museum's 500,000 annual visitors, such as new restrooms and eating areas.

During this restoration, parts of the museum's permanent collection are closed to the public. The restoration is expected to be complete in 2012.

Collections

The Cleveland Museum of Art features vast collections: Decorative Art and Design, Art of the Ancient Americas and Oceania, Photography and Contemporary Art, Medieval Art, Chinese Art, African Art, Modern European Art, Prints, Drawings, European Paintings and Sculptures, American Paintings and Sculptures, Textiles and Islamic Art, and Greek and Roman Art.

Housed in the museum are the works of world-famous artists such as Renoir, Monet, van Gogh, Picasso, Bellows, Rubens, Goya, El Greco, Caravaggio, Poussin, Church and Cole. While the museum treasures the work of past masters, it also actively acquires artworks from late 20th-century artists and modern artists such as Kiefer, Pollock, Warhol, Clemente, Close and Tansey.

Exhibitions

The Cleveland Museum of Art has hosted many prominent exhibitions over the years. As of April 2009, exhibitions included the photography of Lee Friedlander and an exhibit , Art and Power in the Central African Savanna. Portions of the exhibits can be viewed online. Paul Gauguin: Paris, 1889, an exhibit slated to run from October 2009 to January 2010, features the artist's paintings, paper work, woodcarvings, and ceramics and examines the way his style impacted others of his time. Popular past exhibits have included Urban Evidence: Contemporary Artists Reveal Cleveland, a look at urban artists in the city, Pharaohs, a display power in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and Arms and Armor from Imperial Austria, featuring 280 pieces of armor.

Education

The Cleveland Museum of Art also has a large number of educational programs to enrich the experience of visitors, such as the Children's Art Studio, and summer sessions. Art To Go is a program where pieces of art may leave the museum so that they may be touched by those in places such as classrooms. The museum also offers a distance learning educational course and adult art classes. The Cleveland Museum of Art also is involved with many community projects and festivals.

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