"For the benefit of all people, forever."*
The Cleveland Museum of Art opened on June 16, 1916 to great fanfare. Its inaugural exhibition boasted almost 200,000 visitors in the first four months. The first official museum purchase was John Singleton Copley's portrait of Catherine Green. Today the museum boasts rich collections from ancient Greece, Egypt, India, Japan, Korea, the Americas and Africa. Cleveland is internationally renowned for its early Christian, Byzantine and Gothic art as well as Italian and Spanish Baroque painting. Of particular importance is Cleveland's collection of drawings, which is placed among the top in the United States, with pastels by Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas and Jean Etienne Liotard and a world-renowned collection of Indian and Southeast Asian art.
*J.H. Wade II, in the act of conveyance of the land to be used for the CMA
19th & 20th American Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is perhaps best known for its iconic holdings of important American works. One such work is George Wesley Bellows' 1909 painting "Stag at Sharkey's." (right). Bellows, a native Ohioan, was to become one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation. Known for his vivid scenes of the lives of poor, working class New Yorkers, Bellows was an important member of the Ashcan School along with John Sloan, William Glackens and Robert Henri. Other notable works are: Frederic Edwin Church's luminous 1860 painting, "Twilight in the Wilderness" (below) and "Death on a Pale Horse" by Albert Pinkham Ryder.
Upcoming exhibitions at the Cleveland Art Museum include Mary Cassatt in October and in December, an exploration of Picasso's Blue Period.