The Cleveland Museum of Art, which boasts one of the finest collections in the United States, is in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood on the east side. The museum, which opened to the public in 1916, boasts a permanent collection of over 40,000 works from around the world and is world renowned for its substantial Egyptian and Asian exhibits. The museum itself is a combination of the original, neoclassical white Georgian Model, Beaux-Art building, as well as several other wings that have gradually been added. These additions include an interesting, two-toned granite facade. This certainly provides an interesting contrast to the original building.The Cleveland Museum of Art is currently undergoing a massive construction project. When the two new wings and an enormous glass atrium are completed sometime in the next few years, the museum will have increased by 65%.
Included in the museum’s extensive collections are works by famous artists such as Goya, Matisse, Renoir, Gauguin, Church, van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, and Pollock, among others. One of the most recent additions to the museum is a large room that is walled by windows on three sides. It features wonderful sculptures by Rodin, as well as a view of Case Western Reserve University and other areas of University Circle. The museum’s impressionist collection is impressive, as is its modern art installation. Other favorites include the the arms and armor collection, which features mail, armor, executioner’s swords, cross-bows and other weapons. The collection’s centerpiece is a huge knight and horse replica, complete with full armor and weapons. In the rooms surrounding the arms and armor collection are Renaissance paintings and tapestries, as well as an extensive array of early American art and furniture. For those interested in Cleveland and the Midwest, the Cleveland Museum of Art also features the Midwestern Modern Collection of Mabel Hewit and Andrew Borowiec Cleveland photography. Borowiec’s photos of downtown Cleveland provides a bleak image of what was once a proud, industrial city.
Some of the museum’s holdings are in its Fine Arts Garden, which is in front of the original entrance to the museum. Here you can stroll around the picturesque Wade Park, complete with pond and trees. It’s a popular place for weddings and other special events.
Visiting the Cleveland Museum of Art is a great thing to do on a weekend or weekday afternoon. General admission is free to the public, so guests can wander in, pick up a visitor guide at the information desk, and spend hours perusing the museum’s diverse collections.