A Day at Cleveland Art Museum

a day at Cleveland Art Museum
Cleveland Art Museum a day visit
The Kid and I love visiting art museums. Take that back: The Kid and I love to visit all museums. She’s definitely like her mother when it comes to a fascination with museums and if she could major in art history in middle school, she’d do it. As such, taking her to as many museums as possible has become a recent goal of mine. We were able to visit The Cleveland Museum of Art for a few hours on a recent visit to the area and loved every second of our time there so much that The Kid asked me to take her back for another half-day visit.  So, you add two half-day visits together and what do you get? You guessed it. 

What’s at Cleveland Museum of Art?

Cleveland Museum of Art is so impressive, in fact, that I was astounded about the various and varied exhibits. From the most intricate of oil paintings to the most delicate of sculptures, the museum houses well over 30,000 works of art. And here’s the rub: Cleveland Museum of Art offers FREE daily admission. Not only do you not have to head to The Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC or MoMA in New York City (which you really should, by the way. Both are amazing!), but you can drive very little or even take Cleveland public transportation and be surrounded by priceless works of art. 

What Makes Cleveland Museum of Art Amazing?

Beautiful Architecture

Cleveland Art Museum  interior glass
If you knew nothing about art and art history, Cleveland Museum of Art would still be impressive for its airy, light feel and open spaces. An easy stroll through the galleries and exterior of the museum made me feel calm and collected. And there’s something about floor-to-ceiling glass that gets me every time.The museum has a beautiful flow about it as well. You can walk from gallery to gallery and never hit a dead end or mosey around a specific exhibit and there’s always an easy path from one artifact to another. 

Gallery One

Cleveland Art Museum  gallery one
Let’s face it: We could all learn a little more about art and the inspiration behind it. Whether a piece invokes happiness, anger, or simply a smile on one’s face, there was an artist who’s intention may have been just that or the complete opposite. That’s what I love about art. I could stand all day and listen to a docent’s opinion on what made an artist tick and what he or she meant to inspire in all of us, but when you come down to it, it’s your own opinion that counts. 
Gallery One in Cleveland Museum of Art is the place to head to first for information about the museum’s collections and art pieces. The Collection Wall is an interactive educational tool that allows visitors to delve further into popular art pieces from the museum’s collection. Images of the pieces are shown on a 40-foot screen and you can pick and choose those that catch your eye for more information and their location in the museum. If you like a particular style, the Collection Wall will give you more examples to choose from.  
Want an even more interactive experience? Download the ArtLens app onto your iPhone or iPad and it will personalize a tour of the museum for you. 

Spotlight on Conservation 

Cleveland Art Museum  caravaggio
Cleveland Museum of Art’s conservation efforts are out in the open with their Caravaggio’s Crucification of Saint Andrew. Painted in 1606-1607, the Caravaggio is one of the museum’s most significant pieces and visitors were able to watch conservation efforts firsthand, ask questions via Twitter, and even speak to conservators at times. 
My daughter loves watching the intricacy and technical work involved in caring and cleaning the painting. We asked a few questions and hung them on the question wall in hope they would be answered here
Digitized x-rays, infared imaging, and photomicroscopy helped the conservators document painting techniques used by Caravaggio and show the way that light and other elements compromised the painting for over 400 years.The date for complete restoration is 2016 and it will be featured for the museum’s centennial celebration. 

Daggers and Halberds and Chain Mail…Oh, My!

Cleveland Art Museum  armor court













The Kid was utterly fascinated by the Armor Court. The Kunthistoriches Museum in Vienna has graciously loaned Cleveland Museum of Art both arms and armor, and the collection is roughly 400 pieces in total.

The Kid really loved the sword collection and the display cases that housed it. She was able to get right up next to the glass and delve into the fine details that make a sword a work of art.

Her only question about the suits of armor? Why were the knights so short!

Traveling Exhibits

Cleveland Art Museum  traveling exhibits














Cleveland Museum of Art has incredible traveling exhibits, and our visit to the museum allowed to view the first exhibition about yoga through visual history. A hard ticket experience, Yoga: The Art of Transformation took us on a journey through time from the beginning of documented yoga to modern day practices and spiritualism.

Magnifying glasses were provided for visitors to explore the minute details of the art, brush strokes, and intricate carvings.

We knew very little about yoga’s history, but compliments of this exhibit, I have the greatest of respect for teachers and practicers of the ancient art.

Fine Arts Garden

Cleveland Art Museum  fine arts garden


















On beautiful sunny summer days like the one we experienced, the Fine Arts Garden is a beauty. In 1928, the garden was presented to the city of Cleveland and now includes signs of the zodiac statues and the marvelous “Fountain of Waters” by Chester Beach. The fountain draws children to it for the cool mist it provides on hot days and adults for its beauty.

The garden provides calm patches of well-maintained grass and quiet, shady areas as well.

We’re already planning our next visit as The Kid is hooked! We can’t wait to further explore the Egyptian Gallery and eat more naan bread in the Provenance Cafe. She is also looking forward to another visit to Gallery One and this time we won’t forget the iPad. Just in case you forget yours, Gallery One rents them to visitors.

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