Cleveland's crown jewel is at the center of its cultural hub, University Circle. In its 70 galleries, the museum presents art chronologically, from the Mediterranean antiquity to the present. The museum is known for its medieval Asian, European, and pre-Columbian collections. Its holdings include works by Picasso, Michelangelo, Monet, and Van Gogh. Other popular exhibits are mummies, African masks, and medieval armor and weapons. The museum has undertaken a $258-million renovation and expansion project that will see its 1916 beaux-arts and 1971 Marcel Breuer buildings completely restored and the addition of new east and west wings and central, glass-enclosed piazza. The museum will remain open during the construction, which is scheduled for completion in 2011; galleries will be returned in phases beginning in 2008.
Sep 18, 2013
My spouse and I visited the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) in early September 2013. We spent about 2 hours at the museum, although you could easily spend 2 or 3 times that amount of time if you went slowly and read all placards. A parking garage is on-site, and costs $6 for the first two hours, and $1 for each additional half-hour, up to a maximum of $12 for the day. Admission to the museum is free. The museum is about a 10-minute drive from the downtown
area. The museum space occupies two floors of two separate buildings: the 1916 beau-arts building and the north building. In January of 2014, a new set of galleries housing Southeast Asian, Indian, Chinese, and Himalayan art is scheduled to open. There are two upper-level outdoor balconies at either end of the 1916 building, should you need some fresh air, and the seasonal south entrance leads out to a pretty pond with a fountain. Restrooms and water fountains are spaced throughout the museum, and there is an ATM machine and coat check available near the main entrance. The museum store sells interesting souvenirs. The basement level of the north building holds classrooms, lecture, recital, and exhibition halls. It was easy to move through the museum without feeling like you missed anything, and without needing to do a lot of backtracking to view things that you missed. The artwork was well curated - in addition to just listing the objective information such as the name of the artist and the title of the work, the curator included interesting subjective information about each piece. We enjoyed the Impressionist collection the most at this museum, although we also found the Chinese zodiac sculptures in the main atrium (and the atrium itself) very intriguing. The CMA owns an impressive number of Picassos for a museum of this size. We are glad that we invested the (slight) effort to travel from the downtown area, because we loved the museum.