This exhibition celebrates the extraordinary gift and promised gift of art made by Clevelanders Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley to the Cleveland Museum of Art. In March 2020, the Keithleys gave more than 100 works of art to the museum--the most significant gift in more than 60 years, since the bequest of Leonard C. Hanna Jr. in 1958. This is the first and only time the collection will be on view in its entirety.
The Keithleys’ collection focuses on Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modern European and American paintings. Among the highlights are five paintings by Pierre Bonnard; four each by Maurice Denis and Édouard Vuillard; two each by Milton Avery, Georges Braque, Gustave Caillebotte, Joan Mitchell, and Félix Vallotton; and individual pictures of outstanding quality by Henri-Edmond Cross, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, and Andrew Wyeth. Among the works on paper are six watercolors by John Marin, five drawings by Bonnard, and a spectacular pastel by Eugène Boudin. Also included in the exhibition is a selection of European and American decorative arts. The Keithleys also collected Chinese and contemporary Japanese ceramics. In the exhibition, Asian ceramics will be shown alongside Western paintings and drawings to echo the harmonies created by the Keithleys, who enjoyed thoughtfully juxtaposing the works in their collection.
Throughout two decades of collecting, the Keithleys selected works of art to complement and enrich the CMA’s collection. At times, the Keithleys built upon a strength in the museum’s collection; on other occasions, they acquired a work of art that would bring something entirely new to the collection. Certain works of art in the Keithleys’ gift and promised gift will be shown alongside paintings, drawings, or objects from the CMA’s collection, inviting visitors to discover connections, contrasts, and poetic conversations between familiar, favorite works of art and new objects from the Keithleys’ collection.