The Cleveland Museum of Art consistently ranks as one of the best comprehensive art museums in the United States and one of the most-visited in the world.
But what does that actually mean?
This isn’t the kind of museum where you show up, look at a couple of Picassos, then find the nearest bar. It's home to more than 61,000 works of art spanning 6,000 years — including soothing lily pad oils by Monet, ancient hot bod Grecian statues and 100 very vivid images of Marilyn Monroe courtesy of Andy Warhol.
Oh, and after more than 100 years, the museum’s founders would be pleased to know that their bedrock belief that admission should be free to the general public is still adhered to today. You might also be pleased to know that, because, you know…free.
What You'll See:
- Included in its wide-ranging permanent collection is one of the world’s leading assemblages of Indian and Southeast Asian art, and their Japanese, Chinese and Korean collections are among the most comprehensive in the world.
- The ArtLens Gallery is a brand-new way of looking at the museum-going experience via cutting-edge interactive tech. ArtLens Studio features motion-detecting technology that allows you to create your own original works. Engage with masterpieces, and go deeper, through ArtLens Exhibition. The gallery also includes the 40-foot ArtLens Wall, which cycles through the museum's entire gallery by displaying a new selection (curated and grouped by type, theme, color, etc.) every 40 seconds.
- Like the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Museum of Art sits in historic Wade Park within University Circle. CMA incorporates the park itself with an outdoor sculpture gallery known as the Wade Park Fine Arts Garden.
What Else to Do?
- As part of its annual Performing Arts Series, the museum plays host to an eclectic mix of concerts that includes world music, percussion ensembles and live chamber music in the galleries (which is absolutely the best soundtrack to any museum visit).
- Throughout the year, the museum maintains an active schedule of special events including adults-only mixers the first Friday of each month, as well as its annual Parade the Circle, which engulfs all of University Circle in an arts parade and festival.
- Then there's Solstice, a summertime soiree held within and on the lawn of the Cleveland Museum of Art. If you're lucky enough to score a ticket to the party (which has sold out every year since its inception), be prepared for a cosmopolitan affair that combines cutting-edge live music from global artists, world-renowned art galleries, and food and drink prepared by award-winning chefs.
- The museum’s Provenance Restaurant and Café is also a worthy temptress. Cleveland chef Doug Katz specializes in locally sourced, seasonal ingredients in this unique restaurant that overlooks the museum’s atrium. In the past, Katz has planned menus to complement major exhibits, like Peruvian dishes for an exhibit of ancient Andean art.
Where to Stay
There aren’t many neighborhoods in the country that pack as much art and culture into a few city blocks as University Circle. Stay overnight in accommodations that are just as world-class as the very attractions that are a short walk or rideshare away. Check them out here.