Maybe it was my lack of knowledge about the American Midwest, or my misguided understanding of American culture, but I was pleasantly surprised by the art scene in Cleveland, Ohio. My uninformed perspective of the Midwest was lacking in plenty of details. Among the many surprises was learning about Cleveland’s Museum of Art.
The museum was founded in the early 20th century with a generous endowment, on condition that it be accessible for everyone. In a word: FREE. And still today, it’s one of the largest museums in the USA that has a free permanent collection. Thanks to some smart acquisitions, the museum isn’t home to just some Podunk artworks, but some real quality pieces. Not to mention that the building’s architecture, and the surrounding University Circle neighborhood, is open & spacious, green & relaxing. I spent an afternoon exploring the museum’s exhibits which included works by European masters, historical artifacts and contemporary exhibits (I caught one about DIY book design).
And it seems the Cleveland Museum is expanding even more with a new app and iPads for rent—to make the museum experience that much more interesting. Museum visits can often seem a bit stuffy, so it’s nice to see some technological advancements. But the museum also had free wifi when I visited, so I’m not surprised to see their social media smarts.
If you’re looking for a bit of culture in Cleveland outside cheesy sandwiches and craft beers, you can’t do better than the Cleveland Art Museum. Visit their website for upcoming exhibits, or follow Positively Cleveland on Facebook for other arts news from this Midwestern city.