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The Cleveland Art Museum: a surprising discovery in the Midwest

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.

On the web:

Cleveland museum

Cleveland Museum of Art

Museums Cleveland


Cleveland art

Cleveland Art Museum

University Circle, Cleveland

Cleveland Museum of Art

Wade Park, Cleveland

  1. Like Drew Carrey always said “Cleveland Rocks”! And now I believe him. That museum sounds like a ton of fun.

    • Adam says:

      Yep – I remember watching Drew Carey and it was hard not to think of that while I was there!

  2. Dale says:

    This looks like the kind of place I’d love to be right now.

    Plus, you said the magic word; FREE!

    I read about somewhere the other day that had just been bequeathed a large art collection on the condition that they never charge admission to the museum – ever. That’s the kind of awesome I love to hear.

    • Adam says:

      Dale, that’s awesome! I hope more art collectors decide to make their art free and available to the public – it can be such an incredible source of inspiration.

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